Hamdan Khodja

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Hamdan ben Othman Khodja (1773-1842) was an Algerian dignitary and scholar.[1] He wrote the book "Le Miroir" in which he denounced the encroachments by French soldiers in Algiers, thus becoming the first essayist on this subject.[2]

Biography[edit]

Khodja was born in Algiers, Algeria, in 1773 to a family of Turkish origin belonging to the high administration of the regency.[3] His father was a Turkish scholar, an alim and also the defterdar of the deylik. As a "kouloughli",[4] which was a term used to refer to the offspring of Turkish men and Algerian women, Khodja received an excellent education and was well travelled.[3] In 1784, when his uncle had the responsibility of taking the dey’s gift to Constantinople, he was also present. After his father’s death, his uncle brought him into his business and sent him in his stead to cities such as Tunis, Livorno, Marseilles, London and Gibraltar, thereby giving him the opportunity to learn Turkish, French and English.[5] Khodja became known as one of the most important mercants and richest men in Algiers, where he was in very great demand from colleagues desiring to participate in his commercial operations which extended to the Ottoman Empire as well as to Europe.[5] When he became a victim of the French conquest of 1830, he sent a petition to King Louis Philippe to complain about the atrocities committed against him by the French Army.[5] Furthermore, Khodja wrote the book "Le Miroir" in which he denounced the encroachments by French soldiers in Algiers, thus becoming the first essayist on this subject;[2] it was translated into French and printed in Paris in 1833.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abi-Mershed 2010, 62.
  2. ^ a b Djebar 2000, 143.
  3. ^ a b Panzac 2005, 224.
  4. ^ Shuval 2000, 330.
  5. ^ a b c Panzac 2005, 222.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Abi-Mershed, Osama (2010), Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the Civilizing Mission in Algeria, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0804769095 .
  • Djebar, Assia (2000), So Vast the Prison (Vaste Est la Prison), Seven Stories Press, ISBN 1583220674 .
  • Panzac, Daniel (2005), Barbary Corsairs: The End of a Legend, 1800-1820, BRILL, ISBN 9004125949 .
  • Shuval, Tal (2000), "The Ottoman Algerian Elite and Its Ideology", International Journal of Middle East Studies, Cambridge University Press, 32 (3): 323–344, doi:10.1017/s0020743800021127 .