muezzin

The latest addition to my website is Mourad Bourboune‘s Le Muezzin [The Muezzin] (later: Le Muezzin bègue). Mourad Bourboune was one of the generation who had participated in the Algerian Revolution and who wrote about it but yet, for some reason, his reputation has not been as high as some of his contemporaries. Indeed, this book has only been translated into Danish and is long since out of print in French. It tells the story of Saïd Ramiz, a man who had descended from a line of muezzins but had never been one, except on one occasion in an emergency. He had been part of a revolutionary cell and had committed several violent acts. He had been betrayed and arrested and tortured by the French shortly before the end of the war. After a long absence he is now returning to Algeria where he is feared by various groups – those who betrayed him or might be suspected of having done so, the religious authorities, who fear he might bomb a mosque and the police, who fear he will try to restart the revolution. However, we seen him as an unbalanced man, who has recently released himself from an asylum, against the advice of his doctor. It is a fine book about the Algerian Revolution and how, in the eyes of some, it failed but sadly it is not available in English or, indeed, readily available in French.