When France began mining uranium ore in the desert of northern Niger in the early 1970s, Arlit was a cluster of miners’ huts stranded between the sun-blasted rocks of the Air mountains and the sands of the Sahara.
The 1973 OPEC oil embargo changed that. France embraced nuclear power to free itself from reliance on foreign oil and overnight this remote corner of Africa became crucial to its national interests. Arlit has grown into a sprawling settlement of 117,000 people, while France now depends on nuclear power for three-quarters of its electricity, making it more reliant on uranium than any country on earth.
Niger has become the world’s fourth-largest producer of the ore after Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. But uranium has not enriched Niger. The former French colony remains one of the poorest countries on earth. More than 60 percent of its 17 million people survive on less than $1 a day. — Read More
(Photographs: Joe Penney/Reuters)
I was enjoying a nice quit Saturday evening, when suddenly this guy felt the need to inform me that my language is dead. Sub7aanAllah, I didn’t know that.
I should hurry to inform my parents who speak to me everyday in this dead language. And oh God no, it’s even fitna. I must tell my fellow Imazighen immediately that we can’t defend it and stop demanding its legitimate place in Moroccan education, politics, media,… But I’m confused here: it’s dead, but powerful enough to cause division?
I’m laughing while writing this, amused by how people keep repeating to me how I should serve an Arab unity by giving up my mother tongue, saying it is inferior to Arabic, assimilating myself and calling myself an Arab. I didn’t respond to that guy, but I’m glad to see how he explained his point to other Imazighen.
That tweet I shared two days ago about how French and Arabic are used against me since childhood tells a part of a long story of my life. It includes me getting upset at the age of 9 or 10 in a school in the Flemish region of Belgium where I had one hour a week of ‘Arabic lessons’ taught by a Moroccan teacher who spoke only a little bit of Dutch, and communicated with us in Arabic and French. He did his best to teach Moroccan kids - almost every one of them was an Amazigh - about Morocco the way the Moroccan government instructed him to. So he sometimes talked about how Arabic is the language of Morocco, and I once responded that he shouldn’t forget Tachelhit and Tarifit. He said I was wrong, and those where “just dialects, like Darija. They are languages of the streets..”. I couldn’t use Arabic or French to defend myself. This is one of the reasons why I sometimes threw something at him. He would of course hit me back..
I’m sharing this to make clear how I’ve never accepted a secondclass position for the indigenous language(s) of the country where I was born. And I’m used to hearing all kinds of crap about how we are backwards or inferior to others. Those who can’t live with the fact that we have our own words and will continue to use them, from Morocco to Egypt, can hit their head against a wall. Or they can try to understand that I won’t accept a ‘unity’ built on the oppression of people who don’t speak their language.
Dissecting Zwarte Piet / Black Pete.
A tradition in the Netherlands where once a year people decide its ok to wear blackface.
More info on this out-of-place, outdated tradition
Top 10 warning signs of ‘liberal imperialism’