Bicentenary commemorations of the birth of Abd el-Kader (1808-1883)
2008 was Abd el-Kader year, September was the bicentenary of his birth. For many, he remains not only a great thinker but also the soul of the Algerian resistance during the French conquest between 1830 and 1847. He was greatly admired by the French public and by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who later became Napoleon III.
This year there were a number of events and initiatives held in France and abroad to celebrate the bicentenary, including:
21 February 2008: a stamp bearing the image of Abd el-Kader, based on an engraving by Yves Beaujard, with a face-value of 0.54 was released. Three similar stamps were released in Algeria in December 2007.
6 May 2008: the place de l'Emir Abd el-Kader was inaugurated in the town of St. Pierre, on the French island of Réunion. The inauguration took place in the presence of Cheikh Bentounès, as well as a representative of the Algerian Consulate in Paris, and municipal authorities of St. Pierre.
10 July - 2 August 2008: an exhibition entitled "Abd el-Kader, héros des deux rives" was held in Avignon.
24-25 May 2008: a seminar entitled "L'Emir Abd el-Kader et les droits de l'homme, visions d'hier et d'aujourd'hui" was held in Algiers.
End of May 2008: a statue of the emir was officially inaugurated in Mexico, having been erected in 2004.
Events held in previous years include:
9 February 2007: The Insitut Abd el Kader was opened at the "Centre culturel de l'ambassade d'Algerie" in Paris (66 Champs Elysées, 75008). The institute's aims are to bring together in one place documents, books, letters and photos relating to the emir, as well as to organise conferences, exhibitions and events.
16 November 2006: a place Abd el-Kader was inaugurated in Paris, situated at the crossing of rue Poliveau, rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel and rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.