Arab-Berber (Arabic: العرب والبربر; French: Arabo-berbères) is a term to denote an inhabitant of the North African Maghreb who is of mixed Arab and Berber origin and whose native language is a dialect of Arabic or more specifically Maghrebi Arabic and who also has an Arab ethnic identity.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The Arab-Berber identity came into being as a direct result of the Arab conquest of North Africa, and the intermarriage between the Arabian people who immigrated to those regions and local mainly Berber people; in addition, Banu Hilal and Sulaym Arab tribes originating in the Arabian Peninsula invaded the region and intermarried with the local mainly Berber populations, and were a major factor in the linguistic, cultural and ethnic Arabization of the Maghreb.[7][8]

The Arab-Berber group has to be distinguished from the Arabized Berber groups, who have little Arab ethnic background, or from the pure Arab Bedouin tribes in the Maghreb, or from the pure Berber tribes in the region. The Arabized Berber groups' genetic properties have dominantly Berber and little Arab characteristics, and could be found in Algeria and Morocco[9] but the vernacular language has dominantly Arabic linguistic characteristics and is one of the many dialects of the Arabic language currently spoken within the Arab world.

See also


  1. Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities By Carl Skutsch, page 119
  2. Weiss, Bernard G. and Green, Arnold H.(1987) A Survey of Arab History American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, p. 129, ISBN 977-424-180-0
  3. Ballais, Jean-Louis (2000) "Chapter 7: Conquests and land degradation in the eastern Maghreb" p. 133
  4. Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056775
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