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Algeria’s Expulsion of Moroccans: We Forgive, But Never Forget

Three historical memoirs recounting the epic Green March, written in proses by Hachemi Salhi, were presented Thursday in Abla Ababou Gallery, in Rabat.
The books are relating Boumediene’s reaction, following Morocco’s green march and the recovery of its southern provinces. Boumediene expulsed over 48,000 Moroccans of all ages, on December 18, 1975, which coincided at the time with Eid Al-Adha.
The 1st Tome of “The little Moroccan Oranese” (le p’tit Marocain Oranais in French), and “The conference of expelled birds” (“la conference des oiseaux expulsés” in French), are written in both languages (French and Arabic) and use the Japanese style of Yamato Uta Monogatari (a combination of narration and poetry).
The books’ presentation was the watershed moment of this magnificent evening, where all emotions were mixed: pride and deception, love and hate, happiness and sadness. The three books will make up a collection entitled “the writings of the memory”, to keep the memories of what happened in 1975 alive.
What makes these books special, is the feelings conveyed by the author, himself a victim of this tragedy. According to Salhi, his mother was expulsed and deported to the Moroccan borders, along with her 7 children, while her husband was in prison.
Because of this ordeal, described by Salhi as “Nakba”, using the expression of Mahmoud Darwich, the author undertook research and conducted interviews on the event to gather all facts and make this happening unforgettable in the Moroccan history.
The Arabic version of this book was translated by Khalid Belkacem, and financed by the National Human Rights Council, chaired by Driss El Yazami at that time.
Painters Frederique Gancel and Aziza Filali, whose drawings were exposed during the event, came up with impressive illustrations for the books, speaking directly to inquisitive and passionate readers.

The event, which was a walk down memory lane, was attended by several people who were also deported from Algeria back in 1975.