Paul Silverstein

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Paul Silverstein, "assistant professor of anthropology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, recently returned from seven months of fieldwork in southeastern Morocco, where he studied ethnic politics in Berber-speaking southeast Morocco.

"Berbers, the indigenous, non-Arabic speaking people of North Africa, call themselves Imazighen, "free humans" in the Berber language, and have inhabited African north of the Sahara desert since ancient Egyptian times. The name "Berber" originates with the Romans, who followed the Greek custom of designating speakers of unintelligible languages as "barbarians." An Arab minority has politically dominated Morocco and Algeria, leaving Berberphone peoples historically marginalized, though both communities are typically Muslim. In the last few years, however, Berber activism and the desire to establish a national and transnational Berber cultural movement appear to be accelerating.

"Silverstein’s research attempts to understand the relationship between the Berber/Amazigh ethnic struggle, local social organization, and the historical consciousness of socio-economic and political marginality in southeastern Morocco. His research in Morocco this past year was centered on the town of Goulmima in the region of Errachidia...

"To support his ethnographic research in southeastern Morocco, Silverstein received an award of $17,465 from the Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad (FRA) Program and an additional $12,135 from the United States Institute of Peace." (2004) [1]

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