Libyan Amazigh-speaking cities to give their language legal status

Libyan Amazigh-speaking cities to give their language legal status

April 01, 2018 - 20:33
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Libyan cities that are peopled by Amazigh are moving to activate an ordinance, which has been already implemented in Zuwara city, ordering the writings on billboards, shops, and administrative buildings as well as official logos to be written in the Amazigh language.

A source from Zuwara said that at least two of the western mountain districts will announce such an ordinance in the few days to come, thus legalizing the status of the Berber language, Amazigh.

Meanwhile, Zuwara issued days ago an order to adopt Amazigh as the main language to be used in logos and billboards within the administrative borders of the city, which lies at the border with Tunisia.

Despite controversy, Zuwara mayor, Hafid Moamar, said the decision to give the Amazigh language a legal status was based on both previous decisions and the desire of the civil societies in the city, adding that though many cities in Libya speak Amazigh and are inhabited by Amazigh, Zuwara had to go first for the step of making the language official as it is a border-crossing city and lots of travelers pass through it, "so they should pay attention to its distinctive traits."

"This reminds the officials in Libya of our rights especially after marginalizing Amazigh components in the constitution drafting meetings. Our decision doesn't go against the fact that Arabic is the official language in Libya." Moamar added.

Libya's Amazigh boycotted the elections of the constitution drafting assembly and the parliamentary elections in 2014 in protest of "marginalization of the Amazigh and rejection of making their language official."