In the picture you see three young girls of the” Maure (Moor) people in one of the project’s partner villages. Their mother language is called ” Hassanyia “.
The term Moor refers historically to people of Berber, Black african and Arab descent who came originally from Northern Africa and conquered and ruled the Iberian Peninisula. Their rule was a long and powerful one and lasted for over 800 years. The peninsula, today Spain and Portugal, was given the name ” Al Andalus ” by the Moors.
The Moors of Al Andalus brought regions under their control as far as today’s Mauretania, parts of Senegal and West-Africa.
The term Mauri, in French ” Maure”, was later used by European traders and explorers venturing into these regions, to describe the Berber and Arab groups that speak an Arab dialect called ” Hassanyia “.
Hassanyia is a very beautiful and melodic language to my ears.It exists only in certain parts of this world. Nara is one of them.
It is argued that the Moors who speak Hassanyia, or even the Moors in general, are not a distinct ethnical group. But once you have contact with their people it is evident how strong and distinct their cultural identity is.
I have mentioned that the Sahel region is one of the poorest on earth. But it’s people are one of the most graceful and proudest on earth that I have ever met.