As the curtain fell on the eighth annual Festival of Amazigh Culture, which had the theme "Mother Tongue and Diaspora", the World Congress called for new constitution for the Amazigh language
|Photo: Sandy McCutcheon|
The festival was held from 13 to 15 July 2012 under the royal patronage by the Spirit of Fes Foundation, The Association Fès-Saiss, and North South Centre in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture and BMCE Foundation, and with the support of the Council of Moroccan Community Abroad and the Hassan II Foundation.
The festival, which was a resounding success on all levels (academic, artistic and organisational) has emphasised the important role of the mother tongue in the areas of education, media, literary and artistic production , and the integration of North African communities abroad.
The World Congress, which brought together 33 high caliber speakers like Keith Martin (USA), Ahme Boukous d (Morocco), Nora Tigziri (Algeria), Alfonso de Toro (Germany), Jean-Marie Simon (France), Johan Goud (Holland ), Mustapha Stitou (Holland), Issa Ait Belize (Belgium), Maati Kabbal (France) and Moha Souag, Moha Ennaji, Fatima Sadiqi, El El Moujahid ElHousain (Morocco), and others, stressed the positive impact of mother tongue in general and in particular the Amazigh culture on modernity, democracy and sustainable development.
This conference took stock of the experience of Maghreb countries on the introduction of the Amazigh language in education and the media, and pleaded to make multiculturalism a lever of economic, social, and cultural development. The participants drew the attention of intellectuals, civil society actors and policy makers on the role of mother tongues on North African diasporas. They emphasised the importance of an integrated approach to mother tongues and cultural diversity based on democratic culture and social development.
During the opening of the conference, the festival paid tribute to the eminent Moroccan writer Leila Abouzeid in recognition of her substantial contributions in the fields of media and creative writing.
Some 20 musical concerts and some 110 artists representing different regions of Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Spain and Italy, participated in this festival. The festival honoured the artists, namely Mohamed Akouray and Zina Daoudiya, in recognition of their great artistic talents, and their outstanding contributions to Moroccan music.
The festival also included book exhibitions, art paintings and Amazigh carpets exhibits. A documentary about the Algerian poet Taos Amrouche was screened, in addition to the workshop on the Tifinagh alphabet and the signature of Fatima Mernissi's latest book "The Gardens of Love."
Participants at the World Congress have made the following recommendations:
1 - Promote, strengthen and develop intercultural dialogue, and spend democratic culture and cultural diversity.
2 - Accelerate the normalisation and standardisation of the Amazigh language, drawing upon the resources needed to integrate the knowledge society.
3 - Promote dialogue with youth and work towards a better education reform to ensure an appropriate status to mother tongues and openness to modernity and new technologies.
4 - Implement and apply as soon as possible the provisions of the new constitution for the Amazigh language, for its integration through organic laws in education, media, public policies and institutions.
5 -Promote and disseminate diasporic North African literature
6 - Encourage, support and promote the creation and production in the mother tongue.
7 – Promote the teaching of Amazigh language and culture to children of North African communities abroad, and provide textbooks and educational materials to succeed in this action.
The View from Fez congratulates Festival Director Moha Ennaji on running a superb festival.