The Kabyle challenge (1/2)


Read The Kabyle challenge (2/2)

Kabylia can still dream about building a politically secular state, that is to say to separate by law the politic and the religious and protect by this fact all beliefs, including atheism. She can dream of a secular and scientific school, build theaters and art schools, build a viable economy, opening the country to tourism … all this is possible, however we must free ourselves from certain cultural and traditional shackles that might compromise everything.

Algeria also made his political liberation war, but to shut later in a retrograde ideology, without perspective. This gave a country without history, provisional and with no future, where nobody wants to live, not even nationalists nor islamists, even less those who govern. The latter, whenever they catch a cold, fly to better climes and more compatible with their desire to live, to heal.

The Kabyle today, rediscovering the love for the country and willing to start his first Republic needs to get into the skin of an inhabitant of Athens 29 centuries ago. It must be understood that the word Athens is a plural, and according to Thucydides, it is a trace of ancient villages that merged to form the city. Yes, Athens the paradigmatic city of democracy was multiple as are currently the Kabyle villages. Like the Athenians, it is quite possible to dream of founding a democracy, without fear of an insurrection or a civil war between the different villages. What was fundamental to establish Athenian democracy is the Athenians engagement as citizens in politics (that is to say regarding the affairs of the polis (city)), to ensure a certain unity of the city.

If we share again this Athenian example, it is to recall the origin of the political city, the one each and every Kabyle, caring about freedom and development, dreams about. All major modern democracies are daughters of Athens, at least they all claim this affiliation. This is Athens who founded modern democracy. The Kabyle has to keep in mind their famous proverb:

Anda d-zedmem, ay d-squcḍeγ/ This is where you cut down the tree that I cut the wood”

The democracy, despite what the Islamists and Arabists claim, was born in Athens, a mediterranean city, much closer to Kabylia by its nature and culture, than the Arabian Peninsula.

The choice of culture, civilization and belief, if you need one, is very important. A Kabylia who aspires to the universal must be open to the world which it is inspired from.

Today’s Kabylia, in order to justify its desire for independence, can not rehabilitate, even in thought, the sultanates of Ait Abbas or that of Koukou, Ottoman-inspired, that is to say Islamic. Why then separate from Algeria, which is a perfect incarnation of it? The Kabyle must end some constants that can only further isolate him from all of what he aspires, like the famous Kabyle thought, the Kabyle Islam, Kabyle traditions, Kabyle dress, Berber calendar and other kind of “mirage”.

He must equip himself with the human thought, the human time, and enjoy as Kabyle citizen of the Kabyle Republic, the best that humankind has to offer if he does not want be on the margins of history as its Arab-Islamic neighbors.

Some of our intellectuals tend to think like Arab-Islamic, whom have a different timetable from the rest of humanity, an Islamic thought, an Islamic dress, there is even an Islamic kama sutra according to Malek Chebel …

The Kabyle should think differently, as a citizen of the free world: be more interested in ideas than the origin of their authors; the benefit of a remedy rather than its source; the effectiveness of a coat rather than its pattern… He must stop seeking for lice on the bald guy’s head.

To illustrate, here is an anecdote we heard one day on the airwaves of a Kabyle radio in Paris while they were broadcasting a Kabyle song with an electric guitar background. At the end of the song, a Kabyle listener, living in Paris, took his phone and calls the host of the radio saying:

 “I’m sorry, my brother, the electric guitar has nothing to do with Kabyle songs. This is not a traditional kabyle instrument”.

And the host responded:

“And the phone with which you call, is it traditional?”

Here is an example that tells us in many cases bordering  schizophrenia. While the principle is simple and clear for many peoples: embracing that maxim of our ancestor Terence Afer, of Numidian origin:

”I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me”

End of part 1 of 2 – Read The Kabyle challenge (2/2)

By Ameziane Kezzar & Mohand Lounaci


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