Only 1% out of 10 million Tunisians are Berbers. Their history reaches 3000 BC but their culture is slowly disappearing as they integrate with Arabic world. The Berbers were pushed by Arabs in 7 BC to live in desert regions like Sahara. Despite their rough history they call themselves i-Mazigh-en – Free People or Free and Noble Men.
A very strong population of Berbers can be found in Morocco and Algeria. Although in Morocco and Libya their fight for recognition has brought some results (The Berbers Mixed fortunes – The Economist, Feb 26th 2014: ) the small number of Berber community in Tunisia cannot share recent successes of Morocco and Libya Berber’s communities.
It was a rare privilege to be able to visit their home and see how they live on a desert.The houses of Barber people are often made from clay or they are tents made out from goat hair.
Matmata, where Berbers live in Tunisia was used by George Lucas for filming Star Wars episode and sadly it is now more famous because of his success than because of the population inhabiting this region.
The Berbers life is simple. Traditionally they would rise sheep and cattle, although some of them worked in flour mills, doing woodcarving, quarrying millstones, and making pottery or jewelry. Women were involved in general housework, weaving and making pottery.
Their house is simply build and there is no luxurious inside – just what people really need to live. And something like that always makes me think – we all love our gadgets, our smart phones and tablets. They do not have any of these things and seems to be more grateful for what they have than we can ever be -just another way of life and another reminder of not taking anything we have in our life for granted.