Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Maghreb
The term Maghreb comes from Arabic المغرب العربي (meaning "place of sunset") and, as a foreign term is disliked by some of the region's indigenous Berbers, many who prefer "Tamazgha." However, as "Maghreb" is much more widely used internationally, I'm using it here, without meaning to offend. On the same note, many Berbers also don't like the term "Berber," as it comes from the Greek bárbaros or "barbarian." Many prefer a variant of "Imazighen" but no one term is agreed upon by the the Tuareg, Moors, and other Berber people so, similarly, I'll use "Berber" in this entry for the sake of familiarity.
In the Maghreb, press freedom is almost nonexistent. Mauritania
, which enjoys the highest Press Freedom
rating, comes in at 95 out of 178 according to Reporters sans frontières
. State-sanctioned coverage of political unrest in the region is usually restricted to demonstrations against Israeli
apartheid or the occupation's supporters. But recently, a wave of protests against Maghrebi's own corrupt governments threatens to bring progressive political change to the region, one of the least democratic on Earth. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit
, Mauritania is also the most democratic state in the region, scoring 3.86 on a scale of 1 to 10 (115th out of 167 countries). By comparison, the United States
scores 8.18 and ranks 17th.