Monday, January 14, 2013

Amazigh (Berber) Man of the Year 2962

Writing in the influential Eurasia Review Said Temsamani reports on the honouring of Ahmed Assid. The event, held in Tiznit, celebrated the Amazigh new year.  Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant and a Senior Fellow at the Merdian International Center Washington DC. He is also founder and CEO of "Public Initiatives"

The writer-researcher Ahmed Assid was chosen during a tribute ceremony Saturday night in Tiznit, “Man of the Year 2962″ by the Association Tiri N Wakal (Love the earth), a sign of gratitude for the services he has rendered to the language and to the Amazigh culture.

“The organization of this ceremony in my honor shows that the humble work I’ve done with other players begin to bear fruit in the spirit and consciousness of people, and tyhis is fundamental, “said Assid on the sidelines of a celebration organized by the Tiri N Wakal the occasion of Idh Yennayer the Amazigh New Year 2963.

“For me, the greatest joy is to see that our work helps to bring about a change in Morocco, from denial to recognition of diversity and its sustainable management, and this is the way indicated to democracy"  - Ahmed Assid

He stressed that Morocco is “a country with wisdom and individual genius individual who can resolve all issues with rationality and in a peaceful manner and create the conditions for civilized coexistence with all components “, noting that this provision demonstrates that” Morocco is a strong country rooted in tradition and diversity that Moroccans assimilate the lesson of modern democracy and modernity at all levels. ”

The scope of the special celebration this year Idh Yennayer, he said shows that “we were moving towards official recognition of the Amazigh New Year as a holiday like New Year’s and AH New Year of the Gregorian calendar. ”

With the constitutional recognition of Amazigh, the ceremony is a strong symbolic dimension for Moroccans and even neighboring countries, he argued, noting that “this shows that all the countries of North Africa have shared cultural and civilizational symbols tend their ancestral roots deep in history. ”

This interest more pronounced for Idh Yennayer also shows that Moroccans are aware of their roots, even if they have ambitions of openness to the world, he added, noting that “it is precisely this difficult equation Moroccans have resolved consistently and successfully. ”

According to him, the commemoration of Idh Yennayer carries “a symbolic affirmation of identity and attachment to land and roots and should, therefore, find the level of institutions,” whereas “formalizing the Amazigh language should now lead to the formalization of the culture”, knowing that it is the organic law relating thereto specify the modalities and procedures for the integration of Amazigh language in different levels of public life.

A prolific writer, Assid Ahmed (born 1961) has written several articles and studies on cultural issues and themes of identity and democracy, in addition to numerous radio and television programs on literature and the arts and Amazigh series of literary works. The man is quite possibly the most courageous intelligent secular and Berber activist in Morocco. He is also a philosopher by trade. Even as he is working tirelessly to protect Morocco against the deadly effects of Islamic fundamentalism or Salafism, Ahmed is being derided by most of his fellow citizens as a dreamer howling in the wind or by educated folks as totally unrealistic. This is how it is with short-sighted people. In one interview, Assid used the concept of “Morocanness” to critique Middle Eastern and Western influences alike. All imported experiences, he seems to say, have to accommodate themselves to existing realities on the ground, which, in the case of Morocco, include the indigenous culture of the Berbers (the Amazigh). Few, if any, realize that his call for privileging nation first is the well-tested formula for the badly needed development Arabs and Muslims crave.

The author
Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a Senior Fellow, Merdian International Center Washington DC, Founder and CEO "Public Initiatives" Consulting firm and Former Senior Political Advisor, US Embassy Rabat, Morocco.

Visit Eurasia Review here


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