“Larbi Ben Mhidi l’homme des grands rendez-vous” is a book, dedicated to the national hero and  martyr Mohamed Larbi BenMhidi (1923–1957). Written by his friend El Hachemi Trodi, the book is more a testimony by one of his friends than a historical one. It narrates the life of the man behind the legend. How, all his being – mind, body and soul-  was dedicated to one goal : the independence of Algeria.

The book tells the story of Larbi the teenager member of the Algerian Muslim scout; the young man at 21 and already a brilliant militant in national party PPA; the member of the paramilitary secret organization “OS”, but also Larbi as a footballplayer and a playactor. Larbi Benmhidi would become a fugitive at the age of 26 after being sentenced to 10 years prison. Years later, after he became the head of FLN operations during the battle of Algiers, he would be arrested by the French army and assassinated in prison  at the age of 34 in 1957.

I wish young Algerians would read this book to understand how difficult it was to be a militant for the independence of Algeria. We used to think it was easy to be on the right side at that time since there was only one known enemy. But that is far from the truth, BenMhidi and his companions had to fight many enemies and face many conspiracies; some weaved by their own brothers. They also, had to fight against ignorance, treacheries and jealousy. But their genuine commitment to their noble cause always succeeded to show them the right path to follow and their bravery helped them carry on the fight…till freedom.

After reading this book I had mixed feelings of pride, to be the compatriot of such a great man, and shame to belong to a generation which, despite being born in independent Algeria,  seems to be intellectually defeated and colonized…helplessly unable to carry on the struggle of BenMhidi for a free Algeria… fully independent from France.

May he and all martyrs rest in peace.

رحم الله  شهداء الوطن

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  • Title : Larbi Ben Mhidi l’homme des grands rendez-vous
  • Author: El Hachemi Trodi
  • Publishing house : ENAG, Algiers, Algeria
  • Year : 1991
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