One of my favorite subjects...the pre-islamic identities of the conquered muslim subject. Here this notion is discussed in some detail. The comments are worth scrolling down .
North Africa was the granary of imperial Rome and one of the most fertile and productive agricultural regions in the world--until the conquering Arab muslims got their hands on it. The Berbers are a native population of Libya and North Africa, who were deeply influenced by the Phoenicians who were the founders of the remarkable city-state of Carthage. The Berbers are still there. The seafaring and Semitic Phoenicians were originally from the East coast of the Mediterranean, today's Lebanon and northern Israel.
It is a hopeful sign when we see the victims of Arab-islamic imperialism defiantly pushing back while firmly grounded in their own history.