This course will introduce students to the language (sounds and script) and culture of the Amazigh people, an ethnic group (commonly known as Berbers) native to North Africa and West Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, northern Mali, and Niger, with some oases in Egypt and the Canary Islands.
The Tamazight language--the alphabet of which is called Tifinagh--has been a written language for almost 3000 years, although it was disrupted throughout history due to various invasions and conquests of the area. The Tuareg people of the Sahara desert in Northern Africa, and as of late Morocco and Algeria, have been using the Tifinagh alphabet (oldest dated inscription from about 200 BC) and the Tamzight language as a secondary national language.
The objectives of this course are: 1. To introduce students to the sounds and script of Tifinagh; 2. To teach students basic conversation and essential elements of the Tamazight language; and 3. To familiarize students with the culture of the different Amazigh peoples.