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A soulful letter

A soulful letter

By Nora Bechiti

I would’ve never predicted that I could feel such pain.

A great poet has left us. you were a virtuoso musician, a great singer, an accomplished artist, a man of heart and spirit, and an ambassador for the Kabyle culture.

But you were also so much more than that. Now, a part of every Kabylian has flown to Heaven.

When I announced your departure this morning to my mother, she said, with her throat tight: “Pain; It is us, we think of it, we think of us” … That’s it, that’s all that!

Idir, your lullabies have embraced our childhood, your poems heal our wounded hearts, your rhythm of joy is imbedded in our celebrations, all your work accompanied our way of life.

Music allows the soul to travel. Your first title, emblematic: A Vava Inouva ‘, beyond the walls of this colonial prison that is Algeria, even when the Kabylian language and culture had just officially been forbidden, coming to shout to the whole World, that liberty is inscribed in our DNA and we will not die in silence.

What a paradox; you stranger on your own lands, you have become the Kabyle that is known in every home. There is not a person from anywhere, who did not respond “Idir” when I say: ‘I am Kabyle’.

As you transported all of us Kabyle expatriates’ home to our dear Kabylia. Each of your songs brings us home, to our grandparents, our parents, and to ourselves.

I got to experience the flavor, the perfume, and the image of the mountains of Kabylia, through your voice, before I had the great pleasure to go there, myself.

You engraved the Kabyle identity in a rock.

Thank you, thank you for having, by your Supreme, washed our identity from all lies, for having brought it to light!

This same light, where I wish your beautiful soul to rest in peace, in the company of our other warrior of light, Matoub Lounes.

Idir accompanied by Maxime the Forestier and Brahim Izri, sings “the Kabyle house”

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