Did our ancestors fail? Have they done their homework? Have they bequeathed to us the essence of what we have become today?
Our ancestors, women too, have they been able to transmit the values that have become vestiges of our times? What form of struggle have they brought? Kabyle women have been at the forefront of the battle and vernacular identity since time immemorial. The presence of the colonist did not prevent them from perpetuating all these customs and traditions that made the particularity and singularity of this people to which they belonged: the Kabyle people. It is difficult, if not impossible, to do as well as they do, but we have a responsibility as women today to do our own.
The Berber queen, Dihya, has resisted Islamic invasions. As a true warlord, she won many battles and defeated the Muslims for years. For many novelists and essayists, she represents one of the first feminists in history. A historical and identity figure of the Aurès and Amazigh of Algeria.
Fadhma n Summer, leader of the Kabyle army against the french occupation in 1857, was an important figure in the resistance movement.
The French militants of 1789 were, for the most part, knitters, market traders… Revolted against misery and injustice. Only a handful of them have been able to give a feminist dimension to their fight. Many did not know that they were fighting for women’s rights.
More recently, Kurdish women who are at the forefront of the struggle against the Islamic state. It is militarily and politically that they were trained to fight in Syria and Iraq.
These great ones, to name but a few, allow us to live freely and with dignity today. They are feminists and heroines despite themselves.
Modernity is not contradictory with the transmission of ancestral values. Universality must not make us forget our culture, our language…
Would the “exiles”have been able to preserve their identity if they had to live in a country, such as Algeria, forcing them to become Arabs and Muslims? Maybe by wrestling. Should Kabyle women, wherever they are, give up and embrace a language and religion from elsewhere and take the risk of failing where their mothers have succeeded? Of course not. Kabylia is full of women and young women willing to fight alongside their sisters. Many female students, for example, have joined this MAK momentum. The charm, intelligence, determination and courage of the Kabyle are not lacking.
It is possible to live today, to preserve and pass on to our children this heritage bequeathed by our elders. To destroy it is to destroy our identity, to destroy our people who have remained without recognition for too long.
It’s in its history. The Kabyle people will gain independence. Only the Kabyle State will restore dignity and justice to our brave martyrs and guarantee survival and freedom to this great people that the Arab-Muslim colonist has scattered around the world.
Everything can be done… but not without the woman, of course.
By: Noria, Marseille, 22 October 2017.