Rabat - 

On the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of Anwal, in which the Spanish army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the rural resistance in northern Morocco, a collective book was published in French and Arabic by the Journal of Studies and Social Criticism "Naqd" entitled "Abdul Karim al-Khattabi and the Liberation of the Maghreb 1921-2021". This collective work of historians and researchers of history from Morocco, Algeria and Spain.

Maghreb awareness

One of the participants in this collective book, Moroccan historian Mustafa Bouaziz, says that the book is the result of years of Maghreb work, effort and coordination.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, he explained that a meeting that brought together Moroccans, Algerians and Tunisians years ago, was devoted to thinking about a formula for creating Maghreb awareness.

He adds that the work focused on establishing a Maghreb network that brings together intellectuals and civil society institutions, among its tasks is to celebrate the Maghreb symbols in the Maghreb, as Abdel Qader Al-Jazaery will be celebrated in Morocco, Abdel Karim Al-Khattabi in Algeria, Farhat Hached in Mauritania, and Bahrameh Ould Baba in Libya.

The recently published book "Abdul Karim Al-Khattabi and the Liberation of the Maghreb 1921-2021" (Al-Jazeera)

This collective book comes within these efforts, and it is expected that a symposium will soon be organized in Morocco on the personality of Abdelkader Al-Jazaery, his heritage and his resistance to the French occupation.

country champion

In his article published in this book, the historian Bouaziz returns to the writings of German Ayyash, who took the rural hero out of the mythical conception to include it within the historical reality, as he put it.

He points out that this Moroccan historian devoted more than 30 years to purifying the writings on the history of Morocco from the colonial mentality, and devoted more than two-thirds of his writings to building reliable events in the countryside. To Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Khattabi.

Maria Rosa de Madriaga discussed the biography of Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Khattabi, his path, and the family and tribal environment in which he grew up. His father belonged to what could be called the "educated elite", and insisted on educating his children, including Muhammad, in the most important educational institutions and universities.

According to the historian de Madriaga, Muhammad's father was of the opinion - unlike many members of his tribe hostile to relations with Europeans in general - that external assistance was necessary to get his people out of a state of backwardness, so he was initially cooperating with the Spaniards.

From cooperation to resistance

However, doubts entered the father and his son Muhammad, as they later confirmed that Spain "was not able to perform any function that would spread civilization." It did not build schools, hospitals, or roads, and the soldiers ruled and administered the tribes directly and continued their plans to conquer the lands.

Madriaga then went on to talk about the role of Muhammad al-Khattabi, after the death of his father in 1921, in uniting the rural tribes “in the face of colonial aggression by strengthening the sense of belonging to the nation.” The resistance movement spread, and all military centers fell into the hands of al-Khattabi and his men, but a French alliance Spain used all possible and impossible means and weapons, from explosive and incendiary bombs to poisonous gases. Al-Khattabi made the announcement of surrender in order to avoid the suffering of his people.

Historical writings

The researchers, Maimon Aziza and Shakir Tabhout, presented the historical writings that dealt with rural resistance, and the researchers concluded that these writings are of 4 types;

The first category is the mnemonic writings, which are a group of memoirs written or narrated by resistance fighters who were active in the events, the second category is the writings of Moroccan patriots, and the third category is reflected in the writings of various actors in post-independence Morocco, who work in other than production of historical knowledge.

The fourth category is related to the writings of the professional historian, and these writings were produced by historians who practiced history as a craft, and whose main concern is the production of historical knowledge.

Dahou Djerbal touched on Al-Khattabi's role in establishing a common front among the Muslim peoples of North Africa against French imperialism, and talked about the meetings that Al-Khattabi brought together with members of the Algerian and Tunisian resistance in order to establish the Maghreb Office and establish the Maghreb Liberation Army.

In his article published in the book, Muhammad Khersheesh believes that the intervention of France as an imperial power in the conflict between Spain and the rural resistance constitutes a prelude to a deep imbalance between the two sides, despite the unexpected victories achieved by the rural movement in the first months of the military clash in April and July 1925 .

Bernabé López Garcia presented a reading in a number of historical documents, and finally concluded that the independence that Morocco obtained in 1956 was not the independence that Abdel Karim Al-Khattabi had fought for, as it was incomplete independence, as he described it.

He added that "the mutual dependence with France, which the nationalist elements were deeply suspicious of at the time of the negotiations, eventually turned into a reality, a fact that Abdel Karim had addressed in the years following independence."

Collective memory and scientific memory

Historian Mustafa Bouaziz tells Al Jazeera Net that the academic production on the rural revolution and Mohammed bin Abdel Karim has been at the Moroccan University for 20 years, and added that the debate between historians is currently about the distance between collective memory and scientific memory.

Collective memory - according to the speaker - is subject to various authorities, including political and religious authority, and community and regional authority. As for scientific memory, it is subject only to academic rules and scientific methods.

He explains that "the shorter the distance between the two memories, the more scientific history plays a social role, as it helps to understand the past and transcend it in a civilized and positive way, and the longer the distance is, it means that history is trapped in a narrow space that is the academic space."

What about al-Khattabi and his legacy?

Bouaziz says that a development that occurred in recent years as a result of the pressure of the academic community with its abundant productions, led the collective memory to deal with this issue in its own way, so that the battle of Anwal became, for example, remembered like the battle of Wadi al-Makhazin.

The rhetorical revolution has a future

In his articles in this collective book, Bouaziz confirms the idea that “Abdul Karim al-Khattabi’s revolution did not have a future, but it had a future.” Rifians and Moroccans can absorb it, so it was possible to have a big moment like the moment of Anwal and its after, but the result is that the arc closed."

He adds that this thought was not lost, as it had a strong influence in other regions of the world that were ready to understand this thought, assimilate it and positively interact with it, on the level of great leaders such as "the founder of modern China Mao Zedong, who admits that he took from al-Khatabi the style of the people's liberation war as an essential tool." To defeat the big armies, as well as Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam and Che Guevara... This is the future."

He continues, "Morocco - and relatively the Arab world as well - has begun to discover the way towards how to defeat power and tyranny by means that are compatible with the times, and in line with the imbalance of power, and it can be said that the Arab Spring is one of the forms of this future that I talked about."