berber & arab culture, all on the same day

[written on 1/12, even though I wasn't able to post until 1/13...translation: internet down, surprise, surprise]

I'm not berber, nor is my family, but sure do know a lot of people who are (none of whom consider themselves arab, god forbid), and all are celebrating the amazigh new year, or yennayer today. Wishing them all the best today and always.

Also today is the grand opening of "Algiers, Arab Cultural Capital 2007," a year-long celebration of the arts. This morning was the opening parade (think Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, but with an all-Arab theme), and tonite was a live musical extravaganza on tv, which I watched for awhile but then turned off (sorry, but it was a bit boring). There was a high point when a young boy spoke about Lebanon, bursting into tears, and then wiped his face and sang a song. After that it was downhill, although after I turned it off I heard there was an interesting Touareg performance. There was also some flamenco and a rather funky number with a sort of Algerian reggaeton singer singing "Allahu Akbar, uh huh, Allahu Akbar, uh huh," while waving his arms in the air.

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