Moufdi Zakaria

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Moufdi Zakaria
Moufdi zakaria scratching.jpg
Native name مفدي زكرياء
Born Cheikh Zakaria Ben Slimane Ben Yahia Ben Cheikh Slimane Ben Hadj Aissa
12 June 1908
Ghardaïa, French Algeria
Died 17 August 1977(1977-08-17) (aged 69)
Tunis, Tunisia
Nationality Algerian
Occupation Poet, writer
Known for Author of the Algerian national anthem
Poet of the Algerian Revolution

Moufdi Zakaria (born Zekri Cheikh; 12 June 1908 – 17 August 1977) was an Algerian poet and writer. He wrote "Kassaman", the Algerian national anthem while in prison in 1955.


Cheikh Zakaria Ben Slimane Ben Yahia Ben Cheikh Slimane Ben Hadj Aissa was born on 12 June 1908. He was given the nickname of Moufdi by a school friend. He was born and attended school in the M'zab region of Algeria.

His university education was in Tunis where he met a number of poets including Aboul-Qacem Echebbi. His first poetry was published in a Tunisian newspaper in 1925.

He became associated with Algerian nationalists and served time in prison for his beliefs in 1937 and 1938.

In 1955 he was imprisoned in Serkadji prison by the French for his politics. There he wrote a poem called Qassaman or The Pledge.[1] It was said that he wrote the poem on the walls of his cell using his own blood. The poem was later set to music by Mohamed Triki in 1956 and then by Mohamed Fawzi. The final song was heard in 1957. This poem became the Algerian national anthem[2] shortly after 5 July 1962 when independence was achieved.

His poetry was believed to be largely influenced by the work of Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi.[3]

Zakaria died in 1977 in Tunisia but his body was buried in Algeria.


Zakaria left his poetry and the words to Algeria's national anthem. He has postage stamps issued in his honour and Noumérat – Moufdi Zakaria Airport in Ghardaïa, Algeria is named in his honour.[4]


  1. ^ Historical Background,, accessed March 2010
  2. ^ According to the Algerian Constitution of 1963, Article 75.
  3. ^ Poetry Letters Magazine, Issue No.4, October 2015, pp.58-66 (Arabic)
  4. ^ (in French) AIP and Chart for Aéroport de Ghardaïa / Noumérat – Moufdi Zakaria (DAUG) from Service d'Information Aéronautique – Algerie