Morocco – Berber activists call for Amazigh New Year commemoration

In the light of Yennayer (Amazigh New Year) (2969) on January 12, a number of Amazigh activists and associations still eagerly call for making this special occasion a national holiday.

These calls have spread to social media, urging Amazigh people to commemorate the year 2969 for it marks a big part of their history.

The calls for “reviving the peasant year” were not limited to Amazigh-speaking areas only, for they have reached big cities like Casablanca, where “Yennayer Festival” will be held. During the festival, audiences will be introduced to a documentary film and a number of Amazigh musical bands, at the United Nations Square.

“Renaissance Cinema” in Rabat will also host a series of events in the light of this special occasion, through organizing a number of awareness-raising activities on the Amazigh year history and its significance, followed by a music festival where 4 Amazigh bands will play their music to the public, upon which typical Amazigh foods and sweets will be served.

+ Yennayer stands for all Berbers +

Amazigh associations have also called for New Year commemoration outside Parliament in order to shed light on the growing anger wave in Souss region, and also protest against the state’s policies aimed at seizing lands, appropriating wealth and displacing the population.

The Amazigh year stands for all Berber roots and all symbolic properties that have interacted over the Amazigh soil for thousands of years; New Year callers said.

“Despite its symbolism, the Amazigh year has not yet been designated as a national holiday, as stipulated by the Moroccan Constitution “, same source added.

New Year preparation committee Coordinator, Adil Adaskou, stated that celebrating the Amazigh New Year represents a legitimate claim for an identity that all North African Amazighs stand for every year, adding that such event tends to find the bridge between the present and the past, raise awareness in regards to Amazigh historical roots, and assist the emerging generations via a democratic and modern vision based on relativism and rationality.

“The commemoration of the Amazigh New Year does not mean we have forgotten all about the state’s methods in treating political detainees in the light of Rif events, as well as those who were detained over freedom of expression and their right to peaceful demonstration”, Adaskou stressed.

“These celebrations, organized by Tamesna youth for the six consecutive year, also aim at introducing such event to a wider range of audiences, for celebrations shall take place in open spaces in order to attract more viewers. The event will also host modern and traditional music scenes and provide typical Amazigh dishes”, he added.

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