Thursday, 1 November 2012

Djamila Bouhired ( b.1935) Revolutionary and Icon.

In memory of the Algerian Revolution, 1st 1953, Djamila Bouhired is a leading Algerian heroine and revolutionary,
She fought in the war of national liberation 1954 -1982, and has worked as a vocal activist in the movement for womens rights in Independent Algeria. She joined the Algerian National Liberation Front ( FLN) while a student activist  to fight for Independence from France. She and other women played a critical role during the battle for Algeria, which began on September 1956. She assisted the FLN leader, Saaadi Yacef, in recruiting young muslims from the capital who could pass as Europeans. Dressed as Frenchwomen she and two other female militants placed concealed bombs in the European sections  of Algeria. Two exploded, causing civilian casualties, her bomb failed to detonate.These actions must be remembered in the context of the daily oppression that theAlgerians recieved at the time. This event and others unleashed the Battle of Algiers, which raged until 1957, when she was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to appalling torture. In July she was sentenced to death by the guillotine after a trial deemed a travesty of justice. However she became a cause celebre  because of international media coverage of the French army's systematic use of torture, and she was eventually released.
She continued to be actively involved in feminist politics, advocating fundamental transformations in the legal, political abnd social status of Algerias women roviding a new generation with a role model of an active anti-colonial fighter.

Further Reading

The Wretched of the Earth - Franz Fanon
(Penguin, 1967)

My Battle of Algiers - Ted Morgan
(Smithosian Books)

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