Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Berbers, the original inhabitants of North Africa before the Arab conquest

Way before the era of christianity and islam, an ancient people of black African tribe has been said to occupy the north African region which is now predominantly occupied  by the Arab/Turk invaders as there home country. The territory of the berbers stretched from Egypt down to Morrocco and this group of black African tribe are known as the Berbers.

The Berber people are indigenous, ethnic group, speaking the Berber language, a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language. The Berbers are estimated between 14 to 25 millions. They inhabit many countries stretching all the way from the Canary Island to Egypt and from the Mediterranean coast to the Niger River. Berbers are predominantly Sunni Muslims, majority following the Maliki "madhhab". Sufism is common in the western areas, but less in the east. Before their conversion to Islam, the majority of Berbers were Jews or Christians.

Generally speaking, some genetic evidence indicates that most northwest African Arabs are from Berber origin. Berbers live in Morocco comprise an estimate of 35%- 80% of the population, while in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, Berbers are about 15%-33% of the population. Berber groups such as the Kabyles of northern Algeria, are approximately 4 million and who have kept their original language and culture. Another group is Chleuh of south Morocco, with a population of 8 million. Other groups include Tuareg of the Sahara, the Riffian of north Morocco, and the Chaouia of Algeria. There are also about 3 million Berber immigrants in Europe. Some inhabitants of the Canary Islands are also considered Berber.

The Berber community has lived in North Africa since ancient time. Several ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman records mention them. Berber groups are mentioned by the ancient Egyptians during the Pre-dynastic Period and during the New Kingdom. Some Egyptologists think that the Egyptians were ruled by Berbers, who founded the 22nd Dynasty. Over time, North Africa was hit by several invaders, such as: Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and the French. Most of them have influenced the Berber community.

Between 642 and 669, the Arabs sent their first military expeditions into the Maghrib, which resulted in the spread of Islam. The Umayyads dynasty recognized the strategic importance of controlling the Mediterranean. By 711, the Umayyad forces had invaded all of North Africa.
In 711 Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Berber governor of Tangier, Morocco crossed into Spain. Later Islamic Spain or Al Andalus, was under the leadership of the caliph of Damascus. Nevertheless, the largest group of Moors in Spain were mainly North African Berbers.

After gaining their independence in the 20th century, the countries of North Africa established Arabic as their official language, replacing French. As a result, most Berbers had to study and know Arabic, with no opportunity to use their own language at schools. North African states identified themselves as Arab nations, ignoring the existence and the culture of the Berbers. Political tensions have arisen between Berber groups and governments in North Africa during the past few decades, over linguistic and cultural issues. For example, giving children Berber names was prohibited in Morocco. In response to the demands of the Berbers, Morocco and Algeria modified their policies. Algeria defined itself in the constitution as an Arab, Berber, Muslim nation. Currently, in Algeria, Berber is a national language and is taught as a non-compulsory language in the Berber speaking areas. In Morocco, Berber is now taught as a compulsory language regardless the ethnicity.


  1. Thanks for the information. I am pleased with your post and embrace this valuable disclosure.

  2. Thank you for the information. I am also pleased with your post. The information is very valuable to me as I am trying to learn about my ancestors after taking a MtDNA test.

  3. Thank you for the information. I am also pleased with your post. The information is very valuable to me as I am trying to learn about my ancestors after taking a MtDNA test.

  4. they was 0% subsaharan negroid presence in north Africa perior to the arab trans-saharan slave-trade, there's no respectful scientific or archaeological evidence support this claims exept from racist afrocentirism retards,
    It has been established that the current population of caucasiod Mediterranean Berbers have been in North Africa for over 11,000 years possibly 15,000-20,000 and yes they are the results of many episodes of back migration from Eurasia.
    those pictures are fake from saharan nomads and east africans....why do you do that?
    saying that ,you may like to know that the negroid race aka subsaharan blacks is only 6000 to 8000 years old...the oldest negropid skull has been found is the Asselar man skull dated to around 6,400 BP...
    afrocentrism is a racist afronazi movement !
    لصوص تاريخ و حضارة.....تو قفو عن سرقة ما ليس لكم!

  5. @ Anonymous you are absolutely clueless. The earliest known remains of humans were found in South Africa and those fossils date back well over a million years. This is a fact. I'm guessing you've never even heard of the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. Asserting that "Caucasoid Mediterranean Berbers" are indiginous to N. Africa is possibly the most ignorant comment that has ever been posted on the internet. GTFOH!

  6. North Africans area Caucasoid race and the further you go south the Darker the skins of the people get, until you get The Sub-Saharan types of people.

  7. I am to please with the info. I am second generation born in the USA. My grandfather and three brothers immigrated here free men. My grandfather and brothers married Native Americans. My father were half Mohawk and mother were Arapaho, Navajo and Cherokee with there origins in the Middle East. Thirty five percent of Native Americans is of Middle Eastern origin. Siberian have their origin in the Middle East. My kin are all over MENA and North African started out from East Africa. Historian states that mankind started with the San people of south Africa. The oldest remains found if Morocco which is my origin dated 400,000 years old. A reconstructed remains of an Moroccan was found dated over 160,000 years old. I am dark brown skin tone with curly and the person in the picture could be my kin.

    1. As mention, Moroccan have East African origin. They are the original Berbers and they are Jews. Historians say that Berbers are related to the Egyptians. Berbers are the connection between prehistoric and modern man. If you will look up the word Caucasian you will find this from Wikipedia-The term Caucasian is used to refer to people whose ancestry can be traced back to Europe (African were the first Europeans and the original spelling of Europe is Europa which in name after a Phoenician goodness. Moroccan Berbers were part of the Arab/Muslim conquest that ruled Southern Europe for over 800 years. The Italian and Peruvian have their origin in Morocco. We are also called the Moors and we have a treaty with USA called the Moorish-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship. We were the first in the Americas. We are the first Native Americans. Look up the meaning of native. In order to be declared a Native American you have to proved that you were on the land before the Europeans. There are a Black Federal Native American tribe called the Shinnecock.) North Africa West Asia, South Asia and parts of Central Asia. It was once considered a useful taxonomical categorization of human racial groups base on a presumed common geographic and/or linguistic origin. Another meaning for Caucasian-fair to dark skin, straight to tightly curled hair. Skin tone have nothing to do with been a Caucasian, it is all about been in the region of Caucasus Mountain .