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Decolonizing the Mind: The Language of North Africa | Decolonization

28.4.16

Decolonizing the Mind: The Language of North Africa | Decolonization: The Amazigh (pl. Imazighen) are the Indigenous people of North Africa, a region internally called Tamazgha, but often known as part of the “Arab world.” The Amazigh language is Tamazight and is the mother tongue of tens of millions of people in Tamazgha and the Amazigh diaspora. Since Arab invasions in the 7th century C.E., Arabic has been a colonial language in Tamazgha, although the process of ‘Arabization’ was dramatically accelerated after North African countries became independent of European colonialism in the 20th century. Arabization, under the thin guise of ‘decolonization,’ supposedly sought to reduce the use of French in ‘post-colonial’ North Africa but in actuality targeted the Indigenous Tamazight language for discrimination.

Why limit our rejection of colonial languages, if we are to do so, to only European languages? Arabic has been used in an at least as destructive and anti-African a manner as French, English, or any other European language in Africa. Just as Ngũgĩ describes the schism and alienation created by repressive language policies in a colonial school, an Amazigh writer does the same:


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Dispatch: Aboriginal Press Media Group  |   Permalink  |   [28.4.16]  |   0 comments

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