Despite the passage of nearly a century and a half since the death of Prince Abd al-Qadir Bam Mohi al-Din al-Jaza’iri in 1883, the Algerian authorities are trying to preserve his image as a symbol of national identity by evoking his heroism against French colonialism.
This political and military leader, and the founder of the modern Algerian state, still raises a lot of discussions and controversy every time his name is mentioned.
The Algerian authorities chose that the commemoration of his death, this year, which coincides with May 26, be distinguished and special, first by announcing a project to construct a huge statue of the Emir to be erected in the city of Oran, in western Algeria, and secondly to inaugurate the Algerian President Abdel Majeed Tebboune, Prince Abdel Kader Square, and the memorial memorial to the founder of the modern Algerian state in Moscow, on the sidelines of his three-day visit to Russia (June 14-16).
The Algerian presidency said, “The monument to the founder of the modern Algerian state, Prince Abdelkader, is considered the first monument to a Muslim and Arab leader in the history of the city of Moscow.”
And it was stated in the memorial that Prince Abdelkader is “a national hero and the founder of the modern Algerian state.” Russia awarded him a “Knight of the Russian Order of the White Eagle” for his role in protecting the members of the Russian consulate in Damascus in 1860.
This new memorial landmark is the first of its kind in Russia that glorifies an Islamic and Arab personality, in appreciation of the contributions and role of the founder of the Algerian state in spreading the values of tolerance in the world.
Prince Abdelkader Algerian
Details of the colossal bust
As for the huge statue, which is scheduled to be built in the city of Oran, west of the capital, its length is 42 meters, and the prince’s sword will be equipped with laser technology and directed towards the qiblah, as Prince Abdul Qadir’s horse in the statue will stand on five pillars as a symbol of the pillars of Islam, while its cost amounts to About 8.5 million US dollars.
According to the design, the statue will be close to the Ribat al-Talaba mosque. It will be placed on the hill of Mount Marjajo, overlooking the city of Oran.
As for the financial value allocated for the construction of the statue of Prince Abdul Qadir, it topped the social networking sites, as views differed among a number of activists, some of whom saw it as wasteful and extravagant, while others saw that the prince deserved more than this financial value because of his huge sacrifices for the sake of the country.
Prince Abdul Qadir bin Muhyiddin was born in 1808 in the village of Qaitna near the city of Mascara in the suburbs of Oran, western Algeria, and he was able to lead the Algerians to liberate the country from the colonialists, when he was in his twenties. His genius in religious knowledge and his abundant knowledge qualified him for this. His revolution lasted 17 full years, during which he defeated generals and forced others to sign armistice agreements with him.
On May 30, 1837, the fierce resistance of Emir Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri forced the French to sign the “Treaty of Tafna”, which made him the de facto ruler of two-thirds of Algerian territory.
presence after death
Prince Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri died in 1883 in his exile in the Syrian capital, and Damascus embraced the body of the prince between 1883 and 1965, as his palace there was turned into a museum visited by tourists.
After independence, the Algerian revolutionary was transferred to the Al-Alia cemetery in the capital, which is the burial place of Algerian presidents and leaders.
Despite his death, the prince remained present in the memory of Algerians, as his name was associated with leadership, courage and wisdom, and he became a symbol of independence and freedom.
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