The Ait Ouriaghel (also written as Ayt Waryaɣar or Ayt Uryaɣal in Berber) is the biggest Berber tribe of the Rif region of the north-eastern part of Morocco. Ait Waryagher means "those who do not back off/ those who do not retreat". They inhabit most of the territory around the city of Al Hoceima. The Ayt Waryaghar speak the "Western-Tarifit" dialect of the Riffian language.
The Ayt Waryaɣar 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. Muhammad bin Abd el-Krim al-Khattabi made an alliance with the tribesmen of the Ait Touzine tribe to stop the Spaniards at the Nekor river in Temsamane.
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 Ait Bouayach
- Khams of the Imrabten
- Khams of the Ait Abdallah
- Khams of the Ait 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, Ait Mezdoui and Ait Itteft.
- eastern: Temsaman and Ait Touzin.
- northern: Ibaqoyen.
- southern: Igzennayen and Ait Ammart.
These are the cities that belong to the tribe of the Ait Waryaghar:
- Al Hoceima (107.000 residents), southern part of this city is situated on Ait Waryagher territory.
- Imzouren (28.000 residents)
- Ait Bouayach (17.000 residents)
- Ajdir (3500 residents)
- Ait 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-winning journalist and magazine editor currently banned in Morocco.
- Nasser Zefzafi, Political activist.
- Omar Khattabi, surgeon and political leader tortured during the 1970s.
- Mohammed Ziane, Politician and lawyer.
- 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)