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  تامورت    Zuwarah  زوارة  

 
 

the Berbers' cultural flag
tamurt

Welcome to the Home of Temehu.com

sand dunes and short palms by Zuwarah beach

tamurt  zwara 

Zuwarah Beach: one of the best in the whole of Libya.

There are many fantastic beaches of pure golden sand and clear turquoise water spread along Libya’s northern coast, the most significant of which are those found west and east of the city of Zuwarah (or Zuwara), and west of Sabratha and Tellil; extending all the way to the Tunisian border. These are great beaches of soft sand, palm trees and sandy hills.

 

zuwarah (Zuwara) beach palms



Zuwarah Beach

Zuwara beach: clear water

beach huts

Matshouk Beach, Zuwarah.

 

 

The Name Zuwarah ( زوارة ) And Its Variants

1- Ausorianes

The earliest known name which one can associate with the present Zuwarah is perhaps the prehistoric Tripolitanian Berber tribe Ausorianes, mentioned by Herodotus as a western Libyan tribe. The fact that the name of the ancient Aussian tribe, mentioned by Herodotus to had held ceremonies in honour of the Libyan Goddess Neith around Lake Tritonis, is closely related to the present day sea festival of Awessu in Zuwarah, one is even more inclined to link the Ausorianes of Herodotus with the present day Zuwarah.

 

2- Arzosei, Arzuges or Arzugitani

These Berber tribes also inhabited the interior regions of Tripolitania and all the way to Lake Tritonis in classical times, and therefore including the entire Zuwarah region. According to Brogan, a bishop of Tusuros (Tozer) passed through the land of the Arzuges in his way to Carthage, presumably to take ship from Tacape, and that a boundary stone found between Be-Zereos and Tibubuci bears the tribal name Arzosei. Also related is the Punic (Berber-Phoenician) tribe name Zeugitane or Zeughitane, which was mentioned during the reign of Massinissa; easily identifiable with Zwagha (/gh/ = /r/).

 

3- Zwwara

Next, comes Zwara: the origin of the name Zwara or Zuwarah is not easy to ascertain, even though its derivation from Casas itself may not seem that far fetched. But the current form of the name appeared for the first time in recorded history as the Punta dar Zoyara in a Catalan sailing manual, dated 1375 AD. Just under two centuries later, in 1550 AD, it was mentioned as Zoara by the Berber geographer and traveller Leo Africanus in his Description de l’Afrique. Before that, the 12th century North African Ibn Khaldun seemed certain to connect it with the other Berber variant tribal names, like Hawwara, who according to Ibn A'bd al-H'akam (Futuh' Ifriqiya wa'l Andalus) established themselves at Leptis Magna, and who according to Ibn Khaldun lived in the province of Tripoli (or Tripolitania) in 700 AD.

In this instance Hawwara, Hoggar, Zuwara and Zuwawa are all forms of the same root; in the same way Tamazight and Tamaheq are linked to Temehu. Presently, the name Zwara is often written in various forms, which although are not totally dissimilar, they are nonetheless confusing when running search queries in the Internet or in library catalogues. There are several reasons for this but arguably the most certain is dialectical differences or lack of  published dictionaries. The form Zwara is generally written by the natives of Zuwarah (the Ait Willoul), who call their town Tamort, meaning 'home', 'town' and 'land'; even though somehow after the February wars Berbers from Zuwarah as well began using the name Zwara.

The written forms Zowara, Zuwara and Zouara are generally used by the rest of Libyans; while Zuwarah (or rarely Zowarah) is generally used internationally, by writers, scholars, Google, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc., in their effort to directly translate how the word is written in Arabic, although the /h/ (which is written as /t/ in Arabic) at the end of the word is not pronounced in Libya.

 

zuwarah mud brick house

 

4- Tamort

Having said all that, the Berbers of Zuwarah call their city Tamort, and they never use any of the above forms when they talk to each other in Berber or Tamazight. The above forms are only used when speaking Arabic. The name Tamort or Tamourt means several things, all of which are well recognised in universal Berber language, from Sebta to Siwa, including 'Zuwarah', 'home', 'earth', 'land', 'village', 'town', 'country', and 'the Earth' (as a planet). And so it follows that the Berbers of Zuwarah call themselves Ait Willoul, the singular of which is Willoul, meaning 'free; born' -- or 'free as born'; and Zuwarah is their 'Home' and their 'Land'. This is a strong indication that there was no one before them in that region! This region may have in ancient times extended from the Tunisian border to Tripoli in the east, and south all the way to the desert at the edge of the oasis. This etymology of Zuwarah being the capital city of a large group of tribes brings us to the next etymology for the name "Zuwarah", namely Roman Casas.


5- Casas

Next, comes the Roman Casas of the second century BC. This name has been widely suggested by several writers and historians to have been the ancient name of Zuwarah. Based on the Tabula Peutingeriana (a pictorial road-map of the Roman empire) and archaeological evidence such as Roman road milestones, D.E.L. Haynes, relates that there were several Roman road systems in Tripolitania, including the Coast Road, which in fact stretched from Alexandria to Carthage, and, with a fair degree of certainty, gives the following stations.

Arae Philaenorum, Tugulus (Gasr el-Haddia), Zure (er-Rumia), Macomades-Euphranta (Sirte), Aspis-Ad Ficum (Buerat el-hsun), Thubactis-Cephalae (Misurata Marina), Subgoli (Zliten), Lepcis Magna (Lebda), Megradi-Getullu (Sidi Bennur), Turris ad Algam (Tagiura: Tajura), Oea (Tripoli), Sabratha, Ad Ammonem (Mellita), Casas (Zuara), Gypsaria (Marset Tibuda). (From Antiquities of Tripolitania, page 136.)

However, in a recent map the name Casas was also associated with Abu-Kammash, some 40 km to the west of Zuwarah. But since Zuwarah was a huge region stretching from west of Sabratha to the Tunisian border and beyond al-Jamil and Regdalin inland, composed of various villages and castles, then the name Casas could have been originally used to refer to any of the settlements or homes in the Zuwarah region. This is also indicated by the meaning of the name Casas itself, which in today's Italian (based on Latin) means several things including: 'homes', 'houses',  and 'places', and therefore it could have been used by the Romans to describe the settled centre of the various tribes and villages of the region, the city itself, as opposed to the other farmers, herders and nomadic groups, living across the oasis. This capital city had two seaports, one on the eastern side, and the other on the western side, namely Tibuda, which may have been used to export salt and goods to Rome, Venice and Malta. This distribution is further confirmed by at-Tijani in his Travels of at-Tijani in Tunes and Tripolitania (1306-1308 AD), in which he described Zuwarah as a group of villages, rather than one, including: Zuwarah Minor, Zuwarah Major, and Willoul, and perhaps Mellita, Tellil, and Tibuda.

 

 

 

Zuwara market in 1940s
The market in the centre of Zuwara in 1940s.

The following photo shows the same market area in 2008.

Zuwarah city centre

Zuwarah City Centre



Territories of Zuwarah

Based on various historical documents and sources, it becomes evident that the territories of Zuwarah, as a region composed of various villages and towns, included most of western Tripolitania, all the way to the Tunisian border, where they still are. According to a study published in 1946, Zuwarah was the largest region in the whole of Tripolitania: an estimated one thousand and three hundred and thirteen square miles (1,313). Al-Yaqubi (9th century) informs us that the territory of the Nafousa extended from southern Tripolitania to the neighbourhood of Kairouan (in Tunisia). After the various 'arrivals' during the course of the centuries, the Nafousa tribes were forced back towards their stronghold, the mountain, while the various Zwawa or Zwara tribes were slowly 'pushed' westwards.

According to at-Tijani (Travels of at-Tijani in Tunes and Tripolitania, 1306-1308 AD), Zwara al-Sughra (Zwara Minor), The Land of al-Murabit ’ in (almuravids). He says it was a village with plenty of high palm trees and sweet water, but during his time it was taken over by destruction and its few dwellers are Khawarej. He also says that the most prominent from the land of al-Murabit’ in is Shaykh A’ebd al-Rrah’ im az-Zwari, who was respected by all and chosen to be their leader for his age and good deeds. Then he continues his travels to Zwara al-Kubra (Zwara Major), which has a bigger forest than the first one. Then to Willoul, which he says was named after the tribe of Ait Willoul who inhabited the area. Today, the various tribes of Zwara call themselves by the collective name of Ait Willoul. And from Willoul, he continued to Tellil, just before Zwagha (Sabratha), a fortress on top of a hill by the seashore, surrounded by many houses all the way down to the ground level, where they mingle with gardens and farms, on which they depend on for food.

Currently, the Zuwara territories extend from al-Manqoub (about 20 km east of Zuwara) to the Tunisian border, where the fishing village of Abu-kemmash (the gate to the island Farwa) still is inhabited today by various tribes from Zuwara city. This shrinkage in territories was accompanied by slow growth of population, mainly due to government policies. In a recent case study of the Libyan Zuwara population, published in the Journal of Applied Science [6 (3): 616-621, 2006], the authors Tarik B. Benomar, Fuling Biant and Abdolaziz Muosa Shalgam have used a population project model to estimate the population growth for Zwara city until the year 2050, and came to the conclusion that the average population growth rate of Zuwara city is 7.2% per year.

The February 2011 clashes at the Black Crescent area are, without a doubt, linked to land, regardless of what many had said -- especially those who attempted to turn the land issue into an ethnic 'propaganda'. There it appears that native tribes lose land during and aftermath invasions, wars, coups and revolutions. Gaddafi himself confiscated many of these farms from Berber owners and granted them to the Arab feudal workers, under the pretext of his socialist ideals; and therefore his loyalists around the Black Crescent may still be attempting to seize yet more land from the Berbers of Zuwarah, as reported under the Black Crescent (https://www.temehu.com/february17.htm). Many people from Zuwarah hope the land confiscated by Gaddafi wiil be returned by the new rulers of Libya to its legitimate Berber owners.

 

 

Zuwara discussion forum

 

Zuwarah Free Trade Zone & Land Confiscation

Confiscation of Berber Land: on the 3rd of September 2006 the Libyan government passed Law (215) of 2006, which declared the foundation of Zuwarah-Abu-Kemmash Free Trade Zone in an area owned by the Berbers of Zuwarah. The head of the project, Saadi Gaddafi, was reported to have confiscated around 45,000 hectares of  Berber land, stretching 60 kilometres along the coast (between Zuwarah and the Tunisian border) and 30 kilometres inland -- way pass Regdalin and al-Jamil.

Berberists from Zuwarah protested about the true motives behind the project, which they said was designed to Arabise the area of Zuwarah, and called for the resignation of Saadi and the appointment of competent experts who would consider the local population into the workings of the zone and encourage local jobs and investment including the use of Berber language within the zone.

Legally speaking Article (11) of Law 215/2006 says "It is allowed to use English language as well as other languages, in addition to Arabic, in all the dealings of the free trade zone", and therefore in theory one can use Berber language (under the clause "as well as other languages").

However, the project had never materialised, and today's NTC had already declared during the Liberation Day (23 October 2011) that all confiscated land should be returned to its rightful owners, and urged the Libyan people not to take matters into their hands and instead wait for the law to implement justice.

In fact "land & indigenous peoples" is a global problem, disaster to say the least, and it is no use insisting it does not happen anywhere else in the world where natives are to be found. For more information and laws regarding the establishment of the Libyan free trade zones, please see https://www.temehu.com/LFTZ/lftz.htm

 

The Tribes of Zuwarah

According to Agostini, Around 1909 the tribes of Zuwara were comprised of ten tribes, divided into two groups: ibeh'reyyen and iqebliyyen:

Ibeh'reyyen:

  • Ind A'ettoush:
    • Ind Zayed
    • Ind Jerrafa
    • Ind Ben A'ribi
    • Ind Elh'aj
    • Ind A'ebdeslam

  • Ind A'isa: (related to Ind A'ettoush):
    • Ind Bekka
    • Ind Bodeeb
    • Ind Telloua'
    • Ind Qerri
    • Ind Msheyyea'
    • Ind Beqqoush
    • Ind Fd'is'

  • Atlellou:
    • Ind Bousahmeen
    • Ind A'eshshini
    • Ind Lqeffaz
    • Ind Beshwashi

  • Ind Yedris:
    • Ind Elh'aj
    • Ind Remdan
    • Ind A'ebdla'zeez

  • Ind Debbab:
    • Ind Mehdi
    • Ind A'ashour
    • Ind Zayed
    • Ind Elh'aj

Iqebleyyen:

  • Ind Zeffour:
    • Ind Gendouz
    • Ind H'elleb
    • Ind Zriba
    • Ind Berk'a
    • Ind Salem Ben A'li

  • Ind Gezzoul:
    • Ind Ma'emmer
    • Ind Ghriba
    • Ind Saa'eed
    • Ind Khlifa
    • Ind Yah'ya
    • Ind Nannees

  • Ind Zayed:
    • Ind A'emrani
    • Ind Boukria'at
    • Ind Mald'i
    • Ind Bousa'oud
    • Ind H'sayri

  • Ind Mensour:
    • Ind Sea'id
    • Ind Elh'aj Mousa
    • Ind A'ebdella
    • Ind Yah'ya
    • Ind Elh'aj Brahim

  • Ind A'ezzab: (Ia'ezzaben):
    • Ind Elh'aj Sliman
    • Ind Yekhlef
    • Ind Jbara

 

 

 

Ammi Sa'eed: The Holy Tomb

 

tomb of Sidi Saeed, Zuwara
Ammi S3eed

The holy tomb of Ammi Sa'id (Sidi Sa'eed), just before Farwa, during the 1920s.

 

Zuwara tomb of sidi saeed

The Holy Tomb of Sidi Saeed (Said), Zuwarah.

The tomb was demolished during the last decades of the 20th century, when Gaddafi declared his so-called war on "charlatans". But, typically, the government reversed its decision and later allowed the Berbers of Zuwarah to rebuild the tomb, as shown above. In late February 2012, the Sidi Said tomb was once again attacked by an unknown group of attackers, the revolutionaries without committees. Sidi Said was also the name of one of the most important battles fought by the locals against the colonial Italian armies. Tomb worship in Libya is prehistoric, and is closely associated with matriarchal Tamazight culture.

 

sidi Said memorial in Zuwarah

Ammi (Sidi) Said Memorial, Zuwarah. The seahorse and the Tifinagh inscriptions were added in 2013.

 

 

Juggeej

The following documentary film is about "Juggeej". The meaning of the name remains unknown, but it signifies a holy ancestor with that name, the place where his tomb is to be found, and the ceremonial gathering to commemorate the event itself: Juggeej.

 

 

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The film was produced by Tamort Studios in 2005. It was filmed by Dr. Hsain Said Qerri, and directed by Yousef Saleh Helmi. The film documents this obscure festival. The gathering takes place late in the summer, and on Thursday, with preparations made the day earlier, like setting up tents for the visitors who spend the night at the shrine. The site is located by the sea, to which the sacrifice ceremony appears to be dedicated. Of peculiar interest is the small size of the tomb.


Ighermawen (The Castles)

 

old zuwarah in 1920s

Zuwarah village as it looked in 1920s: mud houses and palm trees.

Ighermawen, meaning 'the castles', is a place of ancient ruins, about four kilometres west of Zuwarah city, including a Roman villa, dilapidated buildings, shreds of pottery and mosaics, possibly dating to the second century BC. The site is part of the local culture, but it has not  been documented or studied. Future research may one day shed more light on the distant history of Zuwarah.

 

 

Tawsent

 

Tawsent, a beach area rich in seaweed in Zuwarah

Tawsent, Zuwarah.

Tawsent is a Berber name for the coastal area located between Zuwara City and Zuwara Marina (the seaport of Zuwara), characterised by large mounds of seaweed (the dark formations shown in the photo) -- igodayen n talga. A few years ago these seaweed heaps reached up to three meters high, and formed a huge platform, about few hundred meters long, with several holes in between going all the way down to the water level. Walking across the top of the platform, one often sees water coming up as waves hit the base of the cavities. But unfortunately these natural formations are now history, as they were cleared away a few years ago in a massive clean-up operation; while most Libyan beaches and streets still littered with empty plastic bottles and garbage to this day. The above photo shows the process to have started again and it will take decades for the seaweed to reach the levels it had reached before. Natural landmarks such as these ought to be left alone and even protected for the wildlife they harbour and for the aesthetic beauty they provide. Tawsent has started the recovery process by herself.

 

a view of the sea with sky orange in the evening

 

 

Tisent: Produce of Zuwarah:

The ancient produce of the towns and villages of Zuwarah (from Tellil and Willoul to Abukammash and Farwah) included salt (tisent), lime (jeer), gypsum (ulous), cereals (timz'een & irden), dates (izegnan), and esparto grass, generally used to make ropes, mats and sandals. Surrounded by salt marches, the main export of the region was salt, with the main importers being Venice, in Italy. The Berber name for salt, namely tisent, appears to be related to the above Tawsent. Tawsent is located very close to the seaport of Zuwarah (Zuwarah Marina), and the area behind Tawsent was an ancient source of good salt, as it is today? Only future research can settle the issue.

 

tamort mud brick house

 

roof of an old mud house made of palm trunks

Palm tree trunks, each cut into four long planks, used to support the roof.

 

 

Awessu: The Ancient Sea Worship:


Zuwara full moon by the sea

Zuwarah Beach

The ancient and traditional ceremony of Awessu designates the period of the heat wave between the 12th of July and the 23rd of August according to the Julian calendar; or the 26th of July to the 5th of September according to the Gregorian calendar. Hence, it is not surprising that the name "Awessu" itself has been linked by several sources with the month August. The change of August to Awessu is also found in other languages from all over the world: for instance: Awousse in the Wallon; Awst in Welsh; and Awissu in Maltese, all of which mean the eighth month "August". According to current etymological dictionaries, the word August entered the English language in 1097 AD, from Latin Augustus (the sixth month of the Roman year), named after the emperor Augustus Cæsar (meaning 'venerable Cæsar'); in turn from the Latin word 'augustus' (venerable). The view held by a number of Ait Willoul writers is that the name comes from the Berber words 'awe' (take, take away) and 'esou' (drink), in association with the Sea-worship and rain-bringing ceremonies, usually enacted in farewell to the scorching summer heat. While other etymologists say it means 'awe' (take, take away) and 'essue' (sin), in a sense asking the sea to take away their sins; and thus implying its 'purification' properties -- well known to salt. The Berber Sea-god Poseidon was said by Herodotus to have been known by no one before the Libyans. Awessu can also be associated with the ancient Auseans' or Aussians' festival, held by the shores of nearby Lake Tritonis in honour of the Libyan Goddess Tannit. To this day, the inhabitants of Sousa, in Tunisia, still practice Awessu.

sleep sea

In the original ceremony of Awessu, the native Berbers of Zuwarah take to the sea before sunrise and swim in its magical, mirror-like water. As the sun begins to rise, the inhabitants of Zuwara take sea water with their two palms joined together and throw it up in jubilation to the sky, several times; as if "enacting" rain to come down once again. Then they dive seven times under water, as if to avert the traditional belief that the sea "needs seven lives a year"; which it claims by drowning its victims. Those who cannot go into the sea, say the elderly and the very young, are sprayed with sea water instead. After they complete their purification rituals, they also take their domestic animals (goats and sheep) into the water, to gain the necessary blessing for prosperity and for protection. Wool garments and blankets are also washed by the beach for purification purposes. The remaining of the days will be spent feasting on traditional foods, especially utshu d udi  - a kind of bazin served with olive oil.

This festival is very ancient and pre-islamic. According to the Berber Christian theologian St Augustin the ancient Libyans celebrated Awessu by bathing naked in the sea. It is common in many ancient cultures to bath naked in water in the belief that coming in direct contact with water transmits the healing properties of water to the human body, in the same way nowadays people take their cloths off to swim in the sea. This fact has falsely and slowly led to the association of the festival with the supposed "promiscuity" and eventually leading to its popularity fading away with time, where it is now almost forgotten. The current festival of Awessu, if it takes place, is only an occasion of joy and fun, including sailing and swimming races, folk dancing, singing, and feasting on traditional food.

Further information:
U. Paradisi's work (La terminologia araba el berbera del mare a Zuara), published in L'Atlante Linguistico Mediterraneo, Fondazione Cini di Venezia.

 

Matshouk, Zuwarah

Matshouk Coffee Shop, Zuwarah.

 

 


Zuwarah Elections

 

photo of the president of Zuwarah's elected local council

Abubaker Ibrahim Attallou', the president of Zuwarah's Local Council.

The Berber city of Zuwarah became the first ever city in Libya to organise and hold democratic elections after the liberation of Libya, while the Berbers were still fighting to liberate their town, alone. In the following Libya TV interview (in Tamazight), the presenter speaks to some of the organisers, including Ashour Almansouri, who pointed out that the NTC should have published guidelines and laws governing the elections in Libya. But due to lack of such guidelines from the government the Zuwarah elections, he said, were a local effort based on the goodwill of the people.

A few months later the NTC did publish the "Election Law Project" but the law was unusually un-numbered and undated! People in Misrata are still protesting at the Justice Square (رفع-الاعتصام-الدائم-إلى-اعتصام-ثقافي-ب), demanding elections (to elect the local council, "correct the path", and other issue that were a constant source of protests across Libya in the past two months). In fact even the protests started in Benghazi on the 12th of December 2011 are still going in Tree Square, as of January 2012 (اعتصامات-في-ميدان-الشجرة-تدخل-شهرها-ال).

 

Sana Almansori : The story of Zuwarah's first elections in New Libya -- in Tamazight ('Berber Language').
Temehu.com has translated the main points made by each speaker to English as follows:

 

Part One:

Ashour Almansouri had clarified a number of issues regarding the actual procedure:

  • A vote of 51% is required to declare a winner, and if there was no winner, then the first and the second will go into the second round of elections to decide the final winner.

  • When he was asked to provide details, he said that a Preparation Committee was first of all selected to organise and prepare for the elections.

  • Regarding the actual list of the candidates he says originally there were twelve people who put their names forward for the elections, but five withdrew their names later including one woman, just before the elections started. 

  • They set up two polling stations, facing each other, one for men voters and the other for women, he said.

  • The revolutionaries, he added, demanded extending the elections for another day because many fighters still fighting in the frontline (in liberated Libya), and this they did, and attendance overall he said was "reasonable".

  • They offered to conduct the counting of votes before the voters themselves, to make sure of the results, but he said most voters declared their loyalty to and trust in the Committee, and that even those who did not vote were happy with the results -- amazing.

  • The winner was Dr. Abubaker Ibrahim Attaloua', who secured a majority of 63.48 % of the vote.

  • But the total number of people who voted was only 1585 voters -- hardly a democratic representation of Zuwarah -- just over 3% of the population of Zuwarah (according to the outdated census).

  • When he was asked if the elections can be repeated to allow more people the chance to take part, he replied by saying that the election stations continued to be open in the second day until there were no voters outside, and that the winner will remain the head of the council until the transitional period of the NTC comes to an end.

 

zuwarah elections: a voter placing his vote in the box
Libya's First Elections.

Muneer Bosaoud says that the idea of the elections goes back to the Crisis Council that was set up in Djerba, in Tunisia, by the Berbers of Zuwara to assist during the war for freedom. After the presumed liberation the members of the Crisis Council returned to Zuwarah; many of whom resigned from the council because Libya was declared liberated, and because, they said, a new council should be formed to represent the whole of Zuwarah and not just a few self-appointed activists.

  • The remaining five members immediately began debating the idea of holding an election in Zuwarah to elect a democratic council to represent the whole community of Zuwarah.

  • The names of the remaining team are as follows: Muneer Abosaoud, Salim Mousa, Sha'ban Bosaoud, Othman Rwiha, and Salah Sha'ban Senusi.

  • They prepared their plan and then took it to Adel Alkhallas, who represented legitimate authority in Zuwarah at the time, Muneer said, and requested from him to work with them.

  • The committee included two representatives from each of the various civil  components of the Berber society including two from the February Revolutionaries --  all men, without a single woman.

  • The whole operation was executed with speed, he adds, because the previous members of the Crisis Council who resigned left a "vacuum" in administration, which they felt needed to fill immediately. This may explain the very low number of voters who turned up to vote, or is the cause of the low turnout to begin with! It seems that everything, like elsewhere, done in a hurry under the pretext of urgency and in realty progress is deadly slow!

  • Muneer emphasised the transparency issue, and added that the councils of Tripoli, Misrata and Tajura had also demanded similar elections, and it is an honour for all of us for others to follow the experiment of Zuwarah if it succeeds.

 

Fawzi Elmeskhout however was positively critical and to the point:

  • He says first of all we must know that Zuwarah has not been liberated like other Libyan towns and cities because it is surrounded by the so-called "Black Crescent" -- in reference to the Arab villages surrounding Zuwarah, almost all of which are still supporting Gaddafi (nearly three months after liberation); but it is an honour, he adds, that Zuwarah had "lifted our heads high" for being the first in Libya to hold democratic elections.

 

Khaled Ftis moreover provides more information about the elected council, which slightly differ from Muneer's statement:

  • Khaled said they did select a council, and that the members of the council were elected to advise the president of the council (Dr. Abubaker) and work with him for the benefit of  all; but no one took any notice of them.  The elected head Dr. Abubaker Attaloua', he adds, acts alone, making his own decisions, without any regard to the other members of the council, and that he has no administration and is influenced and directed from outside!

  • He said that the fact that we have organised the first elections in Libya is a clear sign that we are not "secluding" ourselves and that we are not "negative" as we have been criticised by others.

  • He also pointed out the need to translate what the Berbers debate in Tamazight to Arabic, so that all Libyans can understand what the Berbers are talking about. This is a valid point often overlooked by the current government of Libya, as it made no attempt to educate the Arabs of Libya about the true identity of the Berbers in Libya, about their Libyan culture, and about the persecution they endured under the previous regimes. The NTC needs to supervise the democratic debate over the Berber crisis.

 

Part Two:

Sana Almansori continues the debate over the elections in Zuwarah.

The guest speaker is Dr. Abubaker Ibrahim Attaloua', the newly elected president of Zuwarah's local council. One of the speakers, Imad Alhamisi, said the minimum attendance for the election to be valid is at least 10 percent of the community, while Zuwarah's election was attended by just under 4 percent. Imad Alhamisi also said that three of those who withdrew from the list (as mentioned above) did so to allow Dr. Abubaker the chance to win. When Sana asked Dr. Abubaker regarding this matter, he said it was difficult period and that issues are expected in the beginning of this new experiment. When she asked him again, he replied that none of them was coveting the "chair", but they have thought it better if they could reduce the number of candidates from 12 to as little as possible!

 

The Second Elections

After the resignation of Zuwarah's Local Council, the Berbers of Zuwarah organised a second election to elect a new Local Council on Thursday the 9th of August 2012. In a statement by Haji Ashaeb to New Quryna, the elections were a local effort without any help or funding from any government institution including the local council. He also said that donations from the organisers were used to fund the event. The elections were conducted between 9 AM on Thursday morning and continued until 2 AM on the following day, in four centres in Zuwarah, one in Abu-Kemmash, and another in Ras Ejdir. Seven out of the 30 candidates will be elected including the president of the council.
Source: www.qurynanew.com/39953#

 

 

a boat painted in libyan flag in blue sea water

The boat of freedom sails away off the shores of Zuwarah towards its desolate destiny:  Berber offshore.