This week, in conjunction with the 18th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture, Qalam students were invited to learn about Amazigh culture and language in Morocco through a variety of activities.
More commonly known in the West by the name "Berber," Amazigh people and their culture have been around in North Africa for centuries - since prehistoric times, before the Roman Empire, before the Arabs conquered, and before the influence of Islam. Amazigh people traditionally lived in nomadic tribes throughout North Africa, with varying traditions, dress, and languages.
In more recent years, there have been movements both within the Amazigh community, as well as by the Moroccan government, to standardize an Amazigh language so as to teach it in schools. The Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture, located in Rabat, is run by the Moroccan government and has been with charged developing and recommending Amazigh language lessons for Moroccan public schools. More generally, the Institute works on developing and promoting Amazigh language and culture.