This book's ambition is to offer the most recent scholarship on North African cultures at a time when the very notion of culture is being re-evaluated in the shifting tides that both associate and divorce the forces of nationalism, globalism and neo-liberalism. Another ambition is to be a readable document about the past and the potential of North African civilizations. Those which have been crystallized into a polysemic voice from centuries of occupations, exchanges and what is now commonly called hybridizations. In this work the collective position of the authors, with their different fields of experience, is that the languages, musics, and the many expressions of common life in North Africa continue to flourish. That they are a bridge between sub-Saharan peoples and Europe. That they are a necessary antidote to the anemic political discourses that have prevailed since decolonization. That they are seminal for the future of the African continent as it begins its true voyage into democracy. It is difficult, at this juncture, to measure the distance that, in the decades to come, will be achieved on that voyage. It is, however, less difficult to evaluate the importance of North Africa on tomorrow's world. If the past is an indicator, it will be an important force in the cross-flow of trade, ideas and of global destinies.