because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dahia-al Kahina

Accounts of Dahia-al Kahina suggest that she was a Berbian Moor prophetess or "soothsayer" in the 7th Century in what is now Tunisia, just as the Arabic peoples were trying to push their influence deeper into Africa. Legends refer to her height and long hair and tell a story about how she freed her people from a tyrant by promising to marry him and then killing him on their wedding night.

Sometimes called "The Queen of the Berbers," Kahina so soundly defeated Arab military leader Hasan ibn Nu'man in what is now Algeria that he retreated to what is now Libya and wouldn't leave it for five years!  During this time, in an attempt to discourage the Arabs from their continued onslaughts, Kahina embarked on a "scorched earth" campaign (destroying everything of value where she ruled). Unfortunately, this tack lost her the support of her people and subsequently, she either died in battle or drank poison rather than be taken captive in the year 702 or 703.  Legend has it that she was 127 years old at the time.  Which is (let's face it now) highly doubtful, but in-your-face women don't live by the rules, so who knows?

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