Messali Hadj, father of the Algerian nationalist movement and one-time charismatic leader of the Algerian people—in Algeria itself, but particularly among those Algerians who had gone to work in France during the colonialist days—died in France on June 3, 1974, at the age of 76. His death, virtually ignored in the French press and totally ignored in the world press, ought not to pass unnoticed. Messali Hadj was a striking figure, a Za’im, to employ the Arabic term. He stood for something independent Algeria has yet to find—a socialist Algeria within a democratic framework—and this, in fact, was his program for the entire Maghreb of North Africa.
Perhaps the outstanding characteristic of Messali’s movement was i...
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