The Maghreb is the western region of North-Africa. It consists of 6 countries- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania.
The term Maghreb is of Arabic origin denoting the western-most states that fell to Islamic conquests in 7th Century. In 1989 the Maghreb Union was formed to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market. It was based on the initiative of Muammer al-Gaddafi who wished to promote it as a super-Arab state, ignoring the Berber identity of many people in the region. Of late the Berber activists are trying to popularize the Berber term ‘Tamazhga’ for this.
The Maghreb has been in the news this year because of the peoples’ protests that have affected all the nations of the Maghreb to varying degrees. Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco saw major protests, some of which are continuing in the present.