Tuareg, Tamajaq in France

Tuareg, Tamajaq
Photo Source:  Link Up Africa 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Tuareg, Tamajaq
Country: France
10/40 Window: No
Population: 26,000
World Population: 1,690,500
Primary Language: Tamajaq, Tawallammat
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tuareg
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Tuaregs are one of the most unusual Berber peoples. Their homeland stretches from the western Sahara to western Sudan. They prefer the name "Tamacheq" over Tuareg, and they are divided into several main political groups or tribal units. Their distinguishing characteristics include the unity of their language, their alphabet which uses "tifinagh" characters, and their complex social organization. Although the origin and early history of the Tuareg are obscure, these tribal nomads appear to have traveled south from North Africa in a series of migrations as early as the seventh century. By the end of the 1300s, Tuareg tribes had established themselves as far south as the Nigerian border. Some of the lands they occupied in West Africa were at one time controlled by France. When French colonialism ended after WWII, many of these Africans were allowed to migrate to France as a source of cheap labor.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Like other African people groups, the Tamacheq in France have escaped the difficult life of their ancestors only to face a new set of challenges. These include racism, discrimination, unemployment, and the disadvantage of not having an education. A few Tamacheqs come to France to sell jewelry made by their skilled artisans, but most of them work as unskilled laborers. Without adequate education they must settle for menial, low-paying work. Hopefully the Tamacheq people in France will enjoy the benefits of higher education in the future. There are Tamacheqs who come to France to stay with friends or family living there. Such networking is a cornerstone of Tamacheq social life. It is common for these West Africans to live in France temporarily to earn money, then return home to their families.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tamacheq are Sunni Muslims who also engage in a variety of ethnic rituals and magic. They are considered to be lukewarm in their practice of Islam because of their traditional animistic practices. Those in France are more likely to participate in religious activities at the mosque than in African religion.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tamachaq need economic and educational assistance in order to compete in France's difficult job market. They also need to hear the truth of the gospel message.

Prayer Points

Pray for Lord to speak to the Tamachaq in the midst of their need. Pray for mission and Christian humanitarian organizations to reach out to them and demonstrate God's love. Pray for many Tamachaq to put their faith in Christ and to take the Good News back to their families and communities in Africa.

Text Source:   Joshua Project