Louis-Philippe cynically declared in 1835, “What difference does it make if a 100,000 rifles fire in Africa. Europe doesn’t hear them”. What a mistake he had made!
56 years ago, a handful of young Algerian militants of the PPA/MTLD decided that it was time to put an end to the French presence in Algeria and break-up the war. They did make not only Europe but the whole world hear Algeria’s voice. Many say they were unconscious adventurers; I say they had trust, trust in their just cause and trust in the Algerian people in whom they believed to takeover what they had started.
November the 1st always makes me think of the people who are still colonised, the Palestinians. I think of them and remember what Moufdi Zakaria said in his tribute to this day:
فليت فلسطين تقفو خطانا **** وتطوي كما قد طوينا السنينا
The above song by Farid Ali is was famous in the Kabyle region, and I remember it was sang in every Kabyle high school during the “inter-high schools” TV program. Here are excerpts of its lyrics:
Do not cry dear mother, and do not lose hope;
Very soon we will come back, Inshallah if God wills;
Speak up more and more, Algeria we will revive;
Do not cry dear mother, I will avenge you;
With pride you must speak, I became a soldier;
Fighting in the mountains;
If I will die I’ll do it as a Man, Heavens are awaiting;
I’ll see the prophet’s face;
Weep for me my friends; for Algeria I gave my soul;
I will shortly be back, so please lighten your heart;
I will find you in the house, and will sit next to you;
I’ll tell you our (hi)story;
For this your children are fighting/dying.
الله يرحم الشهداء والمجد والخلود لشهدائنا الأبرار