Amazigh Kateb (b. September 16, 1972), is a French singer of Algerian origin. He was the lead singer of the group Gnawa Diffusion founded in 1992. He is the son of Yacine Kateb the founder of modern algerian literature.Gnawas was the name given to slaves from guinea who were brought to Morocco and Algeria and converted to islam.
Amazigh is a Berber term meaning “a free man.” Amazigh Kateb Yassin, as his name suggests, is a free man!
Amazigh is considered the blues singer of North Africa. As a young singer, he founded the group Ghanawa Diffusion that became well known in the French and Algerian music scenes, distinguishing itself by combining the traditional and the modern.
"I am also very proud of the most beautiful gift I received from my father, my name: “Amazigh.” This name disturbs the “Arabized” and the Berbers alike. The Arabs want me to be part of them without my Berber name, and the Berbers blame me for not commanding their language. I find this condition infinitely amusing."
He was born in the Algerian capital, from which he and his father fled for France a few days before the events of October, 1988 (the beginning of the conflict between the government and the Islamic opposition). Amazigh settled in the city of Grenoble, far away from glamorous Paris. He hadn't returned to Algeria except once, to bid farewell to his dead father, whose novel, “Star,” is considered a milestone in modern Algerian consciousness. Then Amazigh Kateb Yassin finally returned to his city after a long time in May 2001, right at the peak of the demonstrations which saw tens of thousands of Berbers in the streets, marching in defense of their rights and cultural uniqueness. He left the Gnawa Group in 2007 to become a solo singer.
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