The Ait Waryagher (also written as Ait Ouariaghel or Beni Ouariaghel in Arabic) is the biggest Amazigh tribe of the Rif region of the north-eastern part of Morocco. They inhabit most of the territory around the city of Al Hoceima. In Ait Waryaghar they talk Riffian language that belongs to the dialect of "Western-Tarifit".
The Aith Waryaghar were the main group which participated in the Rif wars (see Republic of the Rif) against the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco at the beginning of 20th century. The Spanish authorities considered it the nucleus of insumisión to the colonial authority in the Eastern zone of the protectorate (see Battle of Annual).
During the Rif War of 1921-1926, the leadership of the Aith Waryaghar was concentrated in the Al-Khattabi family and, in particular, in the person of Muhammad bin Abd el-Krim al-Khattabi. Its centre was the small locality of Ajdir in the bay of Al Hoceima.
The Ait Waryaghar are with the Ikeräiyen the only Riffian tribes that make use of the Khmas system. A khams (singular for Khmas) is a sort of independent tribe inside a tribe, with their own qaid (tribe-leader). These are the five Khmas of the Ait Waryaghar:
- Khams of the Ait Youssef Ou Ali
- Khams of the Bni Bouayach
- Khams of the Imrabten
- Khams of the Bni Abdallah
- Khams of the Bni Hadifa
After the independence of Morocco in 1956 there was a national board regime implemented, while the previously applicable khmas system became discontinued.
The tribe of the Ait Waryaghar covers a large area in the center of the Rif. The Ait Waryaghar borders on the following tribes:
- western: Targuist, Bni Boufrah and Bni Itteft.
- eastern: Temsaman and Bni Touzine.
- northern: Ibaqoyen.
- southern: Gzennaya and Bni Ammart.
These are the cities that belong to the tribe of the Ait Waryaghar:
- Al Hoceima (107.000 residents)
- Imzouren (28.000 residents)
- Bni Bouayach (17.000 residents)
- Ajdir (3500 residents)
- Bni Hadifa (3000 residents)
- Tamassint (1800 residents)
Famous people from the Ait Uryaghel
- Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi, Military leader and president of the anti-colonial Rif Republic
- Ali Lamrabet, Award-wining journalist and Magazine editor currently banned in Morocco.
- Jamal Benomar, current Special Adviser on Yemen to the United Nations
- Nordin Amrabat, Dutch-born Moroccan football player
- Mohamed Mrabet, storyteller
- Abdelkader Ouaraghli, former international goalkeeper.
- Ibrahim Affelay, Dutch-born Moroccan football player
- Mounir El Hamdaoui, Dutch-born Moroccan football player
- Saïd Boutahar, Dutch-born Moroccan football player
- David Montgomery Hart, The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif (Tucson, Arizona, 1976)