The language is one of the most common barriers for foreigners / Egyptians living or staying for a long time in the oasis of Siwa. Although almost all Siwans do speak Arabic, often among each other they speak Siwi, leaving others puzzled. ConnectIn Groups is now offering the course “Sawal Siwi?” (do you speak Siwan?) to overcome this barrier.
Siwa is the only place in Egypt where Siwan, the Egyptian dialect of the Tamazight language, is spoken. Siwans (originally called Berbers) migrated long ago from countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Libya, and although over the centuries many customs have been lost, the language is very much still alive.
Mistakenly, Siwan / Tamazight is often confused with a dialect of Arabic, but it must be noted that Siwan is really a language of its own. Although in Egypt it is merely a spoken language, in countries like Morrocco, with support of the Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture, much attention is given to keep the script alive as well.