The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), the largest human rights association in the country, demanded on Friday recognition of the Amazigh New Year as an official holiday.
The Amazigh New Year is called “January Night” and celebrated on 13 January of each year.
In a letter addressed to the Moroccan Prime Minister, Saad-Eddine El-Othmani, the AMDH said that its demand comes in the context of lifting “the injustice and discrimination that affects the heritage of Amazigh culture and identity.”
The letter called for the approval of this holiday “in a similar context to the Gregorian and Hijri calendars, as a symbolic initiative for the recognition of the Amazigh cultural identity of the Moroccan people.”
The AMDH pointed out that the celebration of the Amazigh New Year is considered “a historical legacy for all Berbers in North Africa, and a symbol of culture in all the regions where the Berber are present.”
The Amazigh are indigenous peoples who inhabit the region extending from the Siwa Oasis in western Egypt in the east, to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and from the Mediterranean in the north to the Sahara desert in the south.