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Data

Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Berbers in Morocco

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Date(s) Item
Aug 20, 1990 King Hassan announced that Berber will be taught in primary schools.
Feb 1991 A U.S. Department of State human rights report noted that "there are some Berber spokesmen who believe that the Berber identity is not adequately maintained because Berber languages are not taught in schools and there are no Berber [language] publications." However this report also noted that "Berbers are well represented in the government and the officer corps of the military..."
Jun 17, 1991 A new opposition party, the Mouvement National Populaire, was formed under the leadership of veteran Berber politician and former defense minister Mahjoubi Aherdane. This party has a strong Berber element.
Jun 25, 1993 In direct elections for 222 out of 333 seats in the Moroccan Legislature the Mouvement Populaire gained 33 seats and the Mouvement National Populaire won 14 seats. Both Berber parties stood for election as part of the ruling Entente Nationale coalition.
Sep 17, 1993 In indirect elections for the remaining 111 seats in the Moroccan legislature, the Mouvement Populaire gained 18 seats giving it a total of 51 (out of 333) and the Mouvement Nationale Populaire gained 10 seats giving it a total of 24.
Nov 1993 The King appointed a non-partisan government.
1994 The government commenced Berber-language television and radio news broadcasts.
May 1, 1994 Following a protest where Berber activists demanded recognition of their language and Berber cultural revival, 28 activists were arrested and on May 27, three of them were convicted and sentenced to two to three years in jail.
Jul 1994 A meeting by a Berber cultural association in the southern city of Agadir was banned by orders of the region's governor. Another such conference in Nador was also banned (date unavailable).
Jul 1994 King Hassan granted amnesty to the 3 Berber activists convicted of disturbing the peace. (see May 1, 1994 for details)
Feb 28, 1996 Berber associations called on Morocco to recognize their language and make its teaching obligatory in schools. In January, a Berber cultural week was banned in Rabat
Sep 30, 1996 The Berber Cultural Society denounced the harassment they are subject to. (BBC)
Nov 15, 1997 The pro-government blocks nearly tied in the legislative elections held for the two-chamber legislature. The opposition attributed their lack of a clear victory to government election fraud. (ABC CLIO)
Feb 5, 1998 The ban on Berber cultural week was denounced by the Human Rights Association of Morocco. (AMDH)
Mar 16, 1998 The King appointed an opposition-dominated cabinet. (ABC CLIO)
Jul 10, 1998 The Communications Minister encouraged the use of the Berber language in advertising (BBC)
Jul 17, 1998 The Moroccan Culture Department announced a plan to preserve Berber heritage with the creation of local museums and the promotion of Berber culture through books, plays, music, and paintings (BBC).
2003 The Moroccan government authorizes Berber to be taught in the Moroccan schools, in addition to Arabic and French. (Business Day (South Africa), 2/27/2004, “Berber Language Book Published.”)
2004 The first Berber language textbook, created by the Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture and the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Youth, is introduced in Moroccan schools. (BBC Monitoring International Reports, 2/15/2004, “Morocco Publishes First Berber Language Text Book for Schools.”)
Feb 25 - 25, 2004 An earthquake rocks the Rif mountains region, causing 20,000 Berbers to need emergency housing. The government provides 1,300 tents, while the U.S. and Belgian governments and the Red Cross send various supplies and personnel. (The Associated Press, 2/25/2004, “Angry Survivors Denounce Morocco’s Government for Slow Earthquake Response in Impoverished Berber Region”).
Feb 26 - 26, 2004 After the earthquake, 200 Berbers march in the hard-hit town of Imzouren, criticizing the government for not acting fast enough to help those in need. (AllAfrica, Inc., 2/26/2004, “Death Toll from Tuesday’s Earthquake in North-East Morocco Rose Yesterday to About 600.”)
Nov 2 - 2, 2004 The Moroccan news agency, MAP, announces that it will begin broadcasting its religious programming in Berber, in addition to Arabic and French. (Agence France Presse, 11/2/2005, “Le roi du Maroc lance une chaîne de télévision consacrée à l’islam.”)
Aug 27 - 27, 2006 The Moroccan Minister of Education announces that for the first time, Berber will be taught in public schools to children as young as fourth graders. (Xinhua News Agency – French, 8/27/2006, “Pas de modification pour les manuels scolaires aux écoles au Maroc.”)

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Information current as of July 16, 2010