Libya: Amazigh freely celebrate New Year for only second time in centuries

Today The 13th of January 2013 is the first day of January 2963 in the Amazigh calendar. This new year has a special taste in Libya .The Libyan Amazigh are celebrating this new year freely for the second year in the past few centuries, because of the freedom that Libyans are enjoying after the success of the 17th February revolution.

Yesterday morning I attended the constitutional Rights Forum for the Amazigh of Libya in Tripoli. This gathering was meant to drum support for Amazigh rights, including instating the Amazigh language in the new constitution as an official language side by side with the Arabic language. The forum was organized by the local councils of all Amazigh towns in Libya. Guests were government officials, political party leaders, local and international human rights activists and civil organizations.

The comforting surprise was the participation of Mr. Mohamed Elmagharif, the president of the general national congress. He gave a very positive speech supporting the demands of the Libyan Amazigh.

We want to avoid a lot of problems that other multi national countries have suffered because of lack of freedom, the constitutional marginalization, and non-implementation of pluralism and equality. Such acts have led to political disasters, decades of war and eventually divided countries such as Sudan.

In Libya we have suffered decades of denial and sidelining under Ghadafi's rule. The regime never recognized the rights of the Amazigh citizens including their linguistic rights.

Now we would like the government to listen to our rightful demands; respecting our cultural and linguistic particularity, political inclusion, fairly sharing the richness of the country.

We want to live in our united free democratic country having the same rights and obligations that other Libyans enjoy.

At night a concert was held in Tripoli stadium celebrating new years eve. Over ten thousand people enjoyed a very special night where some local and foreign bands participated in the first Amazigh concert ever in Libya.

Gallery

Click on image for larger view

The Constitutional Rights Forum for the Amazigh of Libya in Tripoli
 MRG-GAL-2836
Download High Res This file may be low resolution. Please check before using it for print
Download Low Res

< back 

Date: 15/01/2013

Countries:

Libya

Categories:

Culture and Tradition
Language
Indigenous Peoples

Press Contact Information

Name: Essa Elhamise

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union
Not-for-profit web design by Fat Beehive.