Kassaman

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Kassaman
English: We Pledge
قَسَمًا
Algerian national anthem, page 1.jpg

National anthem of  Algeria
Also known as"Qassaman" (English: "We Pledge")
LyricsMoufdi Zakaria
MusicMohamed Fawzi
Adopted1962
Readopted2008
Preceded byLa Marseillaise
Audio sample
"Kassaman" (instrumental, one stanza)

"Kassaman"[1][2] or "Qassaman"[3] (Arabic: قَسَمًا‎, "we pledge";[1][2] "the oath" or "we swear"[3]) is the national anthem of Algeria. Moufdi Zakaria authored the lyrics, while the music was composed by Egyptian composer Mohamed Fawzi. The song was adopted as the national anthem in 1962, when the country gained independence from France.

History[edit]

Moufdi Zakaria (left) authored the lyrics to "Kassaman", while Mohamed Fawzi (right) composed the music.

The French invaded Ottoman Algeria in 1830 and made it an integral part of Metropolitan France within its colonial empire.[4] For the next century, the native population were given very few political rights.[5] Consequently, a nationalist movement began in the 1920s and gained traction after World War II,[6] when a commitment by the government to grant French Algeria autonomy failed to materialize.[7] A prominent member of this movement was Moufdi Zakaria,[8] a Mozabite Berber[9][10] poet affiliated with the Algerian People's Party (PPA).[11] He was jailed and tortured on several occasions between the 1920s and 1962.[8] It was during one of these experiences, in April 1955,[12][13] that he penned the words to "Kassaman".[1][2] Since he did not have access to paper or writing instruments while incarcerated in Barberousse Prison,[12] Zakaria reportedly wrote the lyrics with his own blood on the walls of his jail cell.[12][14][15] The musical portion of the anthem was subsequently composed by Mohamed Fawzi,[2] who was asked to undertake this effort after two earlier submissions by other composers – one of which was by Mohamed Triki – were rejected.[12]

Both the lyrics and music were officially adopted in 1962;[1][2] in that same year the Évian Accords were signed paving the way for a referendum in which Algerians overwhelmingly voted in favour of independence, which was duly granted.[4] Although "Kassaman" was only intended to be a provisional national anthem, it has endured to this day.[16]

Context of lyrics[edit]

The lyrics of "Kassaman" are reflective of a war song. This is because it promotes nationalistic ideals and principles on the front line, glorifies the actions of the National Liberation Front (FLN), as well as espousing armed uprising and how it is the sole route to attaining independence.[16] It is also noteworthy in that it alludes to another country – France – specifically concerning the violent struggle against them for independence. The song foreshadows how "the day of reckoning" will befall Algeria's former colonial ruler.

[14][16]

Lyrics[edit]

Arabic lyrics Arabic transliteration English translation

1
قسما بالنازلات الماحقات
و الدماء الزاكيات الطاهرات
و البنود اللامعات الخافقات
في الجبال الشامخات الشاهقات
نحن ثرنا فحياة أو ممات
و عقدنا العزم أن تحيا الجزائر
فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا

2
نحن جند في سبيل الحق ثرنا
و إلى استقلالنا بالحرب قمنا
لم يكن يصغى لنا لما نطقنا
فاتخذنا رنة البارود وزنا
و عزفنا نغمة الرشاش لحنا
وعقدنا العزم أن تحيا الجزائر
فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا

3
يا فرنسا قد مضى وقت العتاب
و طويناه كما يطوى الكتاب
يا فرنسا ان ذا يوم الحساب
فاستعدي و خذي منا الجواب
ان في ثورتنا فصل الخطاب
و عقدنا العزم ان تحيى الجزائر
فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا

4
نحن من أبطالنا ندفع جندا
و على أشلائنا نصنع مجدا
و على أرواحنا نصعد خلدا
و على هاماتنا نرفع بندا
جبهة التحرير أعطيناك عهدا
و عقدنا العزم أن تحيا الجزائر
فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا

5
صرخة الأوطان من ساح الفدا
فاسمعوها و استجيبوا للندا
و اكتبوها بدماء الشهدا
و اقرأوها لبني الجيل غدا
قد مددنا لك يا مجد يدا
و عقدنا العزم أن تحيا الجزائر
فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا… فاشهدوا

Qasaman bi-n-nāzilāti l-māḥiqāt
Wa-d-dimāʾi z-zākiyāti ṭ-ṭāhirāt
Wa-l-bunūdi l-lāmiʿāti l-khāfiqāt
Fi-l-jibāli sh-shāmikhāti sh-shāhiqāt
Naḥnu thurnā fa-ḥayātun ʾaw mamāt
Wa-ʿaqadnā al-ʿazma ʾan taḥyā l-Jazāʾir
Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū!

Naḥnu jundun fi sabīli l-ḥaqqi thurnā
Wa ʾila stiqlālinā bi-l-ḥarbi qumnā
Lam yakun yuṣğā lanā lamā naṭaqnā
Fa-ttakhadhnā rannata l-bārūdi waznā.
Wa-ʿazafnā nağamata r-rashshāshi laḥnā
Wa-ʿaqadnā al-ʿazma ʾan taḥyā l-Jazāʾir
Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū!

Yā Faransā, qad maḍā waqtu l-ʿitāb
Wa-ṭawaynāhu kamā yuṭwā l-kitāb
Yā Faransā ʾinna dhā yawmu l-ḥisāb
Fa-staʿiddī wa-khudhī minnā l-jawāb
ʾInna fī thawratinā faṣlu l-khiṭāb
Wa-ʿaqadnā al-ʿazma ʾan taḥyā l-Jazāʾir
Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū!

Naḥnu min ʾabṭālinā nadfaʿu jundā
Wa-ʿala ʾashlaʾinā naṣnaʿu majdā.
Wa-ʿala ʾarwāḥinā naṣʿadu khuldā.
Wa-ʿala hāmātinā narfaʿu bandā.
Jabhatu t-Taḥrīri ʾaʿṭaynāki ʿahdā.
Wa-ʿaqadnā al-ʿazma ʾan taḥyā l-Jazāʾir
Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū!

Ṣarkhatu l-ʾawṭāni min sāḥi l-fidā
Ismaʿūhā wa-stajībū li-n-nidā
Wa-ktubūhā bi-dimāʾi sh-shuhadāʾ
Wa-qraʾūhā li-banī l-jayli ğadā.
Qad madadnā laka yā majdu yadā
Wa-ʿaqadnā al-ʿazma ʾan taḥyā l-Jazāʾir
Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū! Fa-shhadū!

1. We swear by the lightning that destroys,
By the streams of generous blood being shed,
By the bright flags that wave,
Flying proudly on the high mountains
That we are in revolt, whether to live or to die,
We are determined that Algeria should live,
So be our witness -be our witness -be our witness!

2. We are soldiers in revolt for truth
And we have fought for our independence.
When we spoke, nobody listened to us,
So we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm
And the sound of machine guns as our melody,
We are determined that Algeria should live,
So be our witness -be our witness -be our witness!

3. O France, the time of reproof is over
And we have ended it as a book is ended;
O France, this is the day of reckoning
So prepare to receive from us our answer!
In our revolution is the end of empty talk;
We are determined that Algeria should live,
So be our witness -be our witness -be our witness!

4. From our heroes we shall make an army come to being,
From our dead we shall build up a glory,
Our spirits shall ascend to immortality
And on our shoulders we shall raise the Standard.
To the nation’s Liberation Front we have sworn an oath,
We are determined that Algeria should live,
So be our witness -be our witness -be our witness!

5. The cry of the motherland sounds from the battlefields.
Listen to it and answer the call!
Let it be written with the blood of martyrs
And be read to future generations.
Oh, Glory, we have held out our hand to you,
We are determined that Algeria should live,
So be our witness -be our witness -be our witness![17]

Legal protection[edit]

Even though "Kassaman" was adopted in 1962, it was not until November 2008 that an amendment to Article 5 of the Constitution of Algeria was made declaring it as "immutable", given its association with the country's revolution.[16] It also confirmed that the national anthem comprises all of the song's verses, thus ending the deliberation over whether it was still appropriate to include the unfavourable reference to France in the present day.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Algeria". The World Factbook. CIA. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e DiPiazza, Francesca Davis (1 January 2007). Algeria in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 69. ISBN 9780822571445. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Hadjab, Warda (2016). "Algiers–Paris Round Trips: Diasporic Pathways of a Public Civil Dissidence". Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies. 14 (3): 322. doi:10.1080/15562948.2016.1208315. S2CID 151951520. (registration required)
  4. ^ a b Brown, L. Carl; Zaimeche, Salah (21 April 2017). "Algeria – History". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Algeria – History". Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations (12th ed.). Thomson Gale. 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  6. ^ McDougall, James (2007). "Algeria". In Benjamin, Thomas (ed.). Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450 (1st ed.). Macmillan Publishers USA. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Algerian War". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b Africa since 1914: a historical bibliography. ABC-CLIO Information Services. 1985. p. 66. ISBN 9780874363951. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  9. ^ Marks, Jon (14 December 2015). "Chapter 4: Opposing aspects of colonial rule in this century to 1930: the unusual case of the Beni Mzab". In Joffé, George (ed.). North Africa: Nation, State, and Region. Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 9781317304517. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  10. ^ Proglio, Gabriele, ed. (7 March 2017). Decolonising the Mediterranean: European Colonial Heritages in North Africa and the Middle East. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 9781443874878. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  11. ^ Aissaoui, Rabah (30 March 2009). Immigration and National Identity: North African Political Movements in Colonial and Postcolonial France. I.B. Tauris. p. 31. ISBN 9780857713469. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d ""Kassaman," Anthem to the Glory of Algerian Revolution". Algiers. Algeria Press Service. 5 July 2012. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2017. (registration required)
  13. ^ Naylor, Phillip C. (7 May 2015). Historical Dictionary of Algeria. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 553. ISBN 9780810879195. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  14. ^ a b Marshall, Alex (28 August 2015). "Alex Marshall: Flower of Scotland nation's choice". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  15. ^ Burnton, Simon (9 June 2014). "Every 2014 World Cup national anthem reviewed by a pop star!". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d e Branche, Raphaëlle (2011). "The martyr's torch: memory and power in Algeria". The Journal of North African Studies. 16 (3): 432, 441. doi:10.1080/13629387.2010.550138. S2CID 145316323. (registration required)
  17. ^ http://www.nationalanthems.info/dz.htm

External links[edit]