May 16, 1898
|Died||June 3, 1974 76) (aged|
|Children||Ali Messali Hadj (1930-2008), Djanina Messali-Benkelfat (1938-)|
Ahmed Ben Messali Hadj (May 16, 1898 - June 3, 1974), commonly known as Messali Hadj, Arabic : مصالي الحاج, was an Algerian nationalist politician dedicated to the independence of his homeland from French colonial rule. He is often called the "father" of Algerian nationalism.
He co-founded the Étoile nord-africaine , and founded the Parti du peuple algérien and the Mouvement pour le triomphe des libertés démocratiques before dissociating himself from the armed struggle for Independence in 1954. He also founded the Mouvement national algérien to counteract the ongoing efforts of the Front de libération nationale .
Ahmed Ben Messali Hadj was born in Tlemcen in 1898. His father Hadj Ahmed Messali was of Turkish originand his mother Ftéma Sari Ali Hadj-Eddine belonged to a family of seven daughters, raised in Muslim traditions by their father, a cadi, a member of the Darqawiyya brotherhood. He was educated in a local French primary school and also received a religious education influenced by the Darqawiyya Sufi order.
Messali Hadj served in the French army from 1918 to 1921; having trained in Bordeaux and then promoted as sergeant in 1919.By October 1923, at the age of 25, Messali Hadj went to Paris to find work; upon his arrival, he sold bonnets and Tlemceni handicrafts, and he also enrolled in Arabic-language university courses. During his time in Paris, Messali Hadj met his French wife, Émilie Busquant, a worker revolutionary’s daughter. His time in Paris also corresponded with the first meetings of Maghribi workers in France which called for the independence of all colonies. Abdelkader Hadj Ali recruited Messali Hadj to the French Communist Party (PCF) colonial commission in 1925.
In 1926 Messali Hadj founded the " Étoile Nord-Africaine " (ENA).Consequently, he became one of the most prominent Algerian nationalists seeking to remove all French forces and to end French colonial rule in Algeria. Messal Hadj went to Brussels in 1927 to outline the ENA’s demands for the abolition of the Indigénat and amnesty for all those convicted under it; moreover, he listed several other demands including: the right to form trade unions, education for all, and social welfare and representational legislation. By 1929 the ENA was banned in France once its links with the French Communist Party were severed. Thereafter, Messali Hadj rebranded the ENA several times in the 1930s and 1940s; hence, he would find himself frequently jailed or exiled.
By 1935 Messali Hadj reorganised the " Étoile Nord-Africaine " (ENA) party and distanced it from the French communists by presenting it as an Algerian nationalist organisation called the "Union Nationale des Musulmans Nord-Africains". However, whilst he was in temporary exile in Geneva, Switzerland, Messali Hadj met Shakib Arslan and reoriented from Marxism to Pan-Arabism and Islamism. Consequently, Messali Hadj reorganised his nationalist movement as the "Parti du Peuple Algérien" (PPA) in March 1937.
However, in March 1941 Messali Hadj was tried by a Vichy court and sentenced to 16 years of hard labour. He was confined first to southern Algeria and then in Brazzaville in French Equatorial Africa. Nonetheless, he continued to be active in the Algerian nationalist movement. Once World War II came to an end, he was amnestied and returned to Algeria. However, straining relations between the "Parti du Peuple Algérien" and the "Amis du Manifeste et de la Liberté" (AML), as well as the decision to arrest and deport Messali Hadj, contributed to the outbreak of riots in Sétif and Constantinois on May 8, 1945.It was the first day of peace after the Nazi surrender in World War II and despite the celebrations in France, the mood of the French remained somber. France was low on resources, fuel, and raw materials, its railway infrastructure and industry in ruins. Politically, unrest was mounting, and even the accusation of collaboration was enough to paint a target on someone's back. Meanwhile the Muslims of Algeria were mobilizing to march for their own self-determination under slogans like "Muslims Awaken!" and "It's the Muslim flag that will float over North Africa" appearing on graffitied walls overnight. Messali Hadj had been exiled to Brazzaville as soon as French authorities received word of plans by Parti du Peuple Algérien to escalate the deepening unrest between the French settler colons and the Muslims. The death of some one hundred Europeans during the riots saw the French authorities ruthlessly suppress the Algerian nationalists and the army and police killed approximately 10,000 Muslims.
By 1946 Messali Hadj founded the "Mouvement pour le triomphe des libertés démocratiques" (MTLD) to replace the PPA, which had been outlawed by the French authorities.However, the MTLF was often referred to as the "MTLD-PPA" because, whilst the MTLD pursued public political strategies, the PPA continued to press for independence. By the end of 1947 the PPA-MTLD approved the creation of the Organisation spéciale to accelerate the independence movement. The party achieved considerable success in the elections for the Algerian Assembly. However, Messali Hadj's assertion of Arabism alienated the Kabyles and contributed to the Berberist crisis in 1949.
Once the Algerian War of Liberation began, Messali Hadj sought to compete with the Front de Libération Nationale by mobilising the Mouvement National Algérien (MNA) in December 1954.
After the outbreak of the Algerian War of Independence in 1954 which was started against his wishes, Messali created the Mouvement National Algérien, or MNA (French Algerian National Movement). Messali's followers clashed with the FLN; his was the only socialist faction not absorbed into the Front's fight for independence. The FLN's armed wing, the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) wiped out the MNA's guerrilla apparatus in Algeria early on in the war; the infighting then continued in France, during the so-called "café wars" over control of the expatriate community. According to author Remy Mauduit the FLN’s fight with the Messalists “did not stop until the Messalists were exterminated or forced to rally to the French.” According to this author, 10,000 were killed and another 25,000 wounded in the conflict.In 1958, Messali supported the proposals of President Charles de Gaulle, and France probably attempted to capitalize on the internal rivalries of the nationalist movement. During negotiation talks in 1961 the FLN did not accept the participation of the MNA, and this led to new outbursts of fighting.
In 1962, as Algeria gained independence from France, Messali tried to transform his group into a legitimate political party, but it was not successful, and the FLN seized control over Algeria as a one-party state.
He was married to Émilie Busquant, a French feminist, anarcho-syndicalist and anti-colonial activist.
His daughter, Djanina Messali-Benkelfat, published a book about her father called "Une vie partagée avec Messali Hadj, mon père" ("A Life Shared with Messali Hadj, my Father").
Messali Hadj was in exile in France when he died in 1974. His body was buried in his native Tlemcen.
The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian War of Independence or the Algerian Revolution, and in Algeria itself sometimes called The War of 1 November, was fought between France and the Algerian National Liberation Front from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria winning its independence from France. An important decolonization war, it was a complex conflict characterized by guerrilla warfare, maquis fighting, and the use of torture. The conflict also became a civil war between the different communities and within the communities. The war took place mainly on the territory of Algeria, with repercussions in metropolitan France.
Algerian nationalism has been shaped by Algerian-French dichotomies; tensions between the French, the Berber and the Arabic language and culture; socialist as well as Islamic ideologies; and gendered symbols of nationhood—and continues to evolve in the present manifestations taking place in Algeria. It was inspired by people such as Ben Badis and Djamila Bouhired who were two of the many opposing French colonial rule in Algeria.
Mohamed Boudiaf, also called Si Tayeb el Watani, was an Algerian political leader and one of the founders of the revolutionary National Liberation Front (FLN) that led the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962).
The National Liberation Front is a nationalist political party in Algeria. It was the principal nationalist movement during the Algerian War and the sole legal and the ruling political party of the Algerian state until other parties were legalised in 1989. The FLN was established in 1954 from a split in the Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties from members of the Special Organisation paramilitary; its armed wing, the National Liberation Army, participated in the Algerian War from 1954 to 1962. After the Évian Accords of 1962, the party purged internal dissent and ruled Algeria as a one-party state. After the 1988 October Riots and the Algerian Civil War (1991-2002) against Islamist groups, the FLN was reelected to power in the 2002 Algerian legislative election, and has generally remained in power ever since, although sometimes needing to form coalitions with other parties.
Belkacem Radjef (1909–1989) was born in Fort-National, Algeria and spent 32 years of his life in the fight for the independence Algeria from French colonialism. He joined the first movement for independence, L'Etoile Nord Africaine, in 1930. He became its Treasurer in 1933 and was one of its president's, Messali Hadj, two principal lieutenants and advisors during the 1930s.
The Algerian National Movement was an organization founded to counteract the efforts of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). It was supported and, some say, partly financed by the French who used it to validate the claim that the FLN was not the sole representative of Algerian desires.
Larbi Ben M'hidi, commonly known as Si Larbi or simply as Ben M'hidi, was a prominent revolutionary leader during the Algerian war of independence. He is one of the six founding members of the Front de Libération Nationale that launched an armed revolt throughout Algeria and issued a proclamation calling for a sovereign Algerian state.
The Étoile Nord-Africaine or ENA was an early Algerian nationalist organization founded in 1926. It was dissolved first in 1929, then reorganised in 1933 but was later finally dissolved in 1937. It can be considered a forerunner of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), who fought France during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62).
The Algerian People's Party, was a successor organization of the North African Star, led by veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj. It was formed on March 11, 1937. In 1936, the Etoile Nord Africaine (ENA), its predecessor, had joined the French Front Populaire, a coalition of French leftist political parties in power at the time. The relationship lasted a bit over six months. The Front Populaire dissolved the ENA in January 1937, hence the creation of the PPA two months later. Despite using peaceful methods of protest, the group's members were constantly pursued by the police in France and banned by French colonial authorities in Algeria. From 1938 until 1946, it operated as a clandestine organization. However, it had only moderate activities during World War II. There was also great hope that Algeria would be rewarded for its help in liberating France from the Germans, but in May 1945, the events of the Sétif and Guelma massacre ended all hopes.
The Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties (MTLD), name proposed by Maiza, was created October 1946 to replace the outlawed Parti du Peuple Algerien (PPA). Messali Hadj remained as its president.
Mohamed Khider was an Algerian politician.
Sadek Hadjerès is an Algerian communist.
Slimane Bentebal, better known as Lakhdar Bentobal, is a former Algerian resistance fighter.
Mhamed Yazid was an Algerian independence activist and politician. He joined the nationalist Parti du Peuple Algérien (PPA) in 1942, and later, after moving to Paris, France for university studies, joined its successor organization, the MTLD, where he became a member of the central committee. He was arrested in 1948 and sentenced to two years of prison for "carrying suspicious documents". He later led hunger strikes in prison.
Col. Saïd Mohammedi, or Si Nacer, was an Algerian nationalist and politician.
Saad Dahlab was an Algerian nationalist and politician. A long-time national activist, he played a part in virtually all the early Algerian nationalist movements: L'Étoile Nord-Africaine (ENA), the Parti du Peuple Algérien (PPA) and the Mouvement pour la Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques (MTLD), all of them headed by Messali Hadj.
Mustapha Stambouli was an Algerian nationalist leader.
Dr. Lamine Khene is an Algerian nationalist politician and former officer. At age 16, he joined the Parti du peuple algérien (PPA) and its successor organization MTLD. Later, he joined the Front de libération nationale (FLN), to become an officer in its military wing, the Armée de libération nationale (ALN) during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–61), in which he fought as a guerrilla soldier from 1955. A medical student, in 1956, he was one of the co-founders of the Union générale des étudiants musulmans algériens (UGEMA), the FLN's student organization which later became the national student organization of Algeria.
Omar Oussedik was an Algerian nationalist politician and independence leader, born in a Berber family from the Kabylie region.
Dr. Mohamed Lamine Debaghine was an Algerian politician and independence activist.
Messali, an Algerian of Turkish origin who resided in Paris, founded in 1926 the first modern movement for Algerian independence
Messali Hadj est né le 16 mai 1898 à Tlemcen. Sa famille d'origine koulouglie (père turc et mère algérienne) et affiliée à la confrérie des derquaouas vivait des revenus modestes d'une petite ferme située à Saf-Saf
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Messali Hadj .|