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Berber language heard but not seen in Siwa Oasis

The Siwi language, used by Berbers in the Siwa Oasis, is considered endangered by UNESCO, but political obstacles prevent efforts to document and promote it.

In the far northwest of Egypt, only 30 miles (59 kilometers) east of the Libyan border and some 350 miles (560 kilometers) from the Nile Valley, the Siwa Oasis is one of the most remote areas in the country.

An agricultural land famous for its dates and olives, the oasis is has become more recognized for its tourism potential in the last decade. It is the easternmost door to the land of the Berbers, an indigenous people of North Africa whose presence spreads from the Canary Islands to Siwa. Medieval Arabic geographers mention their presence in the oasis in their written accounts that date back to 12th century. At present, they number around 25,000.

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