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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Arabization and the Kabyle Language and Cultural Issue in Algeria
Author:Heggoy, Alf A.
Periodical:Africana Journal
Geographic term:Algeria
Kabyle language
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:Proponents of Arabization in Algeria have argued that colonialism forced the Arab language and culture into an inferior position. To the Berber population of Algeria, particularly the Kabyles, who represent 95 percent of the Berber population, the Arabization campaign of the government of independent Algeria seemed to be as dangerous to their language and culture as anything the French had done in the name of assimilation. Various government measures in the 1970s led, in 1980, to the birth of the 'Berber Spring' movement, which demanded a pluralistic Algeria in which the Berber language would be taught, along with Arabic, at every level of the educational system. Today, the debate has gone beyond the linguistic and cultural issues first raised by the Berber movement. The Berbers are now demanding freedom of expression, a full-blown democratic discussion and a move away from official elitism based solely on Arab and Islamic unitary cultural values. If offered no concessions the Kabyles may well become separatists. Notes, ref.