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Exhibit: Abd el-Kader al-Jaza’iri (1808-1883)

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Published: 8 Nov 2011

« Ne demandez jamais quelle est l'origine d'un homme ; interrogez plutôt sa vie, son courage, ses qualités et vous saurez ce qu'il est. Si l'eau puisée dans une rivière est saine, agréable et douce, c'est qu'elle vient d'une source pure. »

Charismatic leader of the Algerian resistance against the French occupation, Abd el-Kader al-Jaza'iri, Amir of Mascara, was also a Sufi scholar, a recognized philosopher and poet.

He was born and raised in Mascara, near the town of Oran, Algeria where he received a comprehensive education. In 1820, on his way to Mecca, he traveled in Syria, Iraq and spent some time in Egypt where he met the reformist Muhammad Ali.

Back in Algeria, after fighting against the French colonizers for over 10 years, he was deported as a prisoner of war to Marseille, France. Upon regaining his freedom, he settled in Damascus where he dedicated most of his time to meditation and spiritual teaching.

He died in 1883 and was buried in Damascus near the great Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi (1165-1240).

Displaying 16 historical books, photos and maps, this exhibition offers the visitor an opportunity to get to know the man, the leader and the scholar as well as his outstanding destiny.

Islamic Studies Library (Morrice Hall, 3485 McTavish, 1st floor). No charge. Accessible during opening hours.

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