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By Aida Bamia

From East to West The raven has grew to become grey O Reader of the unknown support us in our ordeal! With a superb contact, Aida Bamia has explored the paintings of Muhammad bin al-Tayyib 'Alili (c.1894-c.1954), a hitherto nearly unknown oral poet of Algeria, bringing to her research new figuring out of folks poetry as a part of a people's collective reminiscence and their resistance to colonization. For 'Alili's viewers the depression and discomfort confronted by means of bad farmers prior to independence is embodied via the raven, grown outdated and grey with ceaseless frustration and humiliation. as a result of its oral–and all too usually ephemeral–nature, the paintings of poets comparable to 'Alili might break out shut scrutiny via French colonial directors who sought to get rid of nationalistic and ethnic parts. With succinct remark, Bamia provides a good old and contextual heritage for 'Alili's repertoire, whereas she info the richness and diversity of poetic varieties that had constructed in North Africa. In doing so, she indicates an intimate clutch of the poet's repertoire and method, in addition to of the colonial and postcolonial implications of Algerian folklore and poetry.

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Extra info for The Graying of the Raven: Cultural & Sociopolitical Significance of Algerian Folk Poetry

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Al-Ahmadi's cultural myopia is further confirmed by the findings of a French research team headed by Bourdieu (1963), which explains how Algerians were trapped on the horns of a dilemma: education or survival. Forced to work at an early age, they were unable to pursue their education to a point that would have helped them acquire a skill or a profession needed to reach a degree of financial comfort. Most accepted their ill fate as one of their own making, blaming themselves for their poverty. Bourdieu explains their attitudes thus: "They tend to attribute their shortcomings to their personal deficiencies rather than to the deficiencies of existing conditions" (1963: 308).

13 Here he is bidding goodbye to the woman he loved: LtaL Er-nm elllkan day em jafini /anas leyya bacdan sharad min malqaya Kattastu Ian zall raw°uh wallfm/jalabuh khluf el-mahabba lihawaya Ghzalima hush fis-sahra jam / ma yefla wedyan we fjuj caraya The gazelle who long ignored and avoided me is finally my friend; I treated her softly, reassuring her; she is used to me; the power of love draws her closer; The Malhun: Memory of the People 29 My gazelle does not live in the desert, she does not roam the desolate valleys and empty plains.

He uses the term malhun loosely to refer to literary genres other than folk poetry, as he welcomes the publication of the book: "It consists of a collection of poems, sayings, tawashih (post- - Origins of the Malh un 25 classical, stanzaic poem), azjal (poems in strophic form), and rhymed and rhythmic compositions known to us as malhun" (1982: 7). Mohammed El-Fasi, another specialist in the field, defines malhun as the "poetry written in colloquial Moroccan Arabic" (1967: 9). He uses the word chant (song), however, to designate folk poetry, even when the poems were never sung (though in his introduction El-Fasi indicates clearly that the texts included in his book were, in fact, poems meant to be sung).

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