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Ghardaïa remains unchanged as major centre of Mozabite life

By Nazim Fethi for Magharebia in Algiers –29/09/06

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In Ghardaïa, no beggars or thieves exist. Mozabite society is very tightly knit with such activities from business to studies and marriage all done through the community. Mozabites cling to the unique clothing, language, architecture, and lifestyle.

Wherever they are, Mozabites always have one foot in Ghardaïa. Whatever their social situation, they never sever their roots and actively contribute to the life of the community.

Ghardaïa was founded by the Mozabites over 1,000 years ago to provide shelter for their community after the fall of the Rustamid state. The village, 500 kilometres south of Algiers, was founded in the middle of a rocky desert. Other Mozabite towns from the era existing to this day include El Atteuf, Melika, Bounoura, and Beni Izguène.

The Mozabites are an Amazigh group with their own traditions, beliefs, rites and lifestyle. They belong to the Ibadi sect of Islam, which has a different way, praying, worshipping God and designing mosques from the majority of Algerians, who are Malikis. Mozabites are recognised by their traditional costume of saroual loubia (baggy trousers) and chéchia (head gear).

Ghardaïa is built in the same style and architecture as the other four main Mozabite villages in the Mzab valley. The layout is necessitated by the rocky hills of the region. The unique layout has a mosque at the top of the hill, businesses at the foot of the hill, a large market place where auctions are held, and labyrinthine alleyways.

The houses are built in such a way as to allow sunlight into each home without disadvantaging neighbours. For them, "Inhabitants of the house where sun comes in will never see a doctor". Chimneys are arranged so that smoke will never be released towards the neighbours.

Life in Mozabite towns is governed by rules that are strictly observed by all. All inhabitants, including those with business outside of the town, contribute to the maintenance and care of the community.

Conservative Mozabites keep their women jealously hidden away. House terraces openings are designed to allow women to see the outside world without being seen.

The only agricultural land, situated on the Oued, is exploited for the production of staple crops. The palm groves are also used for summer residences, as many families head seek to flee the unbearable summer desert heat.

Mozabite life is governed by the whims of the Oued. The Mzab valley suffers from drought and the scarce rainwater is used with great care. Mozabites invented a unique hydraulic system. A system of underground tunnels is used to capture rainwater and transfer it to the oases. The distribution system allows all gardens to receive the same amount of water. In addition, the system allows the town to escape flooding of the Oued.

The one thousand-year-old system is perpetuated from one generation to the next and fiercely guarded by the ouamanas, trustees appointed by the community to manage the city's affairs.

The Azzabas assembly, the wise decision-makers, looks over the city’s affairs and settles any litigation.

Mozabite life is governed by rules passed down from father to son and scrupulously respected by all. From his birth, a Mozabite is looked after by the community for education, work, marriage, and the building of a home. Touiza (groups of volunteers) are organised for building houses.

Mozabites are not restricted to the five towns and surrounding valley. Most Algerian towns have hardware shops run by Mozabites. They have created an industrial area on the edge of Ghardaïa where the majority of hardware items are produced.

Uncompromising in negotiations, Mozabites are also present in force in the financial sector, particularly banking and wholesaling.

Wherever they are, Mozabites have their own mosque, cemetery, recreation, sporting activities.

Ghardaïa, one of the most popular tourist sites in Algeria, attracts people for its sand dunes, oasis, unique architecture, and especially crafts. Mozabite rugs are well-known, along with other textile products such as burnous, traditional children's clothes, and souvenirs.

Other artisan products such as leather, copper and sand paintings have earned the Mzab valley a reputation as one of the most important craft areas in Algeria. A Ghardaïa market trader told Magharebia, "Our products are copied and sold as local products by our Tunisian neighbours to tourists, who snap them up."

Mozabites are peaceful people who do not like to reveal too much about themselves, especially to the press or tourists. While they are exempt from Algerian military service, they did rise up against the Islamic Salvation Front in 1991 to stop plundering of Mozabite town halls.

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    samuel56 2014-11-17

    I'm French and I went to visit the city of Ghardaia in 2007. It was by far the most exotic and beautiful city that I've seen in Algeria. The language barrier and the length of my stay didn't allow me to discover the cultural and religious uniqueness in depth, but, in any case, I advise everyone to do this. It's important to preserve cultural identities, but they shouldn't be a source of conflict, trying to figure out which is better; rather, it's about giving the opportunity to our children to be able to discover them all. We must, therefore, preserve them, but also open up to others and share with them. –Kenavo, as they say here in Brittany.


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    لقبايل 2014-11-2

    God, Mohamed! Viva Amazighs! Arabs, you're known because you talk a lot. I am Kabyle. I tell you Beni Mzab are free Amazighs. This is known for a long time.


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    ملود الشاوي 2014-11-2

    Salam alikum. To be brief, my brothers, the residents of Algeria are Chaouis, Kabylies, Touaregs, Ait Mzab, Chleuh and Lhchachen. They have common words in Amazigh such as Qim, meaning sit down. I am your brother from brother. Arabs are our brothers. May God guide you our Arab brothers!


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    Saim 2014-7-27

    Above all else, I congratulate you on writing this article so that the Algerian people in general and the Amazighs in particular know that the Mozabites are not extraterrestrials and so that they know that it is thanks to these Amazigh peoples that the Muslim religion existed and continues to exist to this day. It was never the Arabs. On the contrary, it was them who tarnished the Holy Qur'an. May God grant us long lives to the day that we see the end of the lives and the extermination of the Arabs. –From Bejaia in Kabylie, your Amazigh brother


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    lamia 2014-4-15

    Salam alikum. This is a good topic. I have a question. If you have an answer, please reply! Thank you! I am looking for articles about books on the participation of Mouzabites in the French occupation.


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    salahmajid 2014-1-21

    God the Almighty says "Do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." (Al Anfal: 46). Omar narrated that the prophet peace and blessings of God be upon him said "Woe to you, don't become after me infidels killing each other." (Agreed upon) God the Almighty says "He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision." (Al Hashr: 2) The despicable dispute and disagreement is one of the reasons of backwardness, weakness and hindering development. The biggest and only loser is the category which is fighting each other.


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    Mustapha Benloulou 2013-12-20

    My deep thanks to administrators of this site, which published valuable information about the authenticity and nobility of people of Mezab which is deeply-rooted in history. Its civilization dates back to one thousand year.


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    ali 2013-8-26

    Thank you for all these details! But you forgot other Mezab villages. They are seven not four. They are: Ghardaia, Malika, Laataf, Beni Yesjen, Benoura, Berriane, Guerrara, in addition to Sedrata and Ouarjelane.


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    aglane 2012-12-26

    You don't make a difference between religion and race. Beni Mézab is an Amazigh race. The Abbadite rite is Arabs. We conclude that Mézabites are Amazighs who embraced the Abbadite rite. They have nothing to do with Khawarej (dissidents). You shouldn't believe everything evil you hear about Béni Mezabe because there are enviers.


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    DJABER 2012-3-18

    Salam alikum. I come from Mzabe. I like everything. However, there are things tight but praise be to God. I think that Mzabe needs a little strictness. Salam.


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    hamid 2011-10-11

    Hello Estelle and all the others- As a native of M’zab, unfortunately, I can tell you that your friend will never introduce you to his parents because he knows quite well that they will never accept your relationship, let alone the possibility of marriage. You should know that in this country, a Mozabite can only marry a Mozabite (except in very rare exceptions). This is called racism, simply put, because the Mozabites do not accept mixing with other ethnic groups – be they local (Arabs, Kabyles, etc.) or foreign (non-Muslims.) This is a reality that the Mozabites cannot deny!


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    Anonymous 2011-10-3

    Yassine Haj Daoud. 03/10/2011. Praise be to God. We are in a grace which others envy us, thanks to the paved road left by our grandfathers and sheikhs. May God help us lift this legacy! Anyone who is interested in research on natives of the town of Ghardaia, he has books. History is recorded. Salam alikum.


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    estelle 2011-9-16

    Hello- I am afraid. My man is Mozabite and I am French. We have been living together for two years and I do not know his family and he does not know mine either. I want to know why and if there is a risk that he will one day marry a woman from there?


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    بوكرموش 2011-8-17

    By God, I see hatred and grudge in the eyes of Ghardaoui Arabs. You envy us because we are ahead of you in belief, values, wealth and fame, thank God! You can ask about us in all the Algerian state in the east, west, north, south and even beyond if you want. You will only hear nice reassuring things. Yes, we have our principles and we have our values. Be sure we won’t forsake them even if this pushes us to die for them. Here is our civilisation, we have built it with our own hands. We have tasted sourness for it. But you come and simply attribute everything to yourselves. Aren’t you ashamed, O Arabs of Ghardaïa? Haven’t you had enough of living eternally as beggars, homeless, preying on semi-opportunities to attack our money and properties? What you did in Berriane is not far away. But this is forlorn, you can’t think of this with us simply because we’re not like Berriane. What makes me confused and astonished is how you live with us under our shadow and among us enjoying the bounties granted to us by God but still you are ungrateful and thankless. As the saying goes ‘They eat from the crop and insult the faith’. Finally, my message was transmitted, my brother commenters have corrected their image towards Mouzabites and understood that everything evil said about us was calumny. God the Almighty says “O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.” God says the truth.


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    سارة-قسنطينة- 2011-7-18

    Algeria cannot make progress if one culture is removed from it.


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    bouras toufik 2011-6-5

    In the name of God. I thank you for the great article! I am proud to be a free Mozabite Abadite. Everything you said about Mozabite region is true. You have mentioned four villages while in reality they are seven. You didn’t mention Berriane and Guerara.


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    امبارش نتيغرسان 2011-5-26

    In the name of God alone. Peace and blessings be upon the messenger and those who follow his guidance only. I have read some unclassified comments about Mozabites. However, they were written by those who think they are residents of the regions or Amazigh while Amazigh people disavow them. I reply to them by asking them to show us their references and sources used in the study. I add by saying that Mozabites and Abadites are above their thoughts. Mozabites have produced and built a civilisation. As for Hilalis, they have consumed and undermined a civilisation. We don’t care about the opinion of these dwarfs in history about us. But we are more interested in the conclusions of the west about our civilisation such as the church which was built by the architect in France in the same traditional architectural style of Mozabites.


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    أبو سعيد الراشدي 2011-5-8

    O Lord grant pride to Islam and Muslims! This is a nice article and a nice picture resulting from the abidance by the instructions of our dear prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him.


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    fifi angel 2011-5-3

    The region of M’zab is unlike the others.


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    [email protected] 2011-4-29

    You Arabs aren’t good for anything! Go to hell!


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    رياض 2011-3-16

    Are Beni Mezab Arabs who came from Sultanate of Oman and settled in Tiherte after the collapse of Roustumide dynasty? Have they fled to Ghardaia and learned Tamazight from tribes who protected them and whom they hired for protection?


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      kivok aglan 2013-6-4

      No no, Béni Mezab are Amazigh. They are an Arab minority who came from Oman to spread the Abadite doctrine and settled in Ghardaia. Therefore, people think that Béni Mezab have all come from Oman. This is wrong. We are Amazigh. We have lived there for thousands of years like all Amazigh people.


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    ميزابيةوافتخر 2011-3-10

    I am proud, first of all, to be a Muslim and to be a Mozabite. A greeting to all Abadites! By God they are very respectable and loving! Viva Beni Mozabe!


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    Mariya 2011-2-11

    As'salamu alaykum Proud to be Muslim, proud to be Ibadit, proud to be a part of Ghardaian life! Wonderful place, wonderful people, overwhelming calm and peace everywhere.


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    جزائري-- غارداية 2011-1-5

    You distinguish between Kabylie and the Algerian people! You should at least say the truth!


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    sally de constantine 2010-12-27

    Thank you so much for this beautiful description. My dream is to visit Ghardaïa. God willing, my dream will come true this summer. You know, when the teachers ask me to describe a place, I always describe Ghardaïa. Thank you for your generosity.


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    مجهول 2010-12-8

    Long live Arabs! You're wrong about the origins of Ghardaïa, the origin of its people. Said.


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    نسمة الميزابية 2010-12-6

    In the name of God the Beneficent the Merciful. A greeting full of thanks and respect to those who say a word of right in its proper place my country, my country. I hope you will be the pride of Algeria in spite of what is said about you. Wish you pride, happiness and prosperity. Pride, magnificence, spring flowers. But you describe the conditions of woman as miserable because she doesn’t complete her graduate studies and doesn’t build her future. Praise be to God, Mozabite woman has a life full of perseverance. We have private schools, may God protect those who built and supervise them. Today she fulfills her duty in the best ways and we don’t need graduate studies in which she wastes years of her life. Then she wakes up after sleepiness and she finds that she has missed a lot of things. Imagine if in Mozabite society woman mixes up with men everywhere as it is the case in some Algerian regions, I am not accusing anyone or pointing to anyone. We are talking about reality with honesty. Just imagine a society without woman. Do you like life of woman in recent years? The wise understand. Everyone understands. My brothers, the life of woman is clear without doubt. “Stay in your homes” God says. As for marriage, there is no accusation in it. Some marry Arab women and there is the opposite. There is no accusation in this as when you talk fanatically. Everyone is free. There is no difference between a foreigner and Arab. The most important is to preserve her dignity and not to humiliate her whether he is Mozabite or Arab. I renew my greetings to my homeland Mozabe. You’re the pride of Algeria. Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.


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    amel 2010-11-7

    Hello everyone- I apologise for intruding on the discussion! I have a lot of documents on the city of Ghadraïa, which I find to be magnificent. Personally, I am from the centre of Algeria and I am a Muslim. But, what I would like to ask anyone who can offer a response is: I am in contact with a boy from Ghardaïa, and when my parents found out about this, they told me that I cannot marry him because he is from Ghardaïa and is thus Mozabite, and apparently we do not have the right to marry them. And, when I posed the question to my fiancé, he said, “I am from Ghardaïa, but I am not Mozabite.” But, he said he had another obligation, which is being Muslim, and that he believed in Mohammed, God rest his soul. In fact, I would like to know if there is really another religion and culture in Ghardaïa besides Mozabite. –I thank you infinitely


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    احمد ** مسيلة** 2010-10-31

    I lived for six years in the city of Ghardaïa. I think that tensions and pressure between our Arab brothers and Mezabites can be removed through mixed marriage. When family ties are mixed, hatred disappears. God the Almighty authorized in His Book a Muslim man to marry a woman from the people of the Book. So how can our Ibadite brothers oppose marriage? A marriage to an Ibadite is not something impossible. It will just remove differences. Just look at developed countries and progress they achieved while the Ibadite Algerian brother is still strict on this topic which is authorized by law and religion.


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    أسماء الجزائرية 2010-10-8

    First of all, anyone who has no patriotism will attack his fellow citizens. By the way Algeria is Amazigh (Berbers) and Arabs. A patriot Algerian should be proud of his nation with all its parts and certainly recognize Mezab Sihine. There is no difference between Arab and foreigner (Amazigh).


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    bammoun melika 2010-9-29

    Long live Ait Taoute!


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    Khaled 2010-8-26

    Why do the Ibadites isolate themselves? Why must a Mozabite man marry a Mozabite woman? Why can’t Mozabite mothers ever ask for help from a girl outside of her community? What is behind this entire mystery? Do they consider themselves superior? Or is it that they fear the disappearance of their Ibadi doctrine?


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    عبد الحكيم الرستمي 2010-8-17

    Salam alikum. May God accept from you and us our best deeds. Thank you for the topic and interesting comments as to those which aren’t clear, may God forgive everyone. Bless your valley, the source of Azzi, birthplace of Ilham Hassi, home of my father, square of my mother, singing place of my youth, dreams of my wedding, proud of Algeria, extension of nobles of Arabs and glories of Persians. This is how revolution and militancy poet the Mezabite Moufdi Zakaria described his homeland and the reality of Algeria, decorated mosaic tuning in beauty and brilliance. God created us as peoples and tribe to get to know each other. The most honourable amongst you for God are the most pious. God knows better the conditions of His creatures. May God grant the best rewards to the loyal at the service of religion and the nation! Let’s make our goal the satisfaction of God the Almighty. Salam alikum. Your brother Abdelhakim


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    خالد 2010-8-10

    In the name of God the Beneficent the Merciful. My Muslim brothers of all doctrines, fractions and even origins as your God is one Who has no associates. I always find you smiling to infidels but among your own people you bear a lot of grudge. I find you generous with atheists but hatred is spread between you. I find you meet your brothers with alert and soil yourselves with shame. Is this your conviction? Is this what you learnt from what was left by the messenger, peace and prayer be upon him? Why are you boasting of your evil? Why do you transmit your errors to your sons? Our religion is a religion of ease, love and good treatment. So why are you fighting for other things than good? Why are you fighting for other things than religion? Why are you selfish, egoist and boast of what you don't have? By God I have been living in Ghardaïa for a short period, I see hatred in the eyes of brothers for reasons which make me feel sick sometimes. In spite of the beauty of the city in its traditions, religious events, generosity of its people, I have friends and colleagues from Beni Mezab, Chaabna and Medabih, they are all kind, generous, hospitable and of high values. They have one more feature, they are keen on performing their religious duties including prayer, Zakat, prayer and other duties. By God tell me what is the difference between them? These are just relics accumulated from pas and remote years. Whether you are Abadite or Malekite, whether you are Mouzabite or from other Arabs, you can't guide people, it is God Who guides those who want. So my opinion about you is that you are Muslim, a brother in blood, race and traditions. So be tolerant so that your sons would live in peace! By God those who stir strife inherited by his sons will be cursed to the Day of Judgment! Fear God in yourselves Muslims for a nicer morrow and a more prosperous future!


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    Ramzi 2010-7-9

    As a Muslim, Arab and Tunisian, I understand that Ibadis also live in Tunisia, particularly in Djerba and the Tunisian Djerid. Regarless of religious particularities – I unfortunately do not know the details or the basics that would differ them from us other Sunni Malikites – I must say and admits that the Djerba and Djerid people’s solidarity, notion of a job well done and the righteousness are well known. I have seen it myself. These are the virtues that I must recognise. There is, moreover, another barrier concerning these people being closed to others, particularly in marriage. A Djerban always married a Djerban all the way to the end of the 1970s, which then saw a change in this practices. It is the same for the Djerids and I presume it is the same for the Mozabites. What I would like to know is if the real reason for these communal tendencies is that an Ibadi is happier when he marries an Ibadi woman or if there is another philosophy behind this. I would like to reassure the readers, particularly the Ibadis, that I have no bad intentions against them, but just a desire to better know them. –Salam alaikoum


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    taouil zaid 2010-7-5

    We hope to visit Ghardaïa, a city of Muslim peace.


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    yacine musulman 2010-5-11

    Salam alaikoum- Thank you for this article. We are all Muslims. This is to say that even if one person is Moazabite and another is Arab, I think that our religion is addressed to believers no matter their doctrine, language, race and so on. We, the people of the Third World, have always been this way and will always be this way. In recent years, we see that many Germans, French, Americans, Australians, South Americans and others are converting to Islam. I think that they are the ones who will liberate Palestine. This is up to us Arabs. So, take each other hand in hand and leave all this garbage elsewhere. Thank you.


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    موسى عربي من ميزاب 2010-4-13

    If we go back to the beginning, Oued Mzab was in the past a crossroad for tribes coming up to the north and going down to the south. The Abbadite community is a fusion of people from many origins. A scrupulous researcher cannot attribute them to a specific race or specific tribe. It is a community made up of all regions of Algeria. The nice thing about the issue is that it is the Islamic and social regime and values which constituted and united this community in one melting-pot and not the single race, tribe or clan. The expression Beni Mezab shows that the community attributed itself to the valley because the valley is Oued Mezab and its people are Beni Mezab. This is a lesson to those who boast of their genealogical tree and families. To sum up, faith, organization and good work are the criteria of success. There is no need for exaggeration in praising or criticizing these people because in the end they are humans like all humans who are made up of the good and evil. Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.


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    كريم 2010-3-22

    First of all, Ghardaia city isn’t monopolized by Beni Mezab. Most of its people are Arabs, but the Mozabites are focused in four old cities. Some were mixed up with Arabs, living with them peacefully and in harmony. There's no difference between them.


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    الياس 2010-3-10

    Thank you very much for the great representation of Ghardaia in international events!


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    نهلة 2010-3-8

    Salam alikum. Honestly, I am Algerian from the city of Ghardaia. I don't agree with what was said by the dear brother. Ghardaia is the property of everyone, including Arabs not just Abadites. They are not originally from Ghardaia, they are of Yemenite origins (from Yemen). They came to Algeria and settled in Ghardaia. Ghardaia is the property of Chaabna and Medabih, who had lived there since old times. In addition to this, you are in good condition, they offer the best treatment to foreigners; to those who are not from their country, they show all respect and hospitality. But with Arabs from Ghardaia, they show all hatred and evil. This is your reality, people of Mezab, why the acting?


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    ince 2010-3-1

    I think you described the wilaya of Mozab well enough. Thank you, everyone.


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    ابن ميزاب 2010-2-26

    Man thanks to the author of the great reportage about my dear city Ghardaïa. “Ghardaïa for those who love it, it is a pride for our country”.


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    ريحانة 2010-1-2

    Salam alikum. A great topic. I say praise be to God for being in a blessing as Mouzabite. I address my warmest greetings to everyone who participates in this forum especially Mouzabites and everyone concerned about his country Ghardaia.


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    بالحاج مزابي إباصي 2009-11-26

    I thank everyone who contributed to publishing this letter.


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    نهروان سلطنة عمان 2009-11-22

    I am a Muslim Arab Abadite from Aman. I am very sad when I hear our Amazigh Abadite brothers commenting about Arabs evilly, because one of the most important principles of the Abadite movement is not to discriminate between Arabs and foreigners except in faith. This was advocated by the tolerant Islamic religion. My greetings to the Abadites in North Africa.


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    كريم بن دور 2009-11-3

    We thank the people of Ghardaia because it has honoured Algeria.


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    من لبنان 2009-10-1

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you. My hearty greetings to the country of a million martyrs, its land and people. My brothers, any doctrine which outstrips the doctrine of Ahl Assuna and the majority, which is the doctrine of the companions of the messenger of God, is a doctrine outstripping Islam. Of course Malekia, Hanafia, Chafia and Hanbalia are all the doctrine of Ahl Assuna and Malekia because they didn't disagree about the essence and faith but on apparent issues. Except for these mentioned doctrines, there are no other Islamic doctrines. But there are groups that ostensibly claim Islam, but they hide the opposite including Abbadite, Shiaa, Drouz, Alaouiya, Naciria, Al Ahbach and many other groups that can reach 72 groups or so; as [said] the messenger of God, peace and prayer be upon him, “This Umma will be divided into 73 groups, they will all be in Hell except one”. The messenger of God showed that the group that will be saved is the majority who followed the faith, acts and words of the messenger of God, peace and prayer be upon him and his companions. Those who abide by the true sound faith, ordered actions and words, are in the group that will be saved. This is not associated with time or place. But everyone who abides by the guidance of the messenger, peace and prayer be upon him, in appearance and inwardly, belongs to this "saved" group. It is safe in life from heresy and violations, and will be rescued in the afterlife from fire. These groups don't belong to Islam. They have their religion and we have our religion. May God guide them all. Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.


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    1954 chouhada 2009-8-28

    Salam alaikoum Mozabites- United, rich and traditional, my family has been revolutionary since the famous nationalist revolts in Ouled Sidi Shiekh, by Messali El Hedj in the glorious revolution of 1954. The martyrs are our true pride! Let us not forget Messali El Hadj’s position towards the Mozabite. You are the shame of the Muslims. You have gotten rich on the backs of the martyrs’ children.


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    يحي 2009-7-5

    Thank you sir for your great article. I just have a simple comment if you don't mind. You have said that Mouzabites are exempted from military service. This is not true because they carry out all their civic duties. Your brother in God Yahya from Benoura.


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    مسلم ميزابي 2009-4-26

    In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful. I am very happy with what you wrote my brother Nezim Fathi, God bless you and assist you. I will begin my words with some necessary explanations. First of all, it is about the correction of some names. In some unknown conditions, the names of these towns were distorted to Arab and Arabism names. The reasons for such distortions are still under research. 1- Tajneinte: is one of the oldest of the seven palaces. This word means the low place. It was built by the Caliphate Ben Abghor in 402 of the hegira, 1012 a.d. It is situated seven kilometres from At Bounour. Its name was distorted to El Atf. 2- At Bounour: it was built in 457 of the hegira, 1065 a.d. Its name refers to Al Mossabia tribe which built and dwelt in that town in the past. AT Bounour was built on a very secure rocky hill. This constituted a natural wall. It is situated near At Izejen. It name was distorted to Bounoura. 3- Tagherdaite: it was built in 447 of the hegira corresponding to 1053. The first sheikhs who settled there were Baba, Jama, Abou Issa Ben Alounae, and Baba Said. The origin of its name is Tagherdaite in Mouzabite which means a reclaimed plot of land near the edge of the valley. There are many villages bearing the same meaning in the Islamic Maghreb. It is the first town which can be seen when you come from the North. Its name was distorted to Ghardaïa. 4- At Izejen: it was founded in 720 of the hegira, 1320 a.d. Its name was derived from the name of Al Mossabia tribe which dwelt in the town. At Izejen is one of ancient scientific and religious capitals. It is the only town which has preserved its Mouzabite authenticity from all aspects to this day. It is the perfect example of a Mouzabite town. One of its major features is its wall which is still present to this day. It is situated after At Amlechite. 5- At Amlechite: it was built in 756 of the hegira, 1355 a.d. its name was derived from “Mlikich” one of the leaders of Zenata tribes to which the tribe of Beni Moussab belongs. It is built on a moderately high hill between the palaces of Tagherdaite and At Izejen. The viewer can see from it the three palaces: Tagherdaite, At Izejen and At Bounour. 6- Tivrar: it was built on: 10


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    MADANI 2009-4-2

    Salam- Having read your comments and remarks on the Mozabites, I am leaving you this links so you can give it a try, read it and tell me what you think. One thing is for certain, the Mozabites have no linguistic connection to the Kabyles or any other Algerians, all of whom are definitively Arabised Berbers. The hatred between Arabic-speakers and Mozabites is a phenomenon connected to the ignorance and poverty of Algerians in general. Mozabites, just like Kabyles, benefited from decolonisation and got rich, but the Arab Chaouis, by nature, do not accept this. It is, at present, unfair. In the next few decades, the problem will work itself out.


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    منصور 2009-3-27

    I hate Ghardaia and I don't like it.


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    algerois 2009-1-24

    Salam alaikoum- I am a resident of Algiers and I have Mozabite friends. They are very kind and very well educated. They are people of values and hard workers, proof of their civilisation. But, there are no Mozabites and Arabs, Fear God Muslims. We are Algerians! Long live Algeria!


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    Azeddine 2008-12-27

    Where did this come from: “While they are exempt from military service…”!?! Incredible! Is there a community above the law in Algeria?


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    zaki 2008-11-16

    I thank you for your generosity in having offered us a little of your time, but you should have examined the geographic situation of this beautiful region to report on it, as well as the many other things there. –Zaki Benameur, born 02 April 1949, student at Ksar El Boukhari, Medea. (I send my greeting to everyone who knows me.)


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    toufik 2008-10-29

    thank you very much my friends and espicially for the man who made that report, cause of his honesty and being sincer.


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    نور 2008-10-27

    If only all nations are captured and follow the example of the noble Mouzabites, catch up with the caravan of science and historians which drove away many nations except Arabs.


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    amar 2008-10-9

    Salam Alaikoum, May God’s mercy be with you. That was a very beautiful comment, my dear brother Saïd Bouhari. Could you help me better study the Beni-Isguen tribe? While searching for my mother’s genealogy, I found that she came from the Bouchelarem family of the Beni-Isguen tribe.


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    Maliki Horr 2008-10-7

    As original inhabitants of Berriane, the city of martyrs, Larbi Smaihi, Abderrahmane Baba, Salah Ghuerier and the others who were first to live in this region. Unfortunately, afterward, the Kharidjites, Ibadites and Mozabites, the protestants of Islam, arrived and settled here. We, the Sunni Malakites, are simple saying that these Berbers have built their fake cities on a professional lie based on Nif and did so under the exact same steps that those who occupy Palestine took, and they are going to end up just like them. Islam and Ibadism will remain parallel to each other, never meeting. The same thing goes for the revolution and patriotism. Refer to the Rondon case, where the traitors who were on France’s side during Algeria’s holy war. The Kharidjites, Ibadites and Mozabites are only showing their good side now, and only the people who are living in their neighbourhoods and both living and seeing their rotten way of life know any different.


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    TADJEROUNA Bakir ben ismail 2008-8-3

    The preservation of these traditions and customs is, for the most part, thanks to the Mozabite women.


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    un mozabi 2008-7-25

    what you were write about mozabit people it's true but there many point we must review ourself if we want exist in this country, because,our future IS en JEUX.


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    ibrahime 2008-7-20

    Ghardaia is very nice.


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    باحث أمازيغي جزائري 2008-7-13

    The is regarding what was said in the article which is full of intentional and deliberate inaccuracies including the falsification and forgery of reality. I mention that a short time ago the word “Mouzabite” derived from “Mezabe”, which means water of course, and which is of Arabic origin, was not accepted by Abadites both in form and meaning. Now they are chanting it as if it were a treasure granted to them. They even attribute it to Mezab of the honourable Kaaba!! I defy any Abbadite to confirm to me the sincerity of the allegations which they circulate in a blatant religious language. I have much evidence of this even from the books of the Abadites themselves. Most of these books include clear contradictions. So if we use the logic of Abadites, we can say that Israel was established in 1948, Palestine never existed and that Palestinians are occupying the streets!! You know nothing about the town of Ghardaia. This isn’t its definition. You don’t even know how to write Taghardait. To your information, it is spelled Ghardaia and not Ghrdaia. Do you write the word cave without an ‘a’? Where have you seen a cave without an ‘a’? therefore, I will give you a summary about the town Ghardaia. In the past, there was a tribe called Said Ataba, they were the owners of this town. They have built the old mosque which is now in “ksar Ghardaia”. I still go to this mosque to this day. Before you reach it, you will find the cave. It still exists to this day. There is a woman called “Daia” who lives there. Therefore it is called “Ghar Daia” (cave of Daia). Who is Daia? She is an Arabic woman from the tribe of Said Ataba. The town was named after her. I add for your information that when you go down to the market, you will find them. Arab merchants are still present in a place called the western street. Moreover, Ghardaia is a Malikite town and not Abadite as you know. I am well informed about this topic. I have a lot of research that says that Abadites are mainly of Arab origins.


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    toufik 2008-6-28

    To All the Algerians: May God protect you. I carefully read your comments and doing so gave me tremendous pleasure. Even the negative critics were part of the debate, and, all the same, the Mozabites are necessarily the best. They are a model to be imitated. Thank you. I lived with a Mozabite abroad and I can attest that I learned a lot of values from him.


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    مجهول 2008-6-27

    Oh Lord protect Arabs everywhere, say amen. Without the first Arabs you wouldn't have a personality and you wouldn't have the Islamic religion.


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    najat 2008-6-20

    Thank you for the article and comments.


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    najat 2008-6-20

    Hi, I love Ghardaïa. I hope to go there after having read this. I would like to go there as soon as possible. I am a Moroccan from Casablanca.


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    taouat 2008-6-9

    Thank's a lot for your interest in our civilisation , peace on you may god help you brother


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    BAKIR HADJ SAID 2008-6-6

    Thank you for this website! I will be coming to it more often in the future.


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    alouani bya 2008-6-5

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God upon you. I am in my town which I am proud of and cherish especially the palace of Malika El Alia where I live and which has become touristic, it has preserved its traditions and customs. I have lived in the town of Ghardaia for 12 years, which I liked very much. History means civilization, the town of Ghardaia is the only evidence. My message is clear and simple. All the population of the region of Oued Mezab know the truth about the history of the region, Mozabite people are honourable and have a history.


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    الشيخ بيوض هواري 2008-6-4

    Long live Touat of reform, and high pride.


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    زهار باهي 2008-5-30

    Beni Mezab the civilization


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    SOUMIA 2008-5-17

    Hello, I am an Algerian, but I am Muslim first. Soumia’s comment really touched me because her mother-in-law separated her from her husband due to her origin. Indeed, she is Muslim, but that was not enough for this mother-in-law who destroyed a family and made orphans of her grandchildren. May God forgive her. She has committed an unforgivable mistake and she is going to regret it on judgement day. In our religion, Allah allows us to marry a woman if she is Muslim. With regards to our traditions, may God give your courage (patience) Amen. As for this mother-in-law, may God guide her, God willing, I will not hide from you that I also went through a difficult period: a man wanted to marry me, but his mother prevented him, although I am Muslim, Algerian and practicing; I was not from Ghardaïa. God willing, God guide her. I do not know what to think. It is just that I am beginning to tell myself that this is racism. Please God, help me. Give me some advice.


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    algerien... 2008-5-16

    Hello my country, praise God. History means civilisation, and Ghardaïa is the one and only proof. Did you understand me.....


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    Rachid Umzab. 2008-5-15

    Hello, one of the most important aspects that has made M’zab what it is today is the Tumzabt language. This language distinguishes At M’zab from others (for example: Chaamba, Mdabih and so on). Even if there is a group of Baathists comprised mainly of the elderly (but also some young people) who, by all means possible, want to impede upon our language and Amazigh culture from coast to coast, Tumzabt is still the pride of all Mozabites. If you ask any Umzab (Mozambite) to define for you what it is to be a Mozambite person, he will tell you that above all else it is the aspect of language. I digress. It is important to remember that M’zab and other communities that live from time to time under moments of difficult tension have ended up more often than not with tragic consequences: deaths, injuries, the destruction of property and so on. But, it is always M’zab that pays the heaviest price. One of the negative aspects of At M’zab life is the conditions in which Mozabite women live. They do not have the right to go to public schools under the pretext that they will have no need of the subjects taught once they are married, they do not have the right to work, they cannot speak publicly and so on. I will also take this opportunity to denounce the thieves of will of the M’zab, of those who do politics under the guise of social goods in order to protect their own privileges. Such are the people like I’azzaben (penname: Azzaba) and others of notoriety. I will end my modest partaking in this forum by correcting the names of the Mozabites cities: Kasr should be Ksour, Aghram—Igharman, Ghardaïa—Taghardayt, Melika—At M’lichet, Bonoura—At Bounour, El-Atteuf—Tajnint, Beni Isguen—At Izdjen, Al Qarara—Grara, Ber Rayyan—Berriyan. Tenenmmirt, an Umzab


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    فاروق 2008-5-3

    I am Farouk from the capital. I visited Ghardaia in the spring of 2007. I had a strange feeling, as if I had travelled through time. I hope that they will preserve this treasure left by the ancestors.


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    brezzage 2008-5-2

    Welcome to Ghardaia!


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    جابر من بريان 2008-4-29

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God upon you. My message is clear and simple. All the people of Oued Mezab region are aware of the reality of the region's history. Mouzabites are people of honour and history. But there are some people who have spoilt the mentality of their sons, they educated them with the mentality that Mouzabites are not the native people and that they must get out of the region. Or they learn that they are dissidents or Jews, so their money and violating their sacredness is permissible... This explains what happened in the town of Brian... God knows the truth... We must be positive and contribute to the development of the nation, not to its destruction and fragmentation. By God, God will make us accountable for this racism. I am a Mouzabite from Brian, I have many Kabyle and Arab friends in Algiers more than those I have in Brian but I never felt the division of fanaticism from them, unlike those who are in Brian. I ask God to guide us to the right path. Long live Algeria from the North to the South, Mouzabites, Arabs, Kabylie, Chaouia…= Algerian = servant of God= equal before God, there only difference is in belief and beliefs are known only by God. Oh Lord with your wellness and mercy forgive our sins and make paradise our destiny and fate, oh Most Merciful. Amen.


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    ghadoura 2008-4-24

    The origin of the name Ghardaia-- and not Ghar Daia-- is Tighradit, it is a Mozabite word.


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    عربي 2008-4-22

    You are Hallaj.


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    عزيز 2008-4-19

    In the name of God, most gracious most merciful. Anyway, all information is known about the Wilaya of Ghardaya. Which was conquered by the first princes of Said origins, its name was Daya. They used to live in the cave in the mountain inside the town. From that time it has taken the name of Ghardaia to this day.


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    سعيد بهون علي 2008-4-15

    To the author of the article, salam alikoum. God Almighty says "O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware." We ask God to grant success and assistance to all Muslims in all parts of the world.


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    باسة.ع 2008-4-4

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God upon you. In reply to the brother Soufiane, my dear brother, I am from the region of Ghardaia and I am Mouzabite. My brother, your words as regards the surrender of Beni Azzaba to the French colonizer, this is wrong and a thousand times wrong. On the contrary, when the French colonizer wanted to separate the southern big Sahara from the north of Algeria, our sheikh and spiritual father Sheikh Bioud, may God rest his soul, refused to sign off. He was well-determined not to separate the Sahara from the North. The State knows this very well, even His Excellency the president. Praise be to God, our dear sheikhs, may God protect them work for the sake of God, oh Lord protect them. We my brother can read everything, and don’t fear anyone. Praise be to God, we have deep roots and know quite well our origins.


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    hadjyoub 2008-3-23

    Hello, Indeed, I love my city, Ghardaïa, and M’zab. Thank you, everybody. Bye


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    سفيان 2008-3-17

    Thank you for this great feature which is ornamented as it should be. But you should know that history cannot be falsified whatever the price. You should know, and of course you know that a surrender treaty was signed between the Mozabite and the French colonizer. Everyone knows this, even the state, and you also know that it wasn’t you who built the town of Ghardaia, and the manuscripts that prove it exist, and I am one of those who read them. Anyway, I won’t be long in these lines because I know that you can’t read them because this is the sore reality which you don’t want to acknowledge.


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    youcef ounnas 2008-3-14

    I thank the people of Ghardaia for this kind interests in the town. I want that you include in your feature a clear and adequate explanation about non-Mozabite (Arab) populations and the difference in comparison to the original population of the town... Youssef Ounas... Bir El Atir, Wilaya of Tibessa.


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    وسيلة بوزيان 2008-3-13

    I am one of the students of Haj Lakhdar Batna. After our visit to the town of Ghardaia, in my name and in the name of all the visitors (namely those of the third preparatory and intermediary physics) we present our great thanks to the Cheikh Bekir Boussoufa who didn’t spare us any information. Let’s not forget our dear teachers, teacher Nasser, teacher Zrib, teacher Taouil in addition to some modest personalities which stayed with us during that week. They were all brothers and friends, our sister and friend teacher Taouil. They will all remain in our memory. Salam alaikoum.


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    bouzid abdelaziz 2008-3-10

    Hello, Dear brothers, I am from the region of El Baiad. I would like to know more about Beni Merzoug. If you have some time, it would be very nice of you to send me a brief historical outline of this tribe.


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    didou 2008-3-5

    Couldn’t you give us miserable architects a couple city maps?


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    soumia 2008-2-21

    Hello Everyone, First of all, I really appreciated your comments. I am of Moroccan origin and I was married to a blessed Algerian from M’zab. (Morocco also has blessed M’zab people.) I had two beautiful children with him—thanks be to God—but, unfortunately, we were separated because I was Moroccan and his mother did not accept me. She does not want to even see or accept her own grandchildren. Do you think that what she is doing is accepted in the eyes of Allah? No, I do not think so. We are all Muslims, and Islam does not prohibit us Muslims from marry one another. But, Allah is great and it is Him, Who will be able to judge her, not me. I wish you all a lot of joy and happiness.


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    aissa hadj nacer 2008-2-16

    I am proud of being Mozabite. I love my city.


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    غارداوي 2008-2-14

    In the name of God. In everything stated in the article and also the comments, no one has mentioned the most important topic of the Algerian society in the past and presently, it is the liberation revolution and sacred war against the French occupation and the role of the Abbadites. So where are their victories, of course they don't exist because their betrayal of the nation doesn't exist. Their conventions with the colonizers are the best eveidence, their exemption from joining the French army during the occupation years is one of its fruits…The failure of former president Houari Boumediene not to visit the Abbadites as a sign to them and blame to them for signing a truce with the colonizer....We notice that they insist to participate in the national service hhhhhh this is quite natural for every Algerian only if he formerly didn’t subdue to it…Saying that the Abbadite movement is sunni is one of the biggest misinformation that was said. Most scholars of Al Sunna deny that the Abbadite is a Muslim doctrine. But saying that they’re Khawarij, only history will prove that. If you have watched the series of Al Hajjaj about the life of Al Hajjaj and the revolution of Khawarij, of which the Al Azareka Abbadites were a group...They should first delete history and write a new one, hold the scissors of censorship and cut what was said in the series of Al Hajjaj so that we can say that they’re not Khawarij.


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    حاج داود 2008-2-6

    Long live Mozabites from Ghardaua, I used to live in Bia Hamou and now I’m in El Ghofrane.


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    Anonymous 2008-1-29

    Youssef from Amman. To reach what Mezab achieved here Chaouch, sacrifices and jihad from fathers and forefathers. We hope that the sons will be the best successors for the best ancestors so that they transmit the legacy to their sons. Thank you for this kind attention.


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    نجار عبد الوهاب 2008-1-16

    Thank you very much to every faithful creature jealous for his dear country 'Ghardaia'.


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    sami 2008-1-11

    Hi Everyone, I would like to go to the city of Ghardaïa. It is so beautiful. Last time I was there, I found it to be so traditional. It is a truly magnificent city.


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    bafdel 2007-12-29

    In effect, this reporting portrays a large part of the reality occurring in M’zab. There is one important point to think on: despite all the rigorousness of our religion and all the events our country has lived through, the Ibadites (since Mozabite simply means “inhabitant of M’zab”) have never been extremists. There aren’t any now and I hope there never will be any terrorists killing innocents, women and children in our ranks.


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    مــــــــــــوسى الهيشر 2007-12-19

    In the name of God. Praise be to God, thanks to whom good deeds are achieved. What can I say? Don’t think that victory is a fruit you eat, you can’t reach victory until you experience patience. I say this because there are hidden hands which are destroying our traditions and doctrines one way or another. God knows and He is wiser. Salam alaikoum. Thank you Fathi.


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    hakim 2007-12-9

    Bani M’zabe is a source for Algerian pride. As for me, a student at a school of architecture, I am going to work with all my might on this valley. We are going to try to guard the its status as a global patrimony. Long live our country! Long live Algeria!


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    saleh_47 2007-12-6

    Thank you for this great topic.


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    لطيفة 2007-11-26

    We thank you for what you have presented and thank you for your efforts as we need such information.


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    smail-nedjar_milkahout 2007-11-17

    I seek the protection of God from Satan. In the name of God and praise to God for his graces with which the right things are achieved. I thank my brother for the article and for your goodwill to pass on the scientific legacy by transmitting it and publishing it. Thank you again even if it’s your job. My dear ones, my contribution here is to support what was said and complete what remains Mohamed, Said Bouhari, Daoud Brahim Bensalah, Merzak…On the moral side, the economic side: For that side, we notice that the secret of success of the residents of the region lies in providing economic conditions and necessary equipment in order to surmount the obstacles of nature and subdue it in spite of the difficult and hard geological and geographical position. The beginning was with the provision of the necessities then covering the shortages, self-sufficiency then the degree of satisfaction and finally commercial exchanges which contributed to the development of the civilization of the region. The moral side and citizenship: (the origins of the residents of Beni Mezab) Amazighs from the North East of the African continent and the North West. They’re known fro their wisdom, high values, ideal spirit and their love for freedom; therefore they have called themselves Men of Imazig. They prefer living on heights and mountains because they love breathing clean air (a metaphor of expression). But today, Algeria was neglectful in its national and political reform race from 1988/2007. This is reported by the press. The president Bouteflika Abdelaziz was behind the policy of national reconciliation on the scientific level. It was used as an innovation and new invention in the mechanism of the fanatic language. But this policy was known in Beni Mezab years ago before 1000 years. This conciliation was made between two of the Mouzabite tribes in order to put an end to the brotherly conflicts and differences between two Muslim tribes through the cohabitation of two families from each tribe. This conciliation was experienced in the High Mlika and Metlili. This is an example of citizenship, there are also many stories about the liberation of the Algerian territories from the Spanish occupation in the past. The Mouzabite tribes joined the Ottoman army in facing the allies powers in occupying Algeria. The battle of the Castle of Constantine…As to the religious side, the scholar Jaber Ben Zayd


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    حواش بكير 3147 2007-11-16

    Salam alaikoum, thank you my brother the author of the report. For this accurate definition of our society so that we can follow the example of its founder and be truly the best followers of the best ascendants. Greetings, salam. Bakir3147


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    الطاهر من تيميمون 2007-11-5

    Thank you for this sincere article. It is true that Algeria has faithful people like our brothers in Ghardaia, God bless them.


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    كضايه47000 2007-10-5

    I thank all participants for enriching this historic summary about Mozabites, I hope that the subject will be tackled in detail. Thank you.


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    احمد 2007-9-29

    Ghardaia needs learning and learning. Thank you.


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    بوقايلة من تغردايت 2007-9-7

    Salam alaikoum, as a Mouzabite, I would like to point out that most Mouzabites don’t participate in civil service such gendarmerie, police and customs simply because it’s an optional profession unlike the military service. This doesn’t mean that we shun the service of the society, on the contrary, we have a system of ‘Guardianship’ which is a voluntary and honorary service, and you should meet some conditions to join, you should be for example a righteous person. To sum up, we refuse any service that might damage our values namely if it’s related to the society. And God knows.


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    مزابي عماني 2007-8-9

    Salam alaikoum, I'm very pleased as an Omani Ibadi, to contribute to this nice article about our Mozabite brothers in dear Algeria. My brothers, we the members of the Ibadi movement whether in the Sultanate of Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya or in some other Arab countries as well as in the East Africa, are related by the links of blood, marraige and brotherhood. We respect so much each other and other movements. This emanates from our constitution, doctrine and the teachings of our cheikhs may God bless them. The irrigation system used in Oued Mezab is the same used here in the Sultanate of Oman, it's called the 'Felj' system the plural 'Aflaj' for centuries. All the respects to those who contributed to writing in this topic. Your brother Nasser, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.


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    mohamed 2007-8-7

    Salam alaikoum, Mezab is the state of struggle, its history is full of achievements and victories as well as historic characters who aren't present in any other place in the world. All a visitor wishes from the people of Ghardaia, he finds it, hospitality, generosity and bounty. Thanks to God.


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    brahim bnesalah 2007-7-30

    Salam alaikoum, my sincere thanks to all those who contributed to writing this interesting topic. I hope that we'll continue on this way to present our cities in general, to know them better and visit them instead of visiting foreign countries outside dear Algeria while we know nothing or ignore our dear nation. Thanks.


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    الحطاب 2007-7-27

    I wish to go to the dear Ghardaia.


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    الحطاب 2007-7-27

    Salam alaikoum, thank you to this interesting site, for flying into the heart of Oued Mizab and living with its honest sons and melting in its fine people, oh Lord.


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    مزابي 2007-7-7

    Thanks for the topic, but there are some errors that I hope to be corrected.


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    مصطفى 2007-6-15

    A great city, may God protect them and preserve them


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    يحيى 2007-6-9

    The city of science and koran


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    hgdhhsbg 2007-6-3

    I went last year.


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    djabar 2007-4-28

    More publications


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    ميزابي اصلي 2007-4-23

    May God award you and in fact you were right in what you said and I think that the situation hasn't changed from what it used to be 20 it's in the same state now


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    ريم 2007-4-15

    We like ghardaia and we would like to have a lot of information


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    منير 2007-4-10

    Salam Alaikoum to all of you, thank you for your interest in our dear city and dear country, hope that you also like its nice people, its traditions and customs...see you soon salam


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    bssaoud 2007-4-4

    thank you very much for your fair report about our city you have been quite fair and realistic i wish you full success massood guerrara algeria


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    توفيق 2007-3-23

    Salamou alaikoum, I want to thank you for investigating the truth, we wish you to publish a similar article about Ibadia, thank you.


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    عمر 2007-2-23

    Thanks for the valuable information. Please give us more!


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    سعيد افلح 2007-2-16

    Peace and blessing of the Lord be upon you! Thank you for the attention you gave to our city and the nice article about it. I want to clarify that the compulsory military draft that you say exempt people of the town. It is not true. All residents proudly serve in the army when called!


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    ترشين الحاج 2007-1-22

    Thanks to God with whose grace all good thinks happen. Thank you very much for this good attention to the Beni Mzab community. There is however a point that I would like to raise. Beni Mzab are not Khawarij (dissidents) as some claim may the Lord guide them. There is no point in arguing with them because their culture is limited or nearly inexistent. I can only tell them what God said in the Quran "IF the ignorant talk to them, they say peace" God is all truthful.


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    عبد العزيز 2007-1-17

    Peace be upon you! Thank you for this subject. But there are some words that people who don't know the city won't understand.


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    kacem 2006-12-24

    Peace be upon you dear brother! I am from beni Mzab. Thank you for this great article. It is the best of the articles so far written perhaps because the writer is from the region and sough professional integrity in conveying the message. Thank you all. There are minor errors though which some brothers have asked to be corrected such as our being exempt from military duty because this is of course incorrect. The term "Mzabi sect" is inconsistent, "Bzabi community" is better. We should also thank our brothers for such great site. Let our image be better for people. Thank you Mr. Nazim.


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    amir 2006-12-12

    Thanks to everybody, but I think that the situation has completly changed today, because factors did change, like the opening of the town to anyone...Please, analyze this point.


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    حــــــــــسان 2006-11-8

    thank you for the valuable information. Beni Mzab are truly a source of pride for Algeria!


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    merzak 2006-11-6

    Hi. Thank you very much for these details about Mozabit community. As an Algerian, I read your article with great pleasure. I think it was very discerning, but I would like some more information about architecture and its impact on society. I am fond of this culture and lifestyle, that remain largely unknown to most Algerians. Thank you.


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    daoud 2006-10-1

    Being Mozabite, I read with great interest your reportage, which I found accurate. Thank you for thinking of us, for being professional and for not using stereotypes.


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    Said Bouhari 2006-10-1

    Hi. Thank you to Nazim Fethi for this attempt to present M’zab and Mozabits. Apart from some relevant details, it lacks precision, though, probably due to a lack of research and deep-going analysis. Being a native from Beni-Isguen, I would like to guide readers, make a few corrections and add some comments. Morals: In M’Zab, the region that encompasses the wilaya of Ghardaïa, society managed to compensate for the lack of state thanks to social networks. Nevertheless, population and economic activity in the region could attract non local populations to this great southern wilaya, which consequently has led to the presence of beggars on the streets. Besides, the interest of this town and the craze for its migrants resulted, among others, in certain damaging effects like theft and delinquency, even if figures remain very low comparend to the rest of the country. Faith : Mozabits are sunnite Muslims, of the ibadite rite, from its founder, Abdullah Ibn Ibad. Ibadite faith is an indissociable part of all other sunnite schools, namely Malekit. Differences are trivial compared to what they have in common. Citizenship and national implication: In spite of its particularism, Mozabits live peacefully and actively in Algerian society, whatever the region. Mozabits take part in social, economic, cultural, safety development (they can be invoved like any other Algerian citizen, namely as far as military duty is concerned). Deep believers, Mozabits are largely respectful of laws, they like co-existence but not submission, because the only form of submission they accept is submission to God. They like religious and intellectual independancy and refuse to be taken over by any political party. Architecture : typical Mozabit house: if the sunny aspect is important, because each one deserves some sun during the day, one has to take account the notion of neighborhood. Openings must not open on a neighbor’s yard and violate privacy. Economy: Mozabits live mainly from little businesses all over the country: Textile, hardware, grocery are their favorite sectors. But Ghardaïa’s region also has emerging industries, as glass, milk, yarns, etc. For some 20 years, Mozabits have become more and more involved in the service sector, adapting thsemselves to the harsh realities of the Algerian market and as a result of a weak educational system. If this social system has proved to be good, then apply the same principle to an economic system based on mutual aid, self confidence and dedication to work will be as productive and efficient. For the Mozabits, it is a question of survival.


  134. Anonymous thumb

    Said Bouhari 2006-10-1

    Hi. Thank you to Nazim Fethi for this attempt to present M’zab and Mozabits. Apart from some relevant details, it lacks precision, though, probably due to a lack of research and deep-going analysis. Being a native from Beni-Isguen, I would like to guide readers, make a few corrections and add some comments. Morals: In M’Zab, the region that encompasses the wilaya of Ghardaïa, society managed to compensate for the lack of state thanks to social networks. Nevertheless, population and economic activity in the region could attract non local populations to this great southern wilaya, which consequently has led to the presence of beggars on the streets. Besides, the interest of this town and the craze for its migrants resulted, among others, in certain damaging effects like theft and delinquency, even if figures remain very low comparend to the rest of the country. Faith : Mozabits are sunnite Muslims, of the ibadite rite, from its founder, Abdullah Ibn Ibad. Ibadite faith is an indissociable part of all other sunnite schools, namely Malekit. Differences are trivial compared to what they have in common. Citizenship and national implication: In spite of its particularism, Mozabits live peacefully and actively in Algerian society, whatever the region. Mozabits take part in social, economic, cultural, safety development (they can be invoved like any other Algerian citizen, namely as far as military duty is concerned). Deep believers, Mozabits are largely respectful of laws, they like co-existence but not submission, because the only form of submission they accept is submission to God. They like religious and intellectual independancy and refuse to be taken over by any political party. Architecture : typical Mozabit house: if the sunny aspect is important, because each one deserves some sun during the day, one has to take account the notion of neighborhood. Openings must not open on a neighbor’s yard and violate privacy. Economy: Mozabits live mainly from little businesses all over the country: Textile, hardware, grocery are their favorite sectors. But Ghardaïa’s region also has emerging industries, as glass, milk, yarns, etc. For some 20 years, Mozabits have become more and more involved in the service sector, adapting thsemselves to the harsh realities of the Algerian market and as a result of a weak educational system. If this social system has proved to be good, then apply the same principle to an economic system based on mutual aid, self confidence and dedication to work will be as productive and efficient. For the Mozabits, it is a question of survival.


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