Iznasen (Morocco)

The Iznasen or Beni Iznasen (Arabic: بني يزناسن‎, Berber : ⵢⴰⵜ ⵉⵣⵏⴰⵙⵏ) are a set of tribes of Zenata Berber origin, inabiting in the northeast of Morocco.

Beni Snassen tribes.png
Iznasen region
Total population
more than 200 000
Berber, Moroccan Arabic
Related ethnic groups


The Beni Iznasen are a group of tribes of Zenata Berber origin. They were originally inhabiting near of Mascara, present-day Algeria, and migrated westwards in the seventh century CE, fleeing the Arab invasion of North Africa.

In the 19th century, they welcomed in the north of their territory a group of 4 Arab tribes of the Angad, who settled in the plain of the Triffa.

In 1859, the people of Beni Iznasen were the target of a French military expedition, directed by the general of Martimprey from colonial Algeria.


The Beni Iznasen land represents a triangular area bounded by the Moulouya river to the west, the Kiss river to the east and the Angad plain to the south. It thus includes the mountainous complex of Beni Iznasen and the Triffa plain.

The Beni Iznasen area thus includes the cities of Berkane, Ahfir, Beni Drar, Fezouane and Tafoughalt, as well as several rural villages.

Tribal compositionEdit

The confederation is made up of 4 main tribes:

  • Ait Khaled
  • Ait Mankouch
  • Ait 'Atiq
  • Ait Ourimech

Beni Iznassen flag

Languages ​​Edit

The Beni-Iznasen speak Eastern Riffian, a Berber language, as well as Moroccan Arabic.

Since the 19th century, Arabic took over the Berber languages, mainly among the Aït Khaled and at the southern margins of the three other tribes.