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Abdu l-Karim
Arabic: ¢abdu l-karīmPlay sound

Abdu l-Karim

(Ajdir 1880- Cairo 1963) Moroccan politician, liberation fighter, and leader.
Abdu l-Karim fought the Spanish in the northern Moroccan region of Rif. He is particularly famous for the campaign of 1921, when he lead his tribesmen against a Spanish fortification. Of the Spanish forces, 16,000 soldiers were killed. Three years later the Spanish were pushed out to their territory along the coast.
Abdu l-Karim remained a threat until he was defeated in 1926 by the combined forces of the Spanish and French under the leadership of Marshal Petain. Then he was treated both as a criminal and as a hero by the French, and was exiled to the French colony of Réunion for 21 years. Finally, he was granted permission to live in southern France. However, he chose rather to accept an offer from the Egyptian king to come and live in Egypt under his protection. Abdu l-Karim lived in Cairo until his death.
From 1948 he was the leader of the North African nationalist opposition to European rule.

By Tore Kjeilen