Mohamed Ben Abdelkrim El Khattabi and Modern Morocco Through the Words of Mohamed Larbi Messari



Ifrane, October 12, 2012 – Well known Moroccan intellectual and political figure, Mohamed Larbi Messari, presented his latest book Mohamed Ben Abdelkrim El Khattabi from Tribe to Nation during the Authors@AUI lecture series organized by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mohammed VI Library, on October 10, 2012.

Many Al Akhawayn officials, students, faculty, and staff attending the gathering were delighted to hear Larbi Messari’s tale of Abdelkrim El Khattabi, a Moroccan political and military leader who led a broad coalition of major Rifian tribes against French and Spanish colonial occupation in the Rif, a large Berber-speaking area in northern Morocco.

“It is an honor to have a high caliber intellectual knowledgeable about Morocco’s 20th century history  speak to us, enlightening our students on an important era in the history of Morocco,” said Cherif Bel Fekih, Vice President for Student Affairs. “He is such a captivating speaker.”

Mohamed Ben Abdelkrim El Khattabi from Tribe to Nation describes the era of El Khattabi, his success in building a power through the unity of the Rifian tribes, his leadership skills, his political strategy, and his impact in creating a modernized nation. 

“The Rifi revolution ended in 1926, but left behind it fruitful seeds that built the Morocco of the 20th century,” said Larbi Messari. “We should pay tribute to the Moroccan political philosophy made by leaders who contributed a lot to the independence of our country and its development.” 

Mohamed Larbi Messari is one of the leading political and intellectual figures of the post-independence period in Morocco. He has previously served as Ambassador of Morocco to Brazil and as Minister of Communication. He worked for the Moroccan National Radio in 1958 and joined the Istiqlal party newspaper, Al-Alam, in 1964 as a journalist then chief editor before he became the newpaper’s director in 1982. Messari was the Secretary General of the Moroccan Union of Writers in 1964, 1969, and 1972. He also served as Secretary General of the Moroccan National Union of Journalists in 1993, 1996, and 1998. Messari became a member of the Executive Committee of the Istiqlal Party from 1974 to 2007. He served as a coordinator of the group of Moroccan and Spanish intellectuals in 1978, and has been a member of the Ibn Rushd Committee since 1996 and the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Committee since 2000.