Genre Transformation: A Poem: My Identity

I am African

I am North African

I am Algerian

I am Amazigh

I am Kabyle

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Arab vs. Amazigh

The Debate of Two Identities

 

The debate about North Africans and their identity has been around for centuries. Whether it’s North Africans themselves arguing with each other,  other Africans undermining North Africans’ Africanness, Middle Easterners putting an Arab stamp on us, or the rest of the world deciding who we are for us. Whether it is a result of the similarity shared in religion or form of the same language, people think the Middle East and North Africa are the same. But that is a very false statement as they could not be more different. I want to stress that it is important for people who are not of North African origin educate themselves about the variety of people in North Africa and to try to understand the difference between Arab and Amazigh. To understand this debate, you must first what each word means.

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Who has the Power in North African Identification?

North African Identity

Although I am North African and very proud of it, I cannot speak for every Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, or Mauritanian. I have expressed time and time again how I feel about the region, the people, the language, and the history. But my views definitely do not correlate with everyone else from that region. There are plenty of Moroccans and Algerians who see no difference in the Amazigh and Arab Identity. There are also plenty of Libyans who don’t even think about the word “Amazigh.” But of course there are those that think about it a lot, myself included. Another thing that is a hot topic amongst North Africans is the colonialism and what it has done to our countries and our people.  

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Interviewing the Faces of North Africa

Representing North Africa

For someone to fall under the category of “North African” a person must be from the countries that are located in the northern most region of the continent of Africa. Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, Libyans, Egyptians, and even Mauritanians, fall under this category. Being Algerian, I strongly identify as North African; according to my peers, I might as well have “Algerian” tattooed on my forehead. Although this is said lightly for the sake of humor, I do make it very known that I am North African and proud. It is important to me to shine light on North Africa and its rich history considering we are very underrepresented in western society. Because of this, I have made it my goal to highlight the rich and dense history of the region and bring attention to my people through my voice and the voices of other North African.

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Yourmiddleeast.com; Credible or not?

Credibility

When looking at a website of interest, it is important to make sure the website is credible in that it is a reliable and trustworthy source. It’s not enough to think the page is credible based on looks of the website, but based on many other factors. When taking a look at articles about North Africa and the languages of the region, I came across an interesting article on a website called yourmiddleeast.com.

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Analyzing, “IN MOROCCO A BERBER FACE HIDES BENEATH AN ARAB MASK,” by Robert D. Kaplan

Moroccan Identity

Morocco is the country furthest northwest in Africa. It is a country with rich history regarding the identity of the people in the country. Morocco is in a region known as the Maghreb region. In this region the indigenous people are known as the Berbers. The Berbers have been a part of this region since the dawn of time. Unfortunately, because of centuries of colonialism, the identity of these people has been clouded. Robert D. Kaplan highlighted the importance of identity in the region through aspects such as diction, etymology, and logos.

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The History of North Africa and the Fight for an Identity

An Arab Childhood?

Growing up in San Francisco I went to a mosque with a not so diverse group of Muslims. For the most part, I was surrounded by Egyptians, Yemenis, Palestinians, and other Arabs. I went to the same mosque every Saturday of my entire childhood to learn how to read Arabic in order to be able to memorize the quran, but I always found it immensely difficult. I remember struggling to understand and speak to my Yemeni teachers because what I knew as Arabic was a language that was completely different than what was spoken in my household.

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