For four days the southern Moroccan city of Agadir echoed to the sounds of Amazigh music. It was the ninth Timitar Music Festival with over 400 artists performing in a celebration of Amazigh music and culture.
The music comes from the Berbers, the people who lived in Morocco before the Arabs arrived, and it is reckoned their culture stretches back 4,000 years.
The band ‘Izenzaren’ with singer and banjo virtuoso Igout Abdelhadi performed to a huge crowd. The band was founded in the early 1970’s. They were the spearhead of a political and cultural movement which defended and promoted Amazigh music and culture which had been oppressed for some time.
Today all generations join in the lyrics of the bands songs. They have just released a new album after a 20 year absence called ‘Akal’.
Around 30 million people speak the Amazigh language, not only in the Magreb countries but also further south.