Maghreb

The Maghreb (/ˈmʌɡrəb/; Arabic: المغرب‎, translit. al-Maɣréb, lit. 'The West'), also known as Northwest Africa[2] or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب العربي الكبير‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-ʿArabi al-Kabir), Arab Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب العربي‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-ʿArabi) or Greater Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب الكبير‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-Kabīr),[3][4][5] or by some sources the Berber world,[6][7] Barbary[8][9][10] and Berbery,[11][12] is a major region of North Africa that consists primarily of the countries Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco) and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta (both controlled by Spain and claimed by Morocco). As of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people.

In historical English and European literature, the region was known as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, derived from the native Berbers.[13][14] Sometimes it was referred to as the Land of the Atlas, derived from the Atlas Mountains.[15] In current Berber language media and literature, the region is part of what is known as Tamazgha.

The region is usually defined as much or most of northern Africa, including a large portion of Africa's Sahara Desert, and excluding Egypt, which is part of Mashriq. The traditional definition of the region that restricted it to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya was expanded by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

During the era of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula (711–1492), the Maghreb's inhabitants, the Muslim Berbers or Maghrebis, were known by Europeans as "Moors",[16] or as "Afariqah" (Roman Africans).[17] Morocco transliterates into Arabic as "al-Maghreb" (The Maghreb).

Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, Maghreb most commonly referred to a smaller area, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains in the south. It often also included the territory of eastern Libya, but not modern Mauritania. As recently as the late 19th century, Maghreb was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, in particular.[18]

The region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia, which was followed by the Roman Empire's rule or influence. That was followed by the brief invasion of the Germanic Vandals, the equally brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the Byzantine Empire, the rule of the Islamic Caliphates under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate. The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Hammadid dynasty, Zirid dynasty, Marinid dynasty, Zayyanid dynasty, and Wattasid dynasty - from the 8th to 13th centuries. The Ottoman Empire for a period also controlled parts of the region.

Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market. It was envisioned initially by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership,[19] putting Morocco's long cold war with Algeria to a rest. However, this progress was short-lived, and the union is now dormant. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged, reinforced by the unsolved border dispute between the two countries. These two main conflicts have hindered progress on the union's joint goals and practically made it inactive as a whole.[20] However, the instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived the calls for regional cooperation, with foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declaring a need for coordinated security policy in May 2015 at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting, which revived hope of some form of cooperation.[21]

Maghreb

المغرب

al-Maɣréb
Maghreb (orthographic projection)
Countries and territories
Major regional organizationsArab League, Arab Maghreb Union, COMESA, Community of Sahel-Saharan States, Union for the Mediterranean
Population101,095,436 (2019)[1]
Population density16.72/km²
Area6,045,741 km2 (2,334,274 sq mi)
GDP PPP$1.276.100 trillion (2019) (23rd)
GDP PPP per capita$12,622 (2019)
GDP nominal$421.479 billion (2019) (31st)
GDP nominal per capita$4,169 (2019)
Languages
ReligionIslam, Christianity and Judaism
CapitalsAlgiers (Algeria)
Nouakchott (Mauritania)
Rabat (Morocco)
Tripoli (Libya)
Tunis (Tunisia)
Currency

Terminology

In classical antiquity, the Maghreb or portions of the region were known by various toponyms, including Barbary, Berbery, Mauretania, Numidia, Libya, Africa, and the Land of the Atlas.

The toponym maghrib is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from Alexandria in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Etymologically it means both the western place/land and the place where the sun sets. It is composed of the prefix m−, which makes a noun out of the verb root, and غرب (gharaba, to set, as in setting sun).

Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: al-Maghrib al-Adna (the near Maghrib), which included the lands extending from Alexandria to Tarabulus (modern-day Tripoli) in the west; al-Maghrib al-Awsat (the middle Maghrib), which extended from Tripoli to Bijaya (Béjaïa); and al-Maghrib al-Aqsa (the far Maghrib), which extended from Tahart (Tiaret) to the Atlantic Ocean.[22] They disagreed, however, over the start of the eastern boundary. Some authors extend it as far as the sea of Kulzum (the Red Sea) and thus include Egypt and the country of Barca in the Maghrib. Ibn Khaldun does not accept this definition because, he says, the inhabitants of the Maghreb do not consider Egypt and Barca as forming part of Maghrib. The latter commences only at the province of Tripoli and includes the districts of which the country of the Berbers was composed in former times. Later Maghribi writers repeated the definition of Ibn Khaldun, with a few variations in details.[23]

As of 2017 the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to Mashriq in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times. It also denotes only Morocco when the full al-Maghrib al-Aksa is abbreviated. Certain politicians seek a political union of the North African countries, which they call al-Maghrib al-Kabir (the grand Maghrib) or al-Maghrib al-Arabi (the Arab Maghrib).[23][24] Berber-language speakers now call this region Tamazɣa or Tamazgha, which translates to: "Berbery" (land of the Berbers).[25][26] This term has been popularized by Berberism activists since the second half of the 20th century.

History

Ida Ou Nadif head ornament (19th century)
Maghreb head ornament (Morocco)

Prehistory

Around 3,500 BC, changes in the tilt of the Earth's orbit appear to have caused a rapid desertification of the Sahara region[27] and formed a natural barrier that severely limited contact between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Berbers have inhabited western North Africa since at least 10,000 BC.[28]

Antiquity

Romtrireme
Roman trireme on a mosaic in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia

Partially isolated from the rest of the continent by the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert, inhabitants of the northern parts of the Berber world have long had commercial and cultural ties to the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe and Western Asia, going back at least to the Phoenicians in the 1st millennium BC (the Phoenician colony of Carthage having been founded, according to tradition, in what is now Tunisia circa 800 BC).

Berber coast ports and cities were predominantly constructed by the Berbers. Later, some Phoenicians and Carthaginians arrived for trade. The main Berber and Phoenician settlements centered in the Gulf of Tunis (Carthage, Utica, Tunisia) along the North African littoral between the Pillars of Hercules and the Libyan coast east of ancient Cyrenaica. They dominated the trade and intercourse of the Western Mediterranean for centuries. The Carthage defeat in the Punic Wars in 206 BC allowed Rome to establish the Province of Africa and control many of these ports, and eventually control the entire Maghreb north of the Atlas Mountains. Rome was greatly helped by the defection of King Massinissa and Carthage's eastern Numidian Massylii client-allies. Some of the most mountainous regions, such as the Moroccan Rif, remained outside Rome's control. The pressure put on the Western Roman Empire by the Barbarian invasions (the Vandals and Spain) in the 5th century reduced Roman control and led to the establishment of the Vandal Kingdom with its capital at Carthage in 430 AD. A century later, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sent a force under General Belisarius that succeeded in destroying the Vandal Kingdom, with Byzantine rule lasting for 150 years. The Berbers contested outside-the-area control. After the advent of Islam in the 640s–700 AD period, the Arabs controlled the entire region.

Middle Ages

Kairouan Mosque Courtyard
The Great Mosque of Kairouan, founded by the Arab general Uqba Ibn Nafi (in 670), is the oldest mosque in the Maghreb[29] city of Kairouan, Tunisia.

The Arabs reached the Maghreb in early Umayyad times. Islamic Berber kingdoms like the Almohads expansion and the spread of Islam contributed to the development of trans-Saharan trade. While restricted due to the cost and dangers, the trade was highly profitable. Commodities traded included such goods as salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. Arab control over the Maghreb was quite weak. Various Islamic variations, such as the Ibadis and the Shia, were adopted by some Berbers, often leading to scorning of Caliphal control in favour of their own interpretation of Islam.

The Arabic language and dialects spread slowly without eliminating Berber, as a result of the invasion of the Banu Hilal Arabs, unleashed by the Fatimids in punishment for their Zirid former Berber clients who defected and abandoned Shiism in the 12th century. Throughout this period, the Berber world most often was divided into three states roughly corresponding to modern Morocco, western Algeria, and eastern Algeria and Tunisia. The region was occasionally briefly unified, as under the Almohad Berber empire, and briefly under the Marinids.

Early modern history

Guillaume Delisle North West Africa 1707
1707 map of northwest Africa by Guillaume Delisle, including the Maghreb

After the Middle Ages, the Ottoman Empire loosely controlled the area east of Morocco.

Modern history

After the 19th century, areas of the Maghreb were colonized by France, Spain and later Italy.

Today, more than two and a half million Maghrebi immigrants live in France, many from Algeria and Morocco. In addition, there are 3 million French of Maghrebi origin (in 1999) (with at least one grandparent from Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia).[30] Another estimation gives a number of six million.[31]

Population

Geschichte des Kostüms (1905) (14580573400)
People of Maghreb

The Maghreb is primarily inhabited by peoples of Berber ancestral origin. Berbers are autochthonous to Algeria (80%), Libya (>60%), Morocco (80%), and Tunisia (>88%).[32] French, Arab, West African and Jewish populations also inhabit the region.

The Maghrebi population was 1/8th of France in 1800, 1/4th in 1900 and par in 2000. The Maghreb is home to 1% of the global population as of 2010.[33]

Various other influences are also prominent throughout the Maghreb. In northern coastal towns, in particular, several waves of European immigrants influenced the population in the Medieval era. Most notable were the moriscos and muladies, that is, the indigenous Spaniards (Moors) who forcibly converted to Catholicism and later to be expelled, together with ethnic Arab and Berber Muslims, from the Spanish Catholic Reconquista. Other European contributions included French, Italians, and others captured by the corsairs.[34]

Historically, the Maghreb was home to significant Jewish communities called Maghrebim who predated the 7th-century introduction and conversion of the region to Islam. These were later augmented by Jews from Spain who, fleeing the Spanish Catholic Inquisition, established a presence in North Africa, chiefly in the urban trading centers. Many Jews from Spain emigrated to North America in the early 19th century or to France and Israel later in the 20th century.

Another significant group are Turks who came over with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. A large Turkish descended population exists, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria.

Sub-Saharan Africans joined the population mix during centuries of trans-Saharan trade. Traders and slaves went to the Maghreb from the Sahel region. On the Saharan southern edge of the Maghreb are small communities of black populations, sometimes called Haratine, who are apparently descended from black populations who inhabited the Sahara during its last wet period and then migrated north.

In Algeria especially, a large European minority, the "pied noirs", immigrated and settled under French colonial rule in late 19th century. The overwhelming majority of these, however, left Algeria during and following the war for independence.[35]

Religion

The original religions of the peoples of the Maghreb seem[36] to have been based and related with fertility cults of a strong matriarchal pantheon, given the social and linguistic structures of the Amazigh cultures antedating all Egyptian and eastern, Asian, northern Mediterranean, and European influences.

Historic records of religion in the Maghreb region show its gradual inclusion in the Classical World, with coastal colonies established first by Phoenicians, some Greeks, and later extensive conquest and colonization by the Romans. By the 2nd century of the common era, the area had become a center of Phoenician-speaking Christianity, where bishops spoke and wrote in Punic, and even Emperor Septimius Severus was noted by his local accent. Roman settlers and Romanized populations converted to Christianity. The region produced figures such as Christian Church writer Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 202); and Christian Church martyrs or leading figures such as Perpetua and Felicity (martyrs, c. 200 CE); St. Cyprian of Carthage (+ 258); St. Monica; her son the philosopher St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo I (+ 430) (1); and St. Julia of Carthage (5th century).

Islam

Kabylie Christian family
Christian family from Kabylia.

Islam arrived in 647 and challenged the domination of Christianity. The first permanent foothold of Islam was the founding in 667 of the city of Kairouan, in present-time Tunisia. Carthage fell in 698 and the remainder of the region fell by 709. Islamization proceeded slowly. From the end of the 7th century, over a period of more than 400 years, the region's peoples converted to Islam. Many left during this time for Italy. Although surviving letters showed correspondence from regional Christians to Rome up until the 12th century. Christianity was still a living faith. Although there were a fair number of conversions after the conquest, Muslims did not become a majority until some time late in the 9th century and became the vast majority during the 10th.[37] Christian bishoprics and dioceses continued to be active, with relations continuing with Rome. As late as the reign of Pope Benedict VII (974–983), a new Archbishop of Carthage was consecrated. Evidence of Christianity in the region fades from the 10th century.[38] However, by the end of the 11th century only two bishops were left in Carthage and Hippo Regius. Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) consecrated a new bishop for Hippo. Christianity seems to have suffered several shocks that led to its demise. First many upper-class urban-dwelling Latin-speaking Christians left for Europe after the Muslim conquest. The second were large-scale conversions to Islam from the end of the 9th century and many Christians of a much reduced community left in the mid-11th century and were evacuated by the Norman rulers of Sicily in the 12th. The Latin-African language lingered on a while longer.

There was a small but thriving Jewish community, as well as a small Christian community. Most Muslims follow the Sunni Maliki school. Small Ibadi communities remain in some areas. A strong tradition of venerating marabouts and saints' tombs is found throughout regions inhabited by Berbers. Any map of the region demonstrates the tradition by the proliferation of "Sidi"s, showing places named after the marabouts. Like some other religious traditions, this has substantially decreased over the 20th century. A network of zaouias traditionally helped proliferate basic literacy and knowledge of Islam in rural regions.

There are communities of Christians mostly Catholics and Protestant in Algeria (100,000–380,000),[39][40] Mauritania (6,500), Morocco (~380,000),[41] Libya (170,000), and Tunisia (25,000).[42] Most of the Roman Catholics in Greater Maghreb are of French, Spanish, and Italian descent who immigrated during the colonial era, while some are foreign missionaries or immigrant workers. There is also a Christian communities of Berber or Arab descent in Greater Maghreb, mostly converted during the modern era or under and after French colonialism.[43][44] Prior to independence, Algeria was home to 1.4 million pieds-noirs (mostly Catholic),[45] and Morocco was home to half a million Europeans,[46] Tunisia was home to 255,000 Europeans,[47] and Libya was home to 145,000 Europeans. In religion, most of the pieds-noirs in Maghreb are Catholic. Due to the exodus of the pieds-noirs in the 1960s there were more North African Christians of Berber or Arab descent live in France than in Greater Maghreb.

Recently, the Protestant community of Berber or Arab descent has experienced significant growth, and conversions to Christianity, especially to Evangelicalism, is common in Algeria,[48] especially in the Kabylie,[49] Morocco[50] and Tunisia.[51] A 2015 study estimates 380,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Algeria.[52] The number of the Moroccans who converted to Christianity (most of them secret worshipers) are estimated between 40,000[53]-150,000.[54][55] The International Religious Freedom Report for 2007 estimates thousands of Tunisian Muslims have converted to Christianity.[51] A 2015 study estimate some 1,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background living in Libya.[56]

Maghrebi traders in Jewish history

In the 10th century, as the social and political environment in Baghdad became increasingly hostile to Jews, some Jewish traders emigrated to the Maghreb, especially Kairouan in Tunisia. Over the following two or three centuries, such Jewish traders became known as the Maghribis, a distinctive social group who traveled throughout the Mediterranean world. They passed this identification on from father to son. Their tight-knit pan-Maghreb community had the ability to use social sanctions as a credible alternative to legal recourse, which was weak at the time anyway. This unique institutional alternative permitted the Maghribis to very successfully participate in Mediterranean trade.[57]

Geography

Ecoregions

The Maghreb is divided into a Mediterranean climate region in the north, and the arid Sahara in the south. The Maghreb's variations in elevation, rainfall, temperature, and soils give rise to distinct communities of plants and animals. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) identifies several distinct ecoregions in the Maghreb.

Mediterranean Maghreb

Chamaerops humilis argentea1
Dwarf fan palm, grown in Maghrebi countries

The portions of the Maghreb between the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, along with coastal Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in Libya, are home to Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub. These ecoregions share many species of plants and animals with other portions of Mediterranean Basin. The southern extent of the Mediterranean Maghreb corresponds with the 100 mm (3.9 in) isohyet, or the southern range of the European Olive (Olea europea)[58] and Esparto Grass (Stipa tenacissima).[59]

Saharan Maghreb

The Sahara extends across northern Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Its central part is hyper-arid and supports little plant or animal life, but the northern portion of the desert receives occasional winter rains, while the strip along the Atlantic coast receives moisture from marine fog, which nourishes a greater variety of plants and animals. The northern edge of the Sahara corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet, which is also the northern range of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).[59]

  • North Saharan steppe and woodlands: This ecoregion lies along the northern edge of the Sahara, next to the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions of the Mediterranean Maghreb and Cyrenaica. Winter rains sustain shrublands and dry woodlands that form a transition between the Mediterranean climate regions to the north and the hyper-arid Sahara proper to the south. It covers 1,675,300 square km (646,800 square miles) in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.[60]
  • Atlantic coastal desert: The Atlantic coastal desert occupies a narrow strip along the Atlantic coast, where fog generated offshore by the cool Canary Current provides sufficient moisture to sustain a variety of lichens, succulents, and shrubs. It covers 39,900 square kilometres (15,400 sq mi) in Western Sahara and Mauritania.[61]
  • Sahara desert: This ecoregion covers the hyper-arid central portion of the Sahara where rainfall is minimal and sporadic. Vegetation is rare, and this ecoregion consists mostly of sand dunes (erg), stone plateaus (hamada), gravel plains (reg), dry valleys (wadi), and salt flats. It covers 4,639,900 square km (1,791,500 square miles) of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Sudan.[62]
  • Saharan halophytics: Seasonally flooded saline depressions in the Maghreb are home to halophytic, or salt-adapted, plant communities. The Saharan halophytics cover 54,000 square km (20,800 square miles), including Tunisian salt lakes of central Tunisia, Chott Melghir in Algeria, and other areas of Egypt, Algeria, Mauritania, and Western Sahara.[63]

Culture

African Dinner-01
Traditional Maghrebi cuisine

The countries of the Maghreb share many cultural traditions. Among these is a culinary tradition that Habib Bourguiba defined as Western Arab, where couscous is the staple food, as opposed to Eastern Arab where white rice is the staple food. In terms of food, similarities beyond the starches are found throughout the Arab world.

Genetics of the Maghreb population

The Y-chromosome genetic structure of the Maghreb population seems to be mainly modulated by geography, The Y-DNA Haplogroups E1b1b and J make up the vast majority of the genetic markers of the populations of the Maghreb. Haplogroup E1b1b is the most widespread among Maghrebi groups, especially the downstream lineage of E1b1b1b1a, which is typical of the indigenous Berbers of North-West Africa. Haplogroup J is more indicative of Middle East origins, and has its highest distribution among populations in Arabia and the Levant. Due to the distribution of E-M81(E1b1b1b1a), which has reached its highest documented levels in the world at 95–100% in some populations of the Maghreb, it has often been termed the "Berber marker" in the scientific literature. The second most common marker, Haplogroup J especially J1[64][65] which is typically Middle Eastern and originates in the Arabian peninsula can reach frequencies of up to 35% in the region.[66][67] Its highest density is founded in the Arabian Peninsula.[67] Haplogroup R1,[68] which is a Eurasian marker has also been observed in the Maghreb, though with lower frequency. The Y-DNA Haplogroups shown above are observed in both Arabs and Berber-speakers.

The Maghreb Y chromosome pool (including both Arab and Berber populations) may be summarized for most of the populations as follows where only two haplogroups E1b1b and J comprise generally more than 80% of the total chromosomes:[69][70][71][72][73][74][75][76]

Haplogroup Marker Sahara/Mauritania Morocco Algeria Tunisia Libya
n 189 760 156 601
A 0.26
B 0.53 0.66 0.17
C
DE
E1a M33 5.29 2.76 0.64 0.5
E1b1a M2 6.88 3.29 5.13 0.67
E1b1b1 M35 4.21 0.64 1.66
E1b1b1a M78 0.79 1.92
E1b1b1a1 V12 0.26 0.64
E1b1b1a1b V32
E1b1b1a2 V13 0.26 0.64
E1b1b1a3 V22 1.84 1.28 3
E1b1b1a4 V65 3.68 1.92 3.16
E1b1b1b M81 65.56 67.37 64.23 72.73
E1b1b1c M34 11.11 0.66 1.28 1.16
F M89 0.26 3.85 2.66
G M201 0.66 0.17
H M69
I 0.13 0.17
J1 3.23 6.32 1.79 6.64
J2 1.32 4.49 2.83
K 0.53 0.64 0.33
L
N
O
P, R 0.26 0.33
Q 0.64
R1a1 0.64 0.5
R1b M343
R1b1a V88 6.88 0.92 2.56 1.83
R1b1b M269 0.53 3.55 7.04 0.33
R2
T M70 1.16

Economy

Maghreb countries by GDP (PPP)

List by the International Monetary Fund (2013) List by the World Bank (2013) List by the CIA World Factbook (2013)
Rank Country GDP (PPP) $M
44 Algeria 285,541
58 Morocco 179,240
70 Tunisia 108,430
81 Libya 70,386
148 Mauritania 8,241
Rank Country GDP (PPP) $M
34 Algeria 421,626
55 Morocco 241,757
70 Libya 132,695
75 Tunisia 120,755
143 Mauritania 11,835
Rank Country GDP (PPP) $M
45 Algeria 284,700
58 Morocco 180,000
68 Tunisia 108,400
81 Libya 73,600
151 Mauritania 8,204

Medieval regions

See also

Notes and references

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  6. ^ UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. II
  7. ^ Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World, Lilia Zaouali, 2007, University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  8. ^ History and Present Condition of the Barbary States, Michael Russell, 1837, New York.
  9. ^ Travels in England, France, Spain, and the Barbary States, Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1819, London.
  10. ^ Journey into Barbary: Travels across Morocco, Wyndham Lewis, 1987, New York.
  11. ^ Kharijite political influences in medieval Berbery, William J. T. Brown, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  12. ^ Algiers with Notices of the Neighbouring States of Barbary, Perceval Barton Lord, 1835, London.
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  17. ^ The Muslim Conquest and Settlement of North Africa and Spain, Abdulwahid Thanun Taha, Routledge Library Edition: Muslim Spain, p21
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  21. ^ Maghreb Countries Urged to Devise Common Security Strategy, Integration Project Remains Deadlocked, North Africa Post (2015)
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  27. ^ Sahara's Abrupt Desertification Started by Changes in Earth's Orbit, Accelerated by Atmospheric and Vegetation Feedbacks, Science Daily. "One of the most striking climate changes of the past 11,000 years caused the abrupt desertification of the Saharan and Arabia regions midway through that period. The resulting loss of the Sahara to agricultural pursuits may be an important reason that civilizations were founded along the valleys of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. German scientists, employing a new climate system model, have concluded that this desertification was initiated by subtle changes in the Earth's orbit and strongly amplified by resulting atmospheric and vegetation feedbacks in the subtropics."
  28. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen), Hsain Ilahiane,(2006), p. 112. "The Siwan people are mostly Berbers, the indigenous people who once roamed the North African coast between Tunisia and Morocco. They inhabited the area as early as 10,000 B.C., first moving toward the coast but later inland as conquering powers pushed them to take refuge in the desert."
  29. ^ Titus Burckhardt, Art of Islam, Language and Meaning: Commemorative Edition, World Wisdom, Inc, 2009, page 128
  30. ^ An Estimation of the Foreign-Origin Populations of France, Michèle Tribalat
  31. ^ "Estimé à six millions d'individus, l'histoire de leur enracinement, processus toujours en devenir, suscite la mise en avant de nombreuses problématiques...", « Être Maghrébins en France » in Les Cahiers de l’Orient, n° 71, troisième trimestre 2003
  32. ^ Tej K. Bhatia, William C. Ritchie (2006). The Handbook of Bilingualism. John Wiley & Sons. p. 860. ISBN 978-0631227359. Retrieved 27 August 2017.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  33. ^ Brunel, Claire, Maghreb regional and global integration: a dream to be fulfilled, Peterson Institute, 2008, p.1
  34. ^ Davis, Robert. "British Slaves on the Barbary Coast". BBC. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
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External links

Coordinates: 30°N 5°E / 30°N 5°E

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Arabic: تنظيم القاعدة في بلاد المغرب الإسلامي‎, translit. Tanẓīm al-Qā'idah fī Bilād al-Maghrib al-Islāmī), or AQIM, is an Islamist militant organization (of al-Qaeda) which aims to overthrow the Algerian government and institute an Islamic state. To that end, it is currently engaged in an anti-government campaign.

The group originated as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). It has since declared its intention to attack European (including Spanish and French) and American targets. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations, Australia, Canada, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Membership is mostly drawn from the Algerian and local Saharan communities (such as the Tuaregs and Berabiche tribal clans of Mali), as well as Moroccans from city suburbs of the North African country. The leadership are mainly Algerians. The group has also been suspected of having links with the Horn of Africa-based militant group Al-Shabaab.AQIM has focused on kidnapping for ransom as a means of raising funds and is estimated to have raised more than $50 million in the last decade.On 2 March 2017, the Sahara branch of AQIM merged with Macina Liberation Front, Ansar Dine and Al-Mourabitoun into Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin.

Arab Maghreb Union

The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU); Arabic: اتحاد المغرب العربي‎ Ittiḥād al-Maghrib al-‘Arabī)

is a trade agreement aiming for economic and future political unity among Arab countries of the Maghreb in North Africa. Its members are the nations of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Union has been unable to achieve tangible progress on its goals due to deep economic and political disagreements between Morocco and Algeria regarding, among others, the issue of Western Sahara. No high level meetings have taken place since 3 July 2008 and commentators regard the Union as largely dormant.

Arab cuisine

Arab cuisine (Arabic: مطبخ عربي‎) is the cuisine of the Arabs, defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab world, from the Maghreb to the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula. The cuisines are often centuries old and reflect the culture of great trading in spices, herbs, and foods. The three main regions, also known as the Maghreb, the Fertile Crescent, and the Arabian Peninsula have many similarities, but also many unique traditions. These kitchens have been influenced by the climate, cultivating possibilities, as well as trading possibilities. The kitchens of the Maghreb and Levant are relatively young kitchens that were developed over the past centuries. The kitchen from the Khaleej region is a very old kitchen. The kitchens can be divided into urban and rural kitchens.

Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains (Arabic: جِـبَـال الْأَطْـلَـس‎, translit. jibāl al-ʾaṭlas; durar n waṭlas) are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It stretches around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The range's highest peak is Toubkal, with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) in southwestern Morocco. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. The Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations. The terms for 'mountain' in some Berber languages are adrar and adras, which are believed to be cognates of the toponym Atlas. The mountains are home to a number of animal and plants unique in Africa, often more like those of Europe; many of them are endangered and some have already gone extinct.

Balgha

Balgha (Moroccan Arabic: البلغة‎, translit. l-bəlġa), also spelled balga, belgha, or belga, are heelless slippers made from leather. They are part of traditional dress in the Maghreb.

Balgha are worn by men and women of all social classes, both in urban and rural areas.

Economic history of Morocco

The economic history of Morocco has largely been charted by the national government through a series of five-year plans. Centralized planning has gradually given way to moderate privatization and neo-liberal economic reforms.

Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)

The Insurgency in the Maghreb refers to Islamist militant and terrorist activity in the Maghreb and Sahel regions of North Africa since 2002. The conflict succeeded the conclusion of the Algerian Civil War as the militant group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) allied itself with al-Qaeda to eventually become al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Algeria and other Maghreb states affected by the activity have been offered assistance in fighting extremist militants by the United States and the United Kingdom since 2007, when Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara began.The Arab Spring in 2011 presented an opportunity for militant Islamists to put increasing pressure on governments and engage in full-scale warfare. In 2012, AQIM and Islamist allies captured the northern half of Mali, until being fought back less than a year later following a French-led foreign intervention, which was succeeded by the Sahel-wide Operation Barkhane. In Libya the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been able to control some limited territory in the ongoing civil war since 2014, amid allegations of local collaboration between the otherwise rivalling AQIM and ISIL.

Kasbah

A kasbah (; Arabic: قَـصْـبَـة‎, translit. qaṣbah, "central part of a town or citadel"; also known as qasaba, gasaba and quasabeh, in older English casbah or qasbah, in India qassabah and in Spanish alcazaba is a type of medina or fortress (citadel). The meaning of the word kasbah is varied, including keep, old city and watchtower or blockhouse.

List of regions of Africa

The continent of Africa is commonly divided into five regions or subregions, four of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

MAS Fez

Maghreb Association Sportive de Fès (Arabic: المغرب الرياضي الفاسي‎) is a Moroccan football and basketball club based in Fes. The club was founded in 1946.

Maghreb Arabe Press

Maghreb Arab Press (known as MAP, French: Maghreb Arabe Presse), is a Moroccan official news agency.

Maghreb cuisine

Maghreb cuisine is the cooking of the Maghreb region, the northwesternmost part of Africa along the Mediterranean Sea, consisting of the countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. The region has a high degree of geographic, political, social, economic and cultural diversity which influences its cuisine and culinary style.

Well-known dishes from the region include couscous, pastilla, and the tajine stew.

Maghrebi Arabic

Maghrebi Arabic (Western Arabic; as opposed to Eastern Arabic or Mashriqi Arabic) is an Arabic dialect continuum spoken in the Maghreb region, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania. It includes Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, and Hassaniya Arabic. Speakers of Maghrebi Arabic call their language Derdja, Derja, Derija or Darija (Arabic: الدارجة‎; meaning "to rise or advance step by step"). This serves to differentiate the spoken vernacular from Modern Standard Arabic. As the Maltese language is believed to have been immediately derived from Siculo-Arabic and ultimately from Tunisian Arabic, it contains some typical Maghrebi Arabic areal characteristics.

Marabout

A marabout (Arabic: مُرابِط‎, translit. murābiṭ, lit. 'one who is attached/garrisoned') is a Muslim religious leader and teacher in West Africa, and (historically) in the Maghreb. The marabout is often a scholar of the Qur'an, or religious teacher. Others may be wandering holy men who survive on alms, Sufi Murshids ("Guides"), or leaders of religious communities.

Maroc Telecom

Maroc Telecom (Acronym: IAM, Arabic: اتصالات المغرب‎) is the main telecommunication company in Morocco.

IAM employs around 11,178 employees. It has 8 regional delegations with 220 offices present on all the territory of Morocco. The company is listed on both the Casablanca Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris.

Mogharrab-e Do

Mogharrab-e Do (Persian: مغرب 2‎; also known as Maghreb, Mogharrab, Moqarreb, Moqarreb-e, and Qaryeh-ye Moqarreb) is a village in Rahmatabad Rural District, Zarqan District, Shiraz County, Fars Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 122, in 31 families.

Muslim conquest of the Maghreb

The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb (Arabic: الفَتْحُ الإسْلَامِيُّ لِلمَغْرِبِ‎) continued the century of rapid Arab Early Muslim conquests following the death of Muhammad in 632 AD and into the Byzantine-controlled territories of Northern Africa. In a series of three stages, the conquest of the Maghreb commenced in 647 and concluded in 709 with the "Byzantine" Roman Empire losing its last remaining strongholds to the then-Umayyad Caliphate.

By 642 AD, under Caliph Umar, Arab Muslim forces had laid control of Mesopotamia (638), Syria (641), Egypt (642), and had invaded Armenia, all previously territories split between the warring Byzantine and Persian Empires, and were concluding their conquest of the Persian Empire with their defeat of the Persian army at the Battle of Nahāvand. It was at this point that Arab military expeditions into North African regions west of Egypt were first launched, continuing for years and furthering the spread of Islam.

In 644 at Madinah, Caliph Umar (Omar) was succeeded by Uthman ibn Affan (Othman), during whose twelve-year rule Armenia, Cyprus, and all of Iran, would be added to the growing Islamic empire; Afghanistan and North Africa would receive major invasions; and Muslim sea raids would range from Rhodes to the southern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. The Byzantine navy would be defeated in the eastern Mediterranean.

Zawiya (institution)

A zaouia or zawiya (Arabic: زاوية‎ zāwiyah; "assembly" "group" or "circle", also spelled zawiyah, zawiyya, zaouiya, zaouïa and zwaya) is an Islamic religious school or monastery. The term is Maghrebi and West African, roughly corresponding to the Eastern term madrasa. A zawiya often contains a pool, and sometimes a fountain.

Zirid dynasty

The Zirid dynasty (Berber languages: ⵉⵣⵉⵔⵉⴻⵏ Tagelda en Ayt Ziri, Arabic: زيريون‎ /ALA-LC: Zīryūn; Banu Ziri) was a Sanhaja Berber dynasty from modern-day Algeria which ruled the central Maghreb from 972 to 1014 and Ifriqiya (eastern Maghreb) from 972 to 1148.Descendants of Ziri ibn Menad, a military leader of the Cairo-based Fatimid Caliphate and the eponymous founder of the dynasty, the Zirids were Emirs who ruled in the name of the Fatimids. The Zirids gradually established their autonomy in Ifriqiya through military conquest until officially breaking with the Fatimids in the mid-11th century. The rule of the Zirid emirs opened the way to a period in North African history where political power was held by Berber dynasties such as the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Zayyanid dynasty, Marinid dynasty and Hafsid dynasty.Continuing their conquests to Fez and much of modern-day Morocco in 980, the Zirids encountered resistance from the local Zenata Berbers, who gave their allegiance to the Caliphate of Cordoba. Various Zirid branches did however rule the central Maghreb. This branch of the Zirids, at the beginning of the 11th century, following various family disputes, broke away as the Hammadids and took control of the territories of the central Maghreb. The Zirids proper were then designated as Badicides and occupied only Ifriqiyah between 1048 and 1148. Part of the dynasty fled to al-Andalus and later founded, in 1019, the Taifa of Granada on the ruins of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The Zirids of Granada were again defeated by the expansion of the Almoravids, who annexed their kingdom in 1090, while the Badicides and the Hammadids remained independent. Following the recognition of the Sunni Muslim Abbasid Caliphate and the assertion of Ifriqiya and the Central Maghreb as independent kingdoms of Sunni obedience in 1048, the Fatimids reportedly masterminded the migration of the Hilalians to the Maghreb. In the 12th century, the Hilalian invasions combined with the attacks of the Normans of Sicily on the littoral weakened Zirid power. The Almohad caliphate finally conquered the central Maghreb and Ifriqiya in 1152, thus unifying the whole of the Maghreb and ending the Zirid dynasties.

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