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  1. #1
    Thamurth Guest
    Azul Felaouane,
    Salam alikom,
    Hello to everybody,

    I started this new thread because I think that the Ramadhan evenings are a good opprotunity to share together some of our cultural heritage in North Africa. I will begin today with a Berber tale that I learned when I was child. I am inviting you all to read it, and hope that the philosophy behind it will put a smile on everyone's faces, be they Algerian, Moroccan or from anywhere else.

    The Son of the Tapistery Merchant...

    Once upon a time in the high mountains of the Kabylie was a village full of life and wise elders. Among these elders was a Tapistery Merchant.

    The Tapistery Merchant came from a large family who were experienced in the art of making tapisteries for centuries, and married his son to the daughter of another experienced Tapistery Merchant who also came from a similar background, in the hope that the new couple would be able to maintain and develop these skills.

    But the new genereration was rather different from the old one, and the young girl was one who enjoyed life and it's luxuries, and the son of the Tapistery merchant was a boy who was lazzy and quite incapable of making decision on his own.

    One day the old tapistery merchant became ill and was on his dying bed when he asked to speak to his son. Fearing for his future he told him "my son I am going to die now. I will leave you a consequent fortune, but spend it wisely, and do not dilapidate it."

    The son agreed, and the old man died at peace that night. As time went by the new couple began to realise the amount of the fortune and the wife began asking her husband to bring her things to the house. Expensive and luxurious articles every day though would not satisfy her desires, as the son proved incapable of refusing his wife anything.

    One day, on a friday, while meeting the "Tajmaat" or local elders assembly, where he was supposed to pay a contribution to the village, he realised he had no more money. The elders understood it by the look on his face, and said to him that "Only God is enternal" is an attempt to console him.

    When he went back home he told his wife of the situation, and she felt sad. She also felt ashamed and told him that they must immigrate somewhere else, for here everyone knows them and they could not live with the humiliation of their irresponsibility. So late that night they decided to leave for the large coastal city of Algiers where no one would know them, and earlier that morning before the roosters even awoke they set off to Algiers.

    When they arrived there, the husband spent weeks looking for work in the new big city, and the wife was trying to make sense of the new customs. Both of them were shocked at how the city worked. The wife one day having understood these customs told her husband:

    "Surely your father must have had a few friends who knew him and trusted him in this city?". To which the husband replied "yes, there is one man actually... a merchant like him!". "Fantastic" said the wife, "for I have a plan". She told her husband to go see that man the next day, introduce himself and ask for a loan of 100 douros.

    And so he did that, the merchant was happy to hear news of the far away village and praised the memory of the dead father. He gave the son the 100 douros.

    When the boy returned home, his wife told him to go now to the market and bring things to make a tapistery such as textile, colours and all. Which the husband did, and the wife set off to make a beautifull tapistery.

    Once she had finished it, she told him to go visit the Turksih kadi (local judge) of the city and give him the carpet. So the husband presented himself at the residence of the kadi and presented the carpet. The kadi asked him "Whose son are you my boy?". To which the man replied that his was father was a merchant from such a village.

    The kadi understanding that the boy was the son of a merchant thanked him for the gesture, wished his wife good health, and told him that he needs not to worry, for he understands that he is a "good" merchant.

    The husband returned home to his wife. She asked so? He said "well he loved the tapistery and wished you good health, and that was it. My problems were not discussed and I was not paid a douro."

    The wife then told him to go again to his old father's friend and ask for another of 100 douros. Relunctantly the husband accepted once again to put his face through the shame of asking a loan, and brought it back to the wife.

    The wife then sent him again to the market to buy her goods to make yet another beatiful tapistery. Which he did, and she set off making another carpet, even more beautiful than the first one. When she finished the masterpiece she told her husband to go this time with the carpet to the great "Wazir" of the city (minister).

    So the husband arrived at the residency of the Wazir, and presented his carpet. The Wazir, said "oh yes! this is one like the one my friend the kadi received! What a beautiful work young man... I hear you are the son of a great merchant my boy. Is that true?" he asked.

    Yes it is replied the husband. Well then tell me asked the Wazir, who made this tapistery? The husband said "my wife". "Oh then may she have a long and healthy life my friend". To which he accompanied the man back to the door in a friendly manner and said good bye.

    When the husband returned home, his wife asked "So.?". He said "you are a very lucky woman who should have a very healthy life!". And what of our problems asked the wife? Nothing said the husband... nothing that the wazir mentioned about any payment or any help.

    The wife, determined this time told her husband to go ask yet again for a final loan from her late father in law's friend. After much arguing with her husband, she convinced him and he went to get the money, with wich yet again she sent him to the market to buy goods to make a fine carpet.

    And when she had finished making this unique tapistery, she told her husband to go with it to the "great Rais" of the city, the man who ruled the entire naval fleet of Algiers and show him the carpet.

    The husband set off then and presented himself at the residency of the "Rais". The Rais came out quickly and invited him in. The Rais then said "Oh, you must be our friend" with a grin on his face... I hear your wife makes wonderful tapisteries..." Oh yes said the husband slightly annoyed at repeating the same scenario once again. And the man showed the Rais the carpet.

    The Rais seeing one of the most exquisite tapisteries he had ever come accross, even though he had travelled many seas, exclaimed "May Allah give your wife health! She is truely talented!". And he left the carpet on his floor, inviting the husband to tour the residency, and view the port and the military fleet from a terrific balcony. After boasting a while about the city's maritime defences, and the fleet of Algiers, he invited him to come back again another time.

    The husband came home to his wife and she asked. So, what about this time, surely the great and wealthy Rais gave us something for that piece!. Well yes he gave wishes of good health my dear. In fact I think you will be the healthiest Kabyle immigrant in this city!".

    The wife after showing signs of annoyance began to smile, and told her husband "I want to you to go now to the port on the day of sales, and to bid for the cargo of 3 ships of the best and finest goods". The husband asked "but what if they bid more?" She said "then bid more too". The husband asked "but what will I pay with?" She said "don't worry about the payment my dear...just be very polite"

    So he went to the port, and bought the cargo of the 3 biggest ships full of the finest goods on the day of the sea market. He came home and told her that it was done, and he had purchased the 3 ships but had made no payment still. The wife simply said "good".

    After one week, the owners of the cargos were annoyed at still receiving no payment, and went to complain to the husband. His wife told him to ask them if they would dare to take him to justice over the issue. And so they parted each other the husband and the owners of the cargo promising to see each other again in front of the great Bey, representative of the magnificient Golden Gate (or Ottoman Empire's Sultan). That's because 3 ships of the finest goods were a big deal at that time in Algiers.

    And so one day, the Bey received the owners who presented him with a list of goods taken and not paid for.
    The husband was listening carefully and was about to repeat exactely what his wife had instructed him to do.

    The Bey called the husband and told him to explain why he had not paid the owners. The husband replied, "forgive me Oh great bey, but I am only a stranger in this town". "AND SO?" shouted the bey, "do you think that excuses you of paying goods?". "No" said the husband, "but I thought I had paid for them you see...". "how do you mean" asked the Bey.

    The husband then said "Well you see great Bey, I am a travelling merchant and I had sold 3 carpets to 3 people in your magnificient city and they paid me with "May God give you and your wife good health". So I only thought it was the custom. The bey asked who were the ones who were behind this joke? The man replied "well the kadi, the wazir and the rais of the city were the 3 customers"

    The bey summoned them at once and asked them angrily if they had received each a carpet from this man. "Yes they replied". "Did you pay him asked the bey?". "No they replied, we imagined they were gifts."

    The Bey went mad and asked them why should the 3 most senior members of his court accept a gift from a stranger to this city? They began to mumble, and the Bey declared:

    "You the stranger, you are free to go, but you now know the rules in this city, and I will have your head cut shall I hear of your ignorance in such a matter again!"

    "You 3, the kadi, the wazir and the rais, I condemn you each to pay the cargo of one ship"!

    In memory of my beloved grand mother...

  2. #2
    Tgv is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Thumbs up

    That is a very nice tale. It reduced me to tears because of our history, it made me smile about the women deeds.

  3. #3
    Thamurth Guest

    The old man and his son...

    Here's another tale from the Kabylie. I hope that you will all enjoy it. I like it very much and it was told to me by my father not too many years ago...

    Once upon a time in the high mountains of the Djurdjura was a typical modest Kabyle village.

    In it lived a peaceful family lead by a father full of wisdom. One morning, during the olive picking month, the son began to climb a tree to batter the branches so that the olives would fall. His brothers and sisters would gather them so that the family could produce a pure olive oil and trade some of it during marketday.

    Earlier that year however the boy was struck by a minor disease that made him walk a bit weird. Hence whe he climbed the tree he didn't climb it the way everyone else did and the neighbours began to make fun out of him.

    The boy finished his work that day, and in the evening told his old man how sad he was sad that people couldn't just accept him as he was. The old man replied "Tomorrow we will go me and you for a walk with the donkey through the woods and I will you show you how to deal with the problem". And so they all went peacefully to sleep.

    The next morning the old man told his son, now let's go! They took the donkey and began to walk trough the woods towards the neighbouring village.

    As they crossed the village, a group of men were watching them and talking outloud. They said "Look at them both, how stupid, they have a donkey but they are walking... What's the point of having a donkey if you will make no use of it?"
    The old man told his son "Did you hear that my son?". "Yes father he replied."

    They left the village and this time the old man told the young boy to climb on the donkey. So he did, and as they passed through the next village, a bunch of men saw them and said "What a time we are living in... The young one is relaxing on the donkey, and the old man is walking... This is a sign of the end of the world surely!" The old man asked his son "Did you hear that my son?". "Yes father" he replied.

    They left the village and the old man told his son to get off the donkey, because now he would ride it. When they arrived to the next village, as they crossed a group of men were looking at them and said "Oh dear, this old man must surely be a monster. Look at the poor child who is extenuated. Why can't he share the donkey with him? He probably has more feelings for his donkey than for the boy!". The old man asked his son "Did you hear that?". "Yes father he relied."

    As they left that village, the old man told his son to jump on the donkey with him. They rode to the next village and as they passed by, a group of men watching them said "Ya Allah! They are killing that poor creature, look at them it must have walked for at least half a day and not had a drink, and these two fat guys are going to kill it. Haram, haram". "Did you hear that?" asked the old man to his son. "yes father" he replied again.

    As they left the village the old man now told his son that they will both get off the donkey and carry it together. As they passed through yet another village carrying the donkey, a group of men watched in amazement and said "Ya allah, these two are mad. Since when does the son of Adam carry the donkey?". "Did you hear that" asked the old man to his son. "Yes father" he replied.

    They left the village and went back to their house. They gave the donkey to eat and drink and just before entering the house the old man stopped and told his son: "My son, we live in a world where satisfication is very rare within people. So tomorrow ignore your critics and continue to do what you love to do best with all your heart... A good bottle of olive oil!"


  4. #4
    Tgv is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Thumbs up

    I am enjoying this fairy tales...It Keeps me dreaming of the beautiful scenery of Kabylie.

    Wesh kho any Arab tale ?

  5. #5
    Thamurth Guest

    Another Algerian tale from the Berbers!!! ihuh !!!

    Azul Felaouane,
    Salam alikom,
    Hi to everyone,

    Dear all I was going to write for my next tale from Algeria an Arab tale from Algiers, but since some people on this forum like Malik106 believe that we have an ugly language, I will give another tale from the Berber Chaouia's yet another tale from Algeria's vast Berber heritage. I challenge you malik106 to write an Arab tale that is part of the Algerian cultural heritage. You have 24 hours. If you do not I will show you that me, an Algerian Kabyle knows a bit more than you about Algerian culture.

    The man, The Snake, and the Hedgehog. (Conte Chaoui)
    (L'homme, le serpent et l'herisson...)

    This is the story of a man who was travelling far from his homeland. When he reached a river, he found a snake.

    The snake called him and shouted "Hey you, son of Adam please help me cross the river..."
    He replied "Yeah right... and then you will not to get off me until you will have killed me heh?"
    She said "No, no I promise you... as soon as I will be on the other side I will get off you and leave you alone... I promise, just throw me on your shoulder..."

    So he took the snake and put her on his shoulder and crossed the river. Once arrived to the other side, she didn't want to get off anymore. She told him she was citing him in court over it.
    She said "We will go to the camel and he will judge the matter for us." The man agreed relunctantly fearing the snake would bite him. So they went to the camel.

    The camel was old, and couldn't stand up anymore. The snake told him the story and said "If you condemn me to get down, I will do so, or else the man will carry me until I die!"

    The camel said: "The Son of Adam kills the snake wherever he sees it, and claims to be threatned by the snake"

    But I judge that he will carry you for his whole life. While I was in good health I lived with man in his camp, and I carried heavy weights for him. I took man to his Holiest city for him to accomplish his pilgrimage". Now that I am ill, look how he left me. "So Son of Adam, I condemn you to eternally carry the snake!"

    They left, and they met a horse. The Son of Adam asked the horse to judge again over the matter. He said "Look I only helped the snake to cross the river, and now she does not want to leave me alone! Please judge fairly..."
    The horse replied "There is no other justice for you. You have to carry the snake for your whole life. When I was young and strong, the man made a beautiful seat for himself on my back, took care of my hooves, and fed me the best food and water. I took man from the ennemi camp to the friendly camp in times of war and now look how he has abandoned me. So Son of Adam you are condemned to carry the snake for all your life by me too!"

    "That makes 2 said the snake. Who do you want to hear again?". "Just one more said the man. I want to hear the judgement of the hedgehog!"

    So they went to see the hedgehog, and explained the case and asked him to judge...

    "For the love of God, hedgehog" said the man "you must give justice!".

    The hedgehog replied "Your laws are not my laws!".

    The snake asked him "Why do you not have the same laws as us then?"

    "Because" he said.

    "No, no" insisted the snake, take the decision that you think is best, and tell us of it, please..."

    The hedgehog replied "The problem is that you the people of the sky, we the people of the land cannot judge them."

    "So you are reffering to me?" asked the snake?

    "That's right said the hedgehog "If you want me to give you justice then you must descend to the earth so that I can pronounce my judgement. And then you can do what you want together..."

    So the snake got off the man, and the man hit her with a stick and killed her.

    The hedgehog began to wake away when the man stopped him and told him "I will take you now to some kids so that they will play with you"

    "Is that really necessary?" asked the hedgehog...

    "Absolutely" said the man.

    "Please for the love of God said the hedgehog, I have a problem... you see I have children and you know the rights that they have on us. In whatever state I leave them, they will stay like that. You must accompany me to see them, and tell them that I am leaving so that they can leave the hole and grow up by themselves...please!"

    The man said "ok" and went with him.

    They arrived at the entrance of a hole where there was a snake. The hedgehog said "please you must help me... the problem is that my children do not listen to me. So you stay here and block their way out, while I go in and tell them to go out...ok?"

    "Ok" said the man.

    The hedgehog entered in the hole. When he came close to the snake he rolled himself into a ball and pinched it with his spikes.

    The man was lying down with his face on the floor waiting for the baby hedgehogs to come out.

    When the snake came out running away it found right in front of him the man waiting for it, so it attacked him and kill him.

    Morality: Nature will give you justice over itself, but do not try to be clever against it!


  6. #6
    Thamurth Guest

    Talking My 100th POST!!!!


    I would like to celebrate my 100th post on algeria.com by offering you all a tale from Algeria..

    Once upon a time, a poor man had a small house which he had built himself somewhere in the middle of the mountain. He also had a wife, five children, one cow, two sheep, and five chickens. Unfortunately as his sixth child was on the way (it's an arab story ), his house which consisted of merely one room wasn't growing.

    The chickens wouldn't bring enough eggs, the cow not enough milk, the sheep not enough wool, to make enough money in the market to buy more things to extend the house. Everyday however the poor man would pray to Allah to give him patience in his life, and to give him one day the possibility of extending his house.

    After 3 years of waiting, the old man grew out of patience however. So he went down to the nearby village on the next Friday, as he always did to pray. At the end of the prayer he went to see the imam to explain to him his situation and ask for advice.

    The imam asked "So what is happening with you my brother... you look sad today?". The poor man replied "Yes, I have been waiting for years for Allah to grant more wealth so that I can extend my house by just half a room even! But Allah seems angry at me, and hasn't given me anything!"

    The imam asked then "Tell me of your situation, what are you responsible for up there in the mountain?". The old man replied "I have a wife, 6 children, 1 cow, 2 sheep and 5 chickens..."

    The imam then asked "do you share your house with your wife and children or do you keep it for yourself?". The man replied "Well! I share it of course what kind of a question is that?!".

    The imam then asked "And what about the animals. Do you share your house with them or not?!" The man replied "No..."

    The imam told him "My brother, animals are creatures of God too... how can you expose to the cold of the automn and the rains of the winter, and expect Allah (SWT) not to be angry at you??!". "I advise you share the house with the animals and then Allah (SWT) will be happy that you took care of his creatures, and he will give you more...". The poor man replied "Yes, that must be it... That will surely fix my problem!"

    The poor man returned home and began to bring in the animals at night in the room. His wife seeing this asked him if he had gone nuts. He said no, and explaied to her what the imam had recommended. So she said "ok, but I hope Allah will reward us for this torture."

    After 1 week, the wife began to complain again.
    After 1 month, the kids started complaining too.
    After 2 months, the wife and the kids were begging the father to stop this.

    So on the following Friday, the poor man went down again to the village to pray, like every Friday and then stayed longer to speak to the imam. He told him that the situation was unbearable now, and that his wife and his children will hate him if the animals will remain inside. The imam then said "Do not worry my brother. Allah doesn't want to torture you. You have proved your good will now, so you can let the animals sleep outside again... and I am sure that Allah(SWT) will not be angry at you for that. After all it's spring now, so HE will understand..."

    So the man went back home and that night, the animals slept outside in the nice warm spring night. There was no more cows stinking, chickens moving, or sheep kicking in the room, and they all had a good night sleep.

    The following friday the poor man went down again to the village to pray, and after the prayer the imam called him.
    "Tell me brother, how is it now in your house now?".

    And the poor man answered "AHHH,.....AL HAMDOLI ALLAH!!!"

    P.S: On the occasion of my 100th post I will be filling in my biography in my profile.

  7. #7
    Pearl is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Thumbs up Happy 100 Thamurth

    I wish to the see your 1000 you are a dream man ! I have just checked your profile wow..i have always taught you were much much older..

    Cheers to all the good Algerians and thank you for the tales and all your posts we love you man.
    Avec toute mon affection aux Algerien


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