Fadhma Aït Mansour

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Marguerite-Fadhma Aït Mansour Amrouche (c. 1882 in Tizi Hibel, Algeria – July 9, 1967 in Saint-Brice-en-Coglès, France) is the mother of writers Jean Amrouche and Taos Amrouche.

She was born in a Kabylie village, the illegitimate daughter of a widow. Facing harsh discrimination from within her surroundings, she left her village to study at a secular school. Later, when she was with the Sisters at Aït Manguellet hospital, she converted to Roman Catholicism. She met another Kabyle Catholic convert, Antoine-Belkacem Amrouche, whom she married in 1898. They had eight children together, but only two of them would remain living by the time of her death. The family first moved to Tunis, where Taos was born, and then France.

During her lifetime, she made a considerable impact on the works of Jean and Taos. The folk songs she sang to her family were compiled and translated to French by Jean in 1939 as Chants berbères de Kabylie. In 1967, Taos made a music album in Kabyle bearing the same title as Jean's folk song collection. Her autobiography Histoire de ma vie was published posthumously in 1968. This book discusses mainly about the life she lived as a woman living in two different worlds: between the traditional Kabyle life and language and the colonial power France, its language, and particularly its predominant religion, Christianity.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fadhma Aith Mansour Amrouche The Story of My Life, Translated, with a new Introduction, by Caroline Stone. (Hardinge Simpole, 2009). [1].