History of the Amazigh People
In 1000 B.C. the Imazighen people were already long established in North Africa (Shafiq, 1989). In Morocco for instance, they constitute at least 45% of the population distributed among three sub-ethnic groups and dialects (Sadiqi, 1997). Owing to their political and geographical position, the Imazighen have been invaded by Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, and Europeans. Eventually, they all left, except for the Arabs. The Arabs brought Islam, a universalizing religion, and stayed to become an integral part of North African population and heritage. Their language, however, changed and gave rise to what is known as Darija, Aammia, or Colloquial Moroccan. North African countries, including Morocco, are considered today to be an integral part of the Arab World. Constitutionally, these countries claim to be Arab-Islamic Nations. Today, most Moroccans claim Islam as their religion.
Where did the Amazigh People come from? There are many theories concerning the acent ansestorie of the Amazigh People of North Africa. Some theories are more likely than others. One theory is that the Amazigh are descendants of the Libyan Amazons. Read more about this theory at Berbers, Decendents of Lybian Amazons?