13 September 2007

Tamazight Studies project

Finally a department of Tamazight is going to shoof (see) the light.
A small department at the University of Ibn Zohr in Agadir.
This is a dream for a lot of Amazigh students and Intellectuals. The Moroccan department of Ed and IRCAM are the two institutions that might provide the oversight.
According to the official speak, this is part of a bigger project aiming at “integration of Tamazight in the Moroccan national education system". The Amazigh dept is going to be neighbors with Arabic, French, English, history and geography and the famous department of Islamic Studies.
The theory behind creating this department practically is to solve the immediate needs for Amazigh professionals in the field of education. It also seems that a four year experience of teaching Tamazight in elementary schools did not meet the great expectations of many people although there is no real evaluations of this project.
My friends who are school teachers always complained about the need for more trainings. They are not really given anytime to teach. 45 minutes a week in not enough. However, more kids now read and write in Tamazight than some older people who never had a chance to study it. ( illiteracy !?)
A wide majority of people speak 'about' Tamazight in other languages like French and English (which I am doing here right now !!) but there are also great Amazigh brains out there that can do a lot for their culture and language. some of them have joined IRCAM for that purpose and I am sure more are going to join the University if they are not there already. scattered in other departments.
The kind of research that has been done before was a little awkward. Amazigh linguistics, for instance, happens in every department. People write in every language except in Tamazight. Now it is time. three years, six semester and a lot of papers to get a ‘License’ (BA) then a year for a Metrise then gradate studies, which we are not yet talking about.
The stone that Tamazight officials are standing on right now is the support of the Moroccan king himself. IRCAM runs on a budget drawn from the king’s personal money. And this is what most Amazigh activists find shwiya iffy. Now Ibn Zohe has a department and it looks like this is what people were fighting for a really long time….
We will wait and see how this is going to unfold.
On the way there we are not talking about "autonomist inclinations". ! Azul.

(photo ref souss.com)

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