The submarine affair hatched by the USA and Australia behind France’s back made the French realize how fragile and weak France, despite being a large country, was in a world that seemed to be embarking on a new cold war which will oppose the USA to China. Intellectuals and politicians have recalled the need to strengthen the European Union so that European countries can face together other coalitions which unfortunately form and act according to the logic of interest and force.
This affair comes at a time when relations between Algeria and Morocco are deteriorating. It must be an example so that the Maghreb countries realize that it is not in their interest to weaken themselves further with inter-Maghreb disputes. The destinies of these three countries are linked and the Maghreb Union is today more than ever essential to constitute a force.
“It is not the geographical borders that make a country or a nation, it is rather and above all its people, its culture, its language and its history. ”
For several years, the idea of a Maghrebian Union has been the dream of the peoples of these three countries without having been able to materialize despite the many factors that bind them: language, culture, history, religion. , the geographical area and the common destiny. Today, the security and prosperity of these populations, which can only be possible by guaranteeing the stability of their countries, must be a sufficient factor to create the will to achieve this union despite all obstacles.
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Of course, Morocco can call on Israel to protect itself and Algeria on Russia to support it. However, this is neither in the interest of Morocco, nor in that of Algeria, nor in that of Tunisia. The history of world politics and geopolitics shows that a foreign country intervenes to help another country only with motivations of self-interest and an appetite for domination. In 1516, the Algerian populations appealed to the Turkish corsair brothers Arudj and Khayr al-Dine Barbarousse to help them against the attacks of the Spaniards and this is how the Turks occupied the central Maghreb (Algeria) for three centuries. Khayr al-Dine Barbarousse killed the Emir of Algiers Salim Toumi and his wife Princess Zaphira committed suicide so as not to marry the murderer of her husband Khayr al-Dine. It should be noted, however, that the crumbling of the territory of the central Maghreb into several principalities has contributed to making the design of Khayr al-Dine possible.
This story is important to remind the populations of the three countries of the need to remain united in order to better preserve their political and economic sovereignty, but also to remind that Algeria existed before 1830 and before 1516. It existed even before the 7the century. Admittedly, it did not know the current geographical borders which it inherited from France but it is not the geographical borders which make a country or a nation, it is rather and above all its people, its culture, its language and its history and those have always existed in Algeria.
“Contrary to what some people claim, Algeria was not colonized by the Arabs. ”
In Antiquity, this Amazigh or Berber people also built on these lands of the central Maghreb kingdoms and nations like that of Massinissa (238-148 BC) in Numidia whose capital was Cirta, present-day Constantine , which he bequeathed to his son Micipsa who in turn appointed a nephew, Jugurtha, as heir. Massinissa was the son of Gaia, king of the Massyles, who died in 206 BC. J.-C. Gilbert Meynier reports in his work, Algeria of the origins, that the great French historian Stéphane Gsell wrote, speaking of Massinissa and his successors, that, “In the second century, and even until the middle of the first, Numidia made more progress under this king than the province under the government of the Roman republic”.
According to historian Ibn Khaldûn, the term al-Djazayr designating both the Algerian capital and the country (Algeria) was used by Bologhine ibn Ziri who founded the city of Algiers on the site of the old Icosium Roman in 960. It is the term al-Djazayr which then gave Algiers and Algeria. Note that Argel to designate the city of Algiers was used by Cervantes (1547-1616) in his texts.
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After the Islamization of North Africa, the Berbers founded dynasties, the most important of which are those of the Hafssids or Iḥafsiyen in Berber (1207-1574), of the Zianides or At Zyan in Berber (1236-1556). Although Islamized, the Berbers refused to cede political power to the Arabs even though many of these dynasties claimed to be Arabs and even to have blood ties with the Prophet in order to gain political legitimacy. This is because in the political theory of the Sunnis and that of the Shiites, power always rested with the Arabs. And contrary to what some claim, Algeria was not colonized by the Arabs. Algerians like all North Africans are in their great majority Arabized Berbers even if Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Turks and others have also mingled with these Berber populations. Berberity is not limited to Kabylia.
“By wanting to free themselves from French tutelage, the Algerians have given proof that in Algeria there was a nation which had its own foundations and its own criteria. ”
Regarding the famous sentence “Algeria did not exist before 1830”, it is important to ask whether Algeria is the only country not to have had in its past the same borders and the same state structure as ‘today. The history of Germany shows that it was formed of several principalities until 1871, when it was unified by Bismarck and this is the same for Italy which was unified in 1861 and annexed Rome in 1870. Must we say that Germany and Italy did not exist before 1871 and 1870? Yes, we can say that on condition that we specify that it is about Germany and Italy as states and borders that we know them today.
Regarding Algeria, a clarification is needed. If France created the Algerian borders in 1830, the Algerian state was created by independent Algeria in 1962. France created the French departments of Algeria and not the Algerian state. This sentence “Algeria did not exist before 1830” is she referring to the Algerian nation? If so, France did not create the Algerian nation either. If France had created Algeria as a nation, it would have created a French nation that would never have taken up arms against itself. A nation is not something that results from a political decision, it is “A great solidarity, constituted by the feeling” (Ernest Renan) to have common bonds which creates the desire to build something together. By wanting to free themselves from French tutelage, the Algerians have given proof that in Algeria there was a nation which had its own foundations and its own criteria. This does not prevent that between Algeria and France there are human, historical, linguistic and cultural links which are part of the history of the two countries and which must strengthen the relations of friendship between the two countries and the two peoples.
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Finally, it is important to remember that no one can deny a people its history if it values it, with its moments of pain and glory and recognizes it. Algeria was the first to want to erase from the memory of Algerians the ancient history of their country and to want them to forget their culture of which the language is a primordial element. An ancestral habit that is also found among its two neighbors. As much this sentence “Algeria did not exist before 1830” is violent, as much it must constitute another opportunity to raise awareness, just like its two neighbors, how much it is necessary today to be reconciled with their history, to cement the links between Algerians and strengthen their feeling of belonging to a country that has a history they can be proud of.
This pride should not be the one that is rooted in the past and prevents one from undertaking and building one’s own history, but “The one who pushes to work, which guarantees a people its place among the nations and which allows it to take in hand its own destiny” (Razika Adnani, The necessary reconciliation, Upblisher, p.98). Taking pride in one’s history doesn’t mean manipulating it either. “The quest for truth must remain the objective of all historical work. It is a mark of respect as much towards past generations as towards those to come ” (Razika Adnani, The necessary reconciliation, Upblisher, p.98).