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Marian Aguiar

Considered a hero of anticolonial resistance by many contemporary Algerians, Abd al-Qadir created an Arab-Berber alliance to oppose French expansion in North Africa in the 1830s and 1840s. He also organized an Islamic state that, at one point, controlled the western two-thirds of the inhabited land in Algeria. Abd al-Qadir owed his ability to unite Arabs and Berbers, who had been enemies for centuries, in part to the legacy of his father, head of the Hashim tribe in Mousakar (Mascara) and leader of a Sufi Muslim brotherhood. In 1826Abd al-Qadir and his father made a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam. When he returned in 1828, Abd al-Qadir s own reputation as an Islamic religious and cultural leader grew and both Arabs and Berbers looked to him to lead the resistance against the French who ...


Zahia Smail Salhi

Algerian emir and anticolonialist leader, was born on 6 September 1808 near Mascara in the west of Algeria. His full name was ʿAbd al-Qadir bin Muhieddine; he is known in the Arab east as ʿAbdel-Kader al-Jazaʾiri and in Algeria as al-Amir ʿAbd El-Kader.

His father, Muhieddine al-Hassani, was a Sufi shaykh who followed the Qadiriyya religious order and claimed to be a Hasani (sharif ) descendent of the Prophet with family ties with the Idrisi dynasty of Morocco. As a young boy, ʿAbdel-Kader trained in horsemanship, and from this he developed his love for horses, about which he wrote some beautiful poetry. He was also trained in religious sciences; he memorized the Qurʾan and read in theology and philology. He was also known as a poet who recited classical poetry and wrote his own poetry, mostly centering on war and chivalry.

In 1825 ʿAbdel Kader set out with ...


M. W. Daly

, Sudanese military commander, was born ʿUthman ibn Abi Bakr Diqna in the eastern Sudan, probably at Suakin, into a merchant family of Kurdish or Turkish descent, and a Hadandua Bija mother. In 1877 he was caught slave trading between the Sudan and Arabia, imprisoned, and financially ruined; other accounts tell of government forces plundering him during a trading foray to Darfur. While ʿUthman’s enmity for the Egyptians (and British) has been ascribed to personal vendetta, his lifelong loyalty to the Mahdiyya remains unquestioned.

ʿUthman joined the Mahdist revolution against Turco Egyptian rule sometime before the fall of El Obeid in 1883 when the Mahdi commissioned him to raise the tribes of his native region As an adept of the Majdhubiyya order of sufis ʿUthman exploited the rival Khatmiyya order s association with the Egyptian regime and crystallized local grievances in favor of the Mahdist cause Despite early defeats by Egyptian ...


James H. Vaughan

emir of Madagali, a small Fulbe (Fulani)-ruled suzerainty on the east bank of the Yedseram River in what is today Nigeria (1902–1927), was born in Madagali, Nigeria, the son of Ardo Bakari Njidda and was formally named Muhammad Yaji. He is largely known because of a journal he kept between 1912 and 1927 in which he recounted his daily routine, administrative travel, dealings with family, friends, and government administrators, and raids upon pagan hamlets.

At the beginning of his reign, Madagali—the name denotes both a town and the surrounding area—was a part of German Kamerun, but following World War I the area became a League of Nations Mandated Territory, first under the French and then, after 1920 the British who governed it as a part of British Northern Cameroons This sequence as well as increasing European penetration into the area led to considerable friction between Hamman Yaji and the ...