Algeria launches Amazigh culture Prize

The prize will include four axes: linguistics, literature written in and translated into Amazigh, research in the field of intangible Amazigh cultural heritage and scientific, technological and digital research.
Tuesday 01/09/2020
HCA Secretary-General El Hachemi Assad. (aps)
HCA Secretary-General El Hachemi Assad. (aps)

ORAN, Algeria – The High Commission for Tamazight (HCA) in Algeria has launched the Prize of the President of the Republic for Amazigh Literature and Language, in a move to support Amazigh culture after years of marginalisation.

HCA Secretary-General El Hachemi Assad announced on Saturday in Oran that the competition would begin as soon as next week after members of the jury were selected.

“An independent jury will be installed next week,” said Assad in a speech on the opening of the conference, which is organised by the HCA in partnership with the Numidia Association and the Center for Research in Social and Cultural Anthropology of Oran.

The prize is considered a “milestone project to strengthen the national culture, as it aims to value the literary and intellectual achievements in all their linguistic diversities in Algeria,” Algerian news agency (APS) quoted him as saying.

The prize will include four axes: linguistics, literature written in and translated into Amazigh, research in the field of intangible Amazigh cultural heritage and scientific, technological and digital research.

People walk in a decorated street of Sahel, a village near Tiizi Ouzou, east of Algiers, before celebrations marking the Yennayer, or Amazigh New Year, last January . (AP)
People walk in a decorated street of Sahel, a village near Tiizi Ouzou, east of Algiers, before celebrations marking the Yennayer, or Amazigh New Year, last January . (AP)

El Hachemi Assad is a well known name in Amazigh and Algerian society due to his efforts, through the High Commission for Tamazight, to reinforce Amazigh culture in all fields. He reaffirmed last April the HCA’s commitment to work to further Amazigh education in the country’s education and communication systems by supporting the process of its generalisation that began in 1995.

He has repeatedly stressed the “need to increase efforts for the general use of Amazigh language and culture in all the provinces of the country,” according to Algerian news agency APS.

He reaffirmed this call in his speech on Saturday, noting that in order to achieve the organisation’s aims, it must work “fruitfully” with other associations and its partners in civil society.

He praised the efforts the Numidia Oran Association in promoting Amazigh culture.

Two years ago, Assad worked with the association to publish and translate 14 Amazigh stories into 13 languages. The stories are expected to be published in the coming months in cooperation with the National Foundation for Typographical Arts.