dimanche 4 décembre 2011

Algeria: The Jeanne d’Arc of Djurdjura, "Lalla Fatma N'Soumer."

 His real name Fadhma Nat Si Hmed was born in 1830 in the village of Ouardja near Ain El Hammam (Kabylie) 150 km from Algiers. She studied at the Islamic school linked to Zawyia Rahmaniya of Sidi Mohamed Ibn Abderrahmane Abu Qabrein led by his father Sidi Mohamed Ben Aissa. At his death, she took over the management of the madrassa in collaboration with his brother Si Mohan Tayeb.
At the age of sixteen, she is quite popular in Kabylia when French soldiers occupied the region without violence. Forcibly married to Yahia Ikhoulaf Nath, she simulates the dementia her wedding night. Her husband divorce her without granting the divorce. She joined the resistance alongside Mohamed Ben Abdallah "Sheriff Boubaghla" for the defense of Djurdjura.
In 1854, she is 24 years old, when she takes the head of an army of men and women (7,000 fighters). She imposes a real lesson in courage and determination to the French army during the Battle of Oued Sebaou.
         She fought so valiantly that the French historian Louis Massignon (1883-1962) nicknamed the "Jean d'Arc of Djurdjura." His courage and his victories are sung in mosques and in Zawiyas.
In 1854, after the fall of Azzazga and the bloody repression of General Randon, she calls people to "fight for Islam, land and freedom." His troops defeat the enemy llliten, Larba, Ain Taourigh, Taourirt Moussa and Tachkrit (800 deaths in the French ranks, including 56 officers and 371 wounded).
         The French troops are forced to call on reinforcements and more sophisticated weapons (they reach the number of 45,000 men). She ordered a retreat on Takhhjt Nath Aïssou especially as the enemy use of scorched earth policy and massacres of innocent people, it is supported by General MacMahon from Constantine.
After the debacle of 1854, General Jacques Louis Randon (1795-1871) is seeking a cease-fire accepted by Lalla Fatma N'Soumer. The truce is constantly violated by the French, but allows Kabyle resistant to reorganize.
         In 1857, hostilities resumed but Lalla Fatma N'Soumer and his troops fought. It is stopped (with a number of his lieutenants) and then trapped Issers Tablat in Zaouia Beni Slimane. After seven years of isolation, she died at Ath Takhlijt Atsou in 1863 following a crippling disease at the age of 33 years.
         In 1994, his ashes were transferred from the cemetery of Sidi Abdellah to 100 km from the Zaouia Boumal Tourtatine to the square of the martyrs in El Alia Algiers. His monumental statue was erected in Tizi-Ldjama At-Bu-Yussef on January 18, 2008.
From: Jean, I.N. KANYARWUNGA, Dictionnaire biographique des Africains (Biographical Dictionary of African), Editions Le Cri, Bruxelles, 2012.

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