Algerian Berbers celebrate the Yennayer New Year in Ath Mendes, south of Tizi-Ouzou, east of the capital Algiers, on January 12, 2018. AFP / RYAD KRAMDI
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For the first time official events marking the "Yennayer" celebration were also being held across the entire country of some 40 million people, roughly a quarter of whom are Berber.The mountainous Kabylie region east of Algiers is home to the largest Berber community in Algeria, which is home to around 10 million people who speak Berber.The Berbers, who refer to their community as Amazigh, have long fought for greater recognition for their ancient language and customs, overshadowed by Arabic culture in Algeria and across the region.The Berbers' Tamazight language was first given official status in Algeria in 2002, a year after riots left 126 people dead in Kabylie.
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