Books

L’Expression: Culture – “Matoub is a historical book”

L’Expression: Culture – “Matoub is a historical book”

L’Expression: Of all the singer-poets, why did you choose Lounès Matoub to dedicate the book to?
Mohand Ouramdane Larab: The desire to dedicate a literary work to Lounès Matoub was born from the need to pay tribute to him. To remember all the sacrifices he made for our cause, a way to dedicate his memory and preserve his work, and to contribute in my own way to passing it on to future generations. In Lounès Matoub’s work, all the young people are there. Here young people find their wishes. Of all the Kabyle singers, he is the only one who offered his life and his blood for the struggle for identity, so this is the reason that makes millions of North Africans (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya) and around the world carry his torch and his struggle. Lounès Matoub continues the struggle of his elders including: Ouali Bennaï, Amar Ould Hammouda, Mbarek Ait Menguellet, Salah Aït Mohand Saïd, Ferhat Ali dit Ouahmoud, Ali Rabia dit Azzoug, Ali Laïmeche, Belaïd Aït Medri, Mohand Amokrane Haddag, Mohand Amokrane Khelifati , Mohand Ouharoune, Smaïl Medjber, Hocine Cheradi, Kaci Lounès, Ahcene Chérifi, Lahcene Bahbouh…

How and when was born the idea to write this book about Lounès Matoub?
During the riots in Kabylie in the summer of 1998, after the assassination of Lounès Matoub and Rachid Ait Idir, Redouane Salhi, Hamza Ouali, the Kabylie region was exposed to conflict and disaster. The idea of ​​writing a book in honor of Lounès Matoub was born after these images of apocalypse and desolation. While I was in Aokas during my leave period, my only concern was writing and from there I started writing this book as a tribute to the great rebel militant, our identity. During the autumn of 1998, we created the “Lounès Matoub Foundation”, in the company of the villagers of Taourirt Moussa, friends and companions of the Rebels, among others: Malika Matoub, Rachid Matoub, SmaïI Medjber, Laoudi Mammar, Hocine Cheradi, Larbi Rouifed, Amirouche Laoudi, Ahmed Haddag and I, who have been several times to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to the Liberties office, which receives files with approvals, moreover, we managed to get approval in record time. The primary goal of the Foundation is first of all to shed light on the truth about the assassination of the Rebel and to preserve the memory of him and his entire work.

Why did Lounès Matoub manage to impose himself even when he was censored by the media, before 1988?
Lounè Matoub managed to assert himself with his style because he brought something new back into the protest song, he fulfilled the expectations of the youth at the time, Lounès was an innovator in his lyrics and engaging and protest song, Lounès is an open history of books for all generations. Despite the censorship of the performance time, Matoub managed to impose his style through gala evenings in Kabyle where it was always sold out.

Can you give us an example of his galas that you witnessed?
Yes, I remember his first gala party at Larbaâ Nath Iraten where there were more people outside than in the stadium. To remedy the worsening situation, the organizers brought out barriers to calm the spirits of the people who were outside. The atmosphere was the same everywhere, especially at the Oukil-Ramdane stadium in Tizi Ouzou.

When does Matoub’s artistic success date back?
With his appearance in 1978, with the first album dedicated to the elderly “Ad Cnugh Ifenanen”, the man made his way into the art world, despite the censorship and boycott of the media at the time. The rebel made his way and was always very grateful to his audience who always pampered him . Moreover, the only time Matoub was on Kabyle Radio channel 2 was during the 90s, with the late Samira, may she rest in peace.

What do you think are the strongest aspects of Lounès Matoub’s poetry?
Lounès’ strong point is his spontaneity and sincerity, in his interventions without calculations or demagoguery, all noble and just goals, Lounès married them. He sang all the struggles in his lyrics: the assassination of Abane, we learned it from Lounès, the fight against the dictatorship of Ben Bella and Boukharouba, crimes and political murders, Matoub was the first to speak publicly and courageously about it.

What are the topics that only Lounès Matoub dealt with?
In his texts, Lounès dealt with several topics: political crimes and murders in Algeria, Abane, Crimea, Khider, Boudiaf, Djaout, Yefsah, Boucebci, poor management of the country, favoritism, the struggle of powerful clans, abuses during the Algerian revolution… .

May we know what the reactions were after the publication of your book on Lounès Matoub?
The book “Lounès Matoub, symbol of the Berbers” had a large audience as soon as it went on sale on June 25, 2022, on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the assassination of the Rebel. Lounès is still as terrifying as Abane Ramdane and is still boycotted by some.

Hosted a sale dedicated to Taourirt Moussa?
Yes, on June 25, 2022, I presented the book at the foundation’s headquarters in Matoub’s home village, Taourirt Moussa, where all copies were sold that day, including to several elderly women who could not afford to buy it. . I gave them a dozen copies.

You have also published books about other Kabyle poets, can you tell us something about them?
Indeed, I have dedicated many books to Kabyle poets such as Si Mohand Ou Mhand, L’Hocine n Adeni, Cheikh Mohand Ou Lhocine. I also published a collection of poetry by El Hadj Arezki Haouche from Djemaâ n Saharidj in 2007. These works have seen several editions.

Have you published other books in other fields?
I have published the school dictionary “Student’s Dictionary”, School Lexicon (English-French-Arabic-Tamazight) and School Lexicon and Economic Lexicon (Tamazight-French-Arabic).

What are your projects?
I currently have two books in print. This is a collection of poetry by Ahmed Lemseyeh, the poet of At Sedka in a bilingual Tamazight-French edition and another collection of poetry by Si Youcef Oulefki, a companion of Si Mohand Ou Mhand. I have a book on the poets of At Yiraten in preparation as well as a book on the journey of Si Mohanda Ou Mhand.

#LExpression #Culture #Matoub #historical #book

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