Morocco’s indigenous people, the Berbers, and their defending of their culture has been documented by photojournalist Ferhat Bouda, and has been selected as part of this year’s International Festival of Photojournalism.
The Berbers or Amazigh people (free people) are the oldest inhabitants of North Africa. For thousands of years they have been living on a vast expanse of land stretching from the Atlantic coast of Morocco to Siwa Oasis in Egypt.
More than 33% of Morocco’s population are Berbers. They are concentrated largely in the northern regions of the Rif, the middle plains of the Atlas, and the Sous Valley.
Berbers have their own language and cultural traditions, but their identity is under threat. They do not aspire to nationhood; some are nomadic, some are sedentary; there are Muslims, Christians and Jews. But leaders in North Africa suspect them of being heretics, and have oppressed them, breaking up communities, assimilating them…
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