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Amazigh protest as Moroccan city names its streets after Palestinian cities

Image of Moroccan Amazigh activists demonstrating for language recognition [Magharebia/Flickr]
Moroccan Amazigh activists demonstrating for language recognition [Magharebia/Flickr]

To highlight the Palestinian cause, City Council of the Moroccan city of Agadir has decided unanimously to name streets after Palestinian cities, Moroccan media has reported.

Most of the residents applauded the decision, which caused a wave of protests on different social media platforms, claiming this undermines the Amazigh identity of the city.

Speaking to Arabi 21, head of the Amazigh Network Abdullah Badou said: "It is possible to accept naming one, two or three streets after Palestinian cities, but to change the names of all the streets in a certain neighbourhood… is rejected."

Badou added: "Agadir is the stronghold of the Amazigh… we do not have a problem with Palestine. Certainly, we support the Palestinians, but we do not agree with those who ignore the nature of the area and the history of Morocco," noting that streets should be named after Moroccan individuals.

Read: Tens of thousands protest in Morocco over jailed Rif activists

Head of the City Council Saleh Al-Malouki told the Moroccan news website Alyaoum24.com that the identity of Agadir, which residents are a mix of Muslims, Jews and Christians, "is at first Moroccan".

"Agadir is proud as it is the city of tolerance and the Amazigh are the core of this city," Al-Malouki said.

Regarding the protests, he said: "This is only limited to social media… for me, this is nonsense and ineffective," noting that those who criticised this move have been always known for searching for mistakes or defects by the council and ignoring their achievements.

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