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Messali Hadj
Arabic: masāliyy 'al-hajj

Messali Hadj.
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Messali Hadj.

(1898-1974) Algerian nationalist politician.
Messali Hadj was central in the nationalist build-up towards the Algerian War (1954-1962), but came to have little influence over the development leading to Muslim independence and the founding of new political and state structures since 1962. Hadj proved to mainly be successful among Algerians living in France, which was important for the financial support of the war.
His politics was moderate and pragmatic, yet founded on Marxist principles.

1898: Born in Algeria.
1927: Is elected chairman of the Algerian worker's association in Paris.
Around 1930: Founds the North African Star.
1937: Founds the Algerian People's Party (PPA).
November: Hadj is tried for agitation, and imprisoned.
1946: Is freed from prison; together with Ferhat Abbas, he forms the democratic group MTLD.
Around 1954: Founds Mouvement National Algérien (MNA), which would represent a competitor to FLN.
— MNA's guerilla is destroyed by the ALN.
1961: Talks between the FLN and the French government begin; MNA is not included.
1962: As Algeria receives its Muslim independence, Hadj tries to reshape the MNA into a political party.
1974: Dies in France.

By Tore Kjeilen