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Difference Between Arab and Berber

Arab vs Berber 

Berbers and Arabs are two racial groups living in close proximity. Both groups have their own distinct culture and tradition.

Like many racial groups, identification and membership or “becoming” an Arab or Berber is defined by many standards. These standards include: genealogy, language, traditions, culture, heritage, and history. In addition, both racial groups are not homogenous nor do they belong to one group identity.

Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa. As a racial group, they reside primarily in North Africa while most Arabs live in the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

Both groups have different languages. The Berber language belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages while the Arabic language is from the same family.

Berbers and Arabs have major and minor settlements in different countries. For the Berbers, they are the dominant race group in Morocco. In addition, there are Berber settlements in Algeria, Tunisia, Canary Islands, Libya, and Egypt. On the other hand, Arabs are mainly concentrated in the Middle East, other parts of Asia, and North Africa.

Berbers and Arabs also differ in their appearance. Many Berbers have European features like red or blonde hair. In addition, some might have blue or green eyes. These features are common due to the Europeans who came to North Africa as prisoners or slaves. On the other hand, Arabs predominantly have brown skin, brown or black eyes, and black hair.

One common denominator between Berbers and Arabs is faith. The majority of Berbers are Muslims, but their faith is mixed with traditional practices. They are mostly Sunni Muslims. Arabs are also Muslims. They are generally classified as Sunni or Shia depending on the country, area, and the disposition of the person.

Many Berber settlements are usually located in rural areas, the countryside, or the mountains. These settlements were formed due to foreign invasions, including the Arab conquests in North Africa. Meanwhile, Arab settlements are located mainly in Asia, particularly in the Middle East. Most Arabs live in cities and urban areas.

Many Berbers are treated like second-class citizens as they are usually perceived as peasants. In addition, the Arab conquests did not help but isolate them further into their current settlements. Arabs, on the other hand, are perceived to be nomads but now are considered urban people.

Summary:

  1. Arabs and Berbers are two racial groups. Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa while Arabs are native to the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. Despite living on different continents, Berbers and Arabs live near each other since Asia and Africa have a landform that connects one to another.
  2. Both groups have their own language. The Berber language is a part of the Afro-Asiatic linguistic family. The Arabian language is also a member of this language family.
  3. The largest settlement of Berbers is in Morocco while the Middle East is the hub of Arabs.  In terms of size, Arabs live in large urban settlements. On the other hand, Berbers live in small settlements in rural places, countrysides, and mountains.
  4. Berbers have distinct European features like blonde and red hair as well as blue and green eyes. On the other hand, Arabs are more Asian in appearance with black hair, brown or black eyes, and brown skin.
  5. Berbers are accustomed to foreign invaders like Europeans and Arabs. Meanwhile, Arabs are known to be conquerors due to their trade and the promulgation of the Muslim faith.
  6. The majority of Berbers and Arabs are Muslims. Berber Muslims practice Islam with a bit of their traditional practices. They are mostly Sunni. Meanwhile, Arabs can be Sunni or Shia depending on the area they live in.

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17 Comments

  1. Berber’s only make up 1/3 of the moroccan people….

    • ur soo mistaken !!

    • North Africa is mostly Berbers except Egypt
      But also there are Berbers in Siwa,Egypt
      Actually Morocco was and is still a centre of Berber culture
      Berbers have made many great empires like Fatimids,Zirids,Watassids,Almoravids,Almohads ,etc
      Thus the Berbers were conquerors too
      Berbers wete dreaded in war and wete known for their excellence in wars and fight

    • Actually the Imazighen make up 60% of the Moroccan population, the arabs are just retarded and are unable to perform a correct statistical analyses.

      But the arabs will get kicked out for a second time by the Imazighen, we’re just building up our forces. 🙂

    • You guys are so wrong! !!
      The majority of north africa was at some point berber or amazigh
      We’re all amazigh, There are different types of Amazigh ,we have tuareg , kabyle etc so we’re quite diverse.
      However it depends on your geographical location , there are algerians that live to east or north for instance have less less amazigh genes as compared the ones at west (closer to marocco) so the author of this article has made a good point, I don’t know what caused this, I don’t think it’s just the Arabs as many empires came after the Muslim and Arab empire. SOME algerians for instance might have almost the same percentage of genetic makeup of arabs as kabyle , as well as others such as European (Mediterranean ) and some subsaharan as well . It depends , you guys should watch the genetic test result on YouTube .

      I think the author of this article has made a mistake about arabs regarding genes , You can’t pain’t them all under the same brush. We have gUlf, we have palestinian and Syrian and lebanese which have European feautres as well, I have met pale Gulf arabs with with light eyes not sure what kind of ancestry tho maybe persian or Levant

      The language of berber has been mixed with arabic and darija was created so it shows that everyone spoke amazigh at some point. Then Spanish/french/Italian which came later on

  2. there is such a huge different between arabs and berbers, its more then just what you wrote.

  3. All what you say it’s false , it’s just derived from pan-arabiste , berber in Morocco are in the top of the rich person in Morocco and they’re the majority more than 65% there is the arabized berber who talk morrocan dialect and the other who still talk the berber language (tifanagh) and the tifanagh language is officiel in Moroccan Constitution, they don’t live only in montains and rurals , they exist Zenates they lived in history next to beach , chaoui ppl … the one who live in mountains it’s the one who’re agriculture , or the one who have a troups , the economic capital of Morocco is full of them and how can you explain that 90% of moroccan cities have berber name ??

  4. berber features from the mountains have a light skin and are beasts

  5. most berbers that i know from tunisie looks more african. darker, dark hair, curls, etc. like mulattos with some arab. not european.

    • Some American wrote this, they love to pretend that North Africa is comprised of white people. Most people will believe them, because they won’t go to Africa and find out. Then when they see African looking people, they will say that they were slaves. Americans!

  6. This website is so biased, narrow minded and unauthentic source. North Africa have been invaded by 8 different nations, these include the Phoencians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Persians, Arabs, Turks and French.
    Berbers come in different colours not only blond with blue eyes, they vary from dark to light. Berbers can be from North and South, in some Sahara deserts. Berbers can distinguish from an Arab or non-Arab by which tribe they come from.
    Berbers religion origins was from the Hellenistic branch. They had the Baals which is known as gods or lord. Few years later, it became, a mix of Muslims of Sunni, Sufi and Ibadites, Catholic Christians and Sephardi Jews due to colonization. Now, It is mostly Muslims and minorities of Catholic Christians and Atheists.
    Berbers Language is Tifinagh, it was introduced by the Phoencians. Tifinagh is inspired by ancient Aramaic language. Each tribe have adopted different accents and slang, so it varies from region to another. While the Arabian language is not part of the family, it is rather a separate one from Aramaic. Arabic language may be dominant in North Africa due to strong Arabisation because the power was in hands of Arabs. Therefore Berbers lost their native language and implemented Arabic language on Berber citizens for communication between the Arabs.

    • Hey! Do you have a website ? I think you have a lot of knowledge about the Berber culture. I would like to know more about your battle for the survival of this culture, which I strongly identify to.

    • Not to mention the Berber dialects have also been infused into the Arabic spoken in countries like alegeria. Its not either Arabic or Berber really, is more like a mix between the two. People keep thinking that they’re two different people but due to cultural diffusion and the evolution of the society they’re all kind of put together as one nation. Sure there are Berbers who only speak Berber and only say around Berbers but when u go up north its more likely that thure infused together. They oversimplified it in this article

      • You are absolutely right. I am a foreigner with residences in Tangier and Essaouira.
        Most of the Berbers these days are mixed with the Arabs. Their skin tone no longer tell the difference between the two of them. But a Berber still always identified as one when asked about their ancestry. My way of asking is always rather subtle, like:”Votre famille est de Tanger, monsieur?” And the story will start flowing. The Berber are fiercely independant, shrewd, and always politically aware. They are also the best business partners in the land simply because they are so well connected from North to South, like the Jews in Morocco in the old days. If one study their appearance very closely, the Berbers tend to have finely chiselled facial feature, even if their skin is very dark. Many of them also bear uncanny resemblance to Sephardic Jews. The current King’s wife is officially an Arab. But one cannot deny that her family name, Benanni, descents from the Jewish family from Fez who converted to Muslim during Almoravid’s time (?), and her feature is very Berber, almost Germanic Vandals. She is a commoner, but her family belongs to the “makers of Kings” from Fez, with Arab, Berber and Sephardic Jewish blood mixed. It is very difficult in general as foreigner to find whether someone is Arab or Berber in Morocco, other than wait until he reveal himself. The current Alaouite Dynasty is the embodiment of what Moroccan people are (though many Berbers would disagree). They are Muslim, identify themselves as part of the Arab World, but in reality has more Jewish, Berber, Saharan and even Germanic Vandals or Visigoth blood in the entire family. This happen due to the fact that all Moroccan Kings marries only the prettiest girls in town after the founder of the dynasty killed all important male family members of the previously toppled one. The current dynasty has been around since the 18th century, and ethnically very diverse. Mohammed V’s Mother was a Berber, Hassan II’s Mother was the prettiest dark-skinned Jewess from the south, a gift from Glaoui, Mohammed VI’s Mother was a natural dark blond, and now his wife has raven hair, very Vandal). They are all Muslims, and all 100% Moroccans.
        Foreigners have a tendency to try putting Moroccan indegeneous ethnicities in one box. That is not wise. It is just like trying to put all Italians in one sub-ethnic group. That is impossible. Because just like Italy and Spain, Morocco has been swept so many times by conquerers since the 500 BC, who settled, and mingle with the indegenous people. The Phoenicians (Lebanese) – who left a huge sacred burial ground in Tangier – came first. Then the Algerian Greek (Cleopatra daughter Selena and her husband briefly ruled this land from its capital in the border of Algeria), then the Romans who left the amazing city and Olive-oil factory in Vollubilis, followed by the Vandals who did what they do best, smashing everything, and last came the Arabs (Iraqi?) with the establishment of the Idrissi Dynasty, the first Muslim Dynasty in Morocco. Unlike Turkey that has been very refined since time in memoriam, with all the Greek temples and dazzlingly glorious old churches and palaces, Morocco has always been very rustic, and will always be. But it’s equally beautiful, if not even more beautiful. From Tangier to Ouazzarzat, one will find a group of the most hospitable people (and some crooks, too, of course), who know how to execute beauty in the simplest forms. Be it in way of life or in their craftsmanship.

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