10-01-15 11:30 PMIslam in Europe: Netherlands: Awakening Berber awarenessPage 2 of 10http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2009/01/netherlands-awakening-berber-awareness.html
own language and culture, but though most Moroccan children speakBerber at home, they got Arabic lessons in school. [ed: this might also bedue to requests from the parents, who see Arabic as a 'more useful'language]That created confusion, says Farid Aouled Lahcen of the associationVoice of the Dutch Moroccan Democrats (Stem van MarokkaanseDemocraten in Nederland , SMDN). And then they're still between twonations. Both Morocco and the Netherlands demand that show loyalty, butthey don't feel accepted in either land. According to him Islamicfundamentalists skillfully play into that situation. They offer searching youtha superior ideology with ready-made identity: 'the pure Muslim'Aouled Lahcen is convinced that strengthening the Berber identity can bea buffer against radicalization. "On basis of experiences in the history theBerbers known all too well what imposed ideologies can cuase: alienationand confusion,' he says. If the youth know their cultural background, theyare more sure of themselves.Theater maker Chaib Massaoudi (46) also hopes to start the thinkingprocess about Berber identity with his shows. "You should reflect aboutwhere you come from. That's your basis. From that you depart and theworld lies open." Often Massaoudi adapts old Berber stories aboutuniversal themes.Soon he'll tour through the Netherlands with his theater group Amazighwith the show Tamettut ('woman' in Berbers) about the reforms in theMoroccan family law mudawana. What are the consequences of this newlaw for Berber women in their daily life? Before that he toured with 'TheMagic Ring' - a theater show in which children learn to speak with animals- as the Rif people do - among schools.These stories should be told down the line, thinks Massaoudi, who cameto the Netherlands when he was 18. 'My grandparents and parents had tokeep silent about it when I was young. It could cost you your head."The fear still exists, even in the Netherlands, says Mohammed AouledLahcen (29), who like his brother is involved in Le Papillon. The carpenterwho worked in the Amazigh center stayed away after he saw the portraitof freedom fighter Abdelkarim. Mohammed Aouled Lahcen: "He was afraidthat we're striving for an independent Berber state. He didn't want to beassociated with that. But that is not so, we strive for equal rights."Rachid el Majjaoui wants to inform youth his age through Le Papillonabout their background. He notes how positively his friends react when hetell them the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara traveled to North Africa toget a portrait of himself with Abdelkarim. Such stories touch the 'streetrabble' as well as the 'hard-studying youth'.Source:
Netherlands: Moroccans don't want Moroccan gov't to intervene
Morocco: Stressing the "Arab identity"
Netherlands: Moroccan babies get only names approved byMorocco
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