- Zahia Smail Salhi
Algerian author and journalist, was born in east Algeria in the village of Sedrata. Alternate forms of his name are “Ouettar Al-Taher,” “At-Tahar,” and “Taher.” He first received a religious education in his village, then pursued his studies in Ben Badis Institute in the city of Constantine, after which he traveled to Tunisia to study at the Al-Zaytouna University. He remained in Tunisia until Algeria won its independence in 1962.
This educational track determined as much as it paved the way for Wattar to become a fierce defender of the Arabic and Islamic identity of Algeria which often led him into bad polemics against the Francophone writers of Algeria whom he often erroneously labeled as playing into the hands of the former colonizer merely for using French language as a literary tool As much as Wattar is appreciated in conservative and Arabophone circles he is literally loathed by proponents ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.