Khalifa al-Zanati

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Khalifa al-Zanati (Arabic: خليفة الزناتي) one of the main characters in the Bani Hilal epic, where he appears as the Berber king of Tunis.[1] The epic says that during the siege of Bani Hilal to Tunis he asked their knights for duels every day and killed many of them, not even Abu Zayd al-Hilali was able to defeat him. His destiny was to be killed by Dhieb bin Ghanim who thrust a spear into his eyes.[1] The epic also says that one of the reasons of his defeat was the betrayal of his daughter Sadaa who fell in love with Maree, a Hilalian prince held captive in her fathers prison.[1]

The historical Khalifa Al-Zanati may have been a general serving the ruler of Tlemcen in present-day Algeria.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Dictionary of African Biography. 2012. p. 229. ISBN 0195382072.