Berbers (Berber or Imazighen ) are the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language and local varieties of it, which together form the "Berber branch" of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Today, varieties of Maghrebi colloquial Arabic are spoken by a large portion of Berbers besides the Berber language itself. Foreign languages like French and Spanish, inherited from European occupation, are used by some educated Berbers in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in some formal contexts such as higher education or business.
Today, most Berber-speaking people live in Morocco and Algeria. Smaller Berber-speaking populations are scattered throughout Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, as well as large migrant communities living in Europe.