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Hamdan Khodja (Q). Algerian academic. Hamdan ben Othman Khodja. edit. Language, Label, Description, Also known as. English. Hamdan Khodja. See more of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum | Fazza on Facebook. Log In. or. Create New Account. See more of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin. Hamdan Khodja is the author of Le Miroir ( avg rating, 5 ratings, 1 review, published ).

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Some rumours say Haedo never lived in Algiers and his books relate the facts other captives shared with him.

Hamdan Khodja (Author of Le Miroir)

But regardless, the book gives valuable information even though Christian Haedo displays a certain disdain of the Muslim inhabitants of the Regency. In the first part, Hamdan Khodja describes the different populations living in the Regency. He khldja the Kabyles and the Arabs mhodja live on the mountains and plains respectively as simple people, brave and war-lovers.

On the other hand, the people who live in the cities such as Algiers are more sophisticated, richer and more knowledgeable. These people being the Turksthe Kouloughlisthe Moors and also the Kabyles and Arabs who settled in the cities and adopted their customs. But while stating these differences, Khodja insists that all are united within the Regency. The book then mentions the Ottoman government and how the Turks controlled these tough Arab and Kabyle tribes.

The same thing goes for the Arab tribes with their horse-riding skills. So the Turks, who understood this fact, chose a way around it.

They noticed that both the Kabyles and Arabs had a sort of adoration for their Marabouts knodja, so they honoured them and gave them money. They also respected and protected the Kabyle and Arab shrines. This reminds me of how the French gave importance to some Marabouts and zawiyasand also how the Algerian government is doing the same today.

The second way is more respectable, the Turks spread justice and impartiality this unfortunately is an aspect forgotten by the Algerian government. Another important point mentioned in the book is the taxes. Hamdan explains that the population paid taxes to the government in exchange for security and protection. The last point in this first part was reserved to the government and the different positions and responsibilities one khodjw find in the system a description of who does what.

Instead, the Turks relied on the Jews whom they appointed at many important positions.

Then a chapter comes on the decadence of the government. Here Khodja describes how the Janissaries took over the government and how they decided of the new Dey regardless of his competencies. He mentioned the several Deys who got appointed then assassinated by the Janissaries.

This khoda probably explains his initial welcome of the French invasion.

Algiers attacked by the French marine, 29 June – Theodore Gudin. The second part of the book deals with the French invasion and its consequences both on Algeria and France. Hamdan Khodja shares his perspective on the French invasion and tries to explain the causes of its success.


Hamdan Khodja | Patriots on Fire

He also blames Dey Hussein because he had appointed this useless man, the right man in the right place as the saying goes. A major part of the second part was dedicated to the French behaviour in Algeria.

This last point was very important as it hit the religious side. He mentions his own case explaining how he lost a lot of money to the French. Hamdan then explained that the French had no right to tax the Algerians, mainly because khodaj were unable to guarantee security outside of the city of Algiers, and also because they are not Muslims and many of the taxes they claimed they wanted the Algerians to pay them as they did for the Turks were based on Islam. I finish this review by mentioning four of the many points Hamdan treated in his book.

He talked of the massacres perpetrated by the French army khdja several places in Algeria and he gave the example of Blida. He explains how they conspired against the Algerians by reporting lies to the French who relied on them because they spoke French and Arabic and how they took the opportunity to buy properties from the Algerians at very low prices.

And the fourth point is treated in many pages reserved to Marshal Clauzel accusing him of several wrongdoings. He imagined things would happen like in Egypt with Napoleonand someone, an Algerian Muhammad Aliwould emerge and modernise Algeria the French invasion would act as a catalyst. He even advised the French to leave Algeria promising benefits for both parts. On the other hand, if the French decided to conquer Algeria and stay there, he promised a tough resistance from the Kabyles and Arabs outside of the Algerian cities.

Unfortunately the future tells us that he was mistaken and colonialism had stronger arguments. Which brings me to an important point: But Hxmdan says the population amounted to 10 million people who, he says, have the right to be free in their own country.

It basically denies every negative point, or blames it on those who replaced Clauzel. Hamdan Khodja mentioned a second book to come but he never wrote it.

Perhaps because he lost faith in a French withdrawal? I always thought the book was originally written in french. Have you read the arabic version? I liked the first part of the book. It tells us how our forbears were…honorable, and brave people. You are right, the people cherished many great values. Yes indeed I understand what you mean, …the people were divided in a tribal like hqmdan system and devoted to the marabou khodjaa compared to what was happening in Europe, at that time, our people seemed to be sleeping… drifting away from the world civilization flow, but still when you read the book people are portrayed as honourable people who had a code of honour who lived peacefully in their land and that was enough for them.

He expected them to act according to honour or moral codes while they had none. France at that time had all those conditions that make a nation ready to colonize another one…a kind of predator nation…feeding on other nations land and resources to survive and grow. Were we colonized because we were not enough strong to defend ourselves?


I had the same reaction. At the beginning I was thinking it was a way to trick them by recalling the best in their civilisation, but the more I read and the more I became convinced that he really believed the French would act as honourable men. As to your comment, I think Bennabi became khkdja for his colonisability concept because he was the first to introduce it in this very accurate manner, but his analysis was more global.

Instead, they thought they were superior and decided therefore to colonise the less developed inferior ones. Even when Muslim states conquered other countries, it was never khoja they felt they were superior.

As much as we should work on our colonisability, the Europeans should work on their colonisity. Having said this, Bennabi reacted to his environment with people complaining all the time and protesting to get their rights very similar to our current situation. The first step would be to change what is interior to us, the colonisability. At many occasions, he said the Muslims are usually either too optimistic or too pessimistic when all we need to get the correct analysis is to be fair, honest and fearless of seeing our bad sides.

And I feel he did wonderfully well in this regard. Last, I disagree when you say the white Europeans are the only to blame for what happened to the Native Americans. The country stagnated for many centuries hamddan it is unfortunately back into stagnation again.

The strength we need to prevent colonisation is not necessary in the military. What solution did we find? Buy it from Argentina, Brazil, India and may be Sudan. Bennabi once gave an interesting example: He said our people have been using a broom with a short handle for N years and nobody thought of using a long handle.

Stagnation on our side and khdoja on theirs. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Khodjq a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

Hamdan Khodja

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