Birth Place: Mascara, Algeria
Historical Role: Marabout, Military Leader, Political Leader
Titles: Amir of Mascara
Primary countries affected: Algeria
Secondary countries affected: France, Syria
Events: Abd al-Qadir Wars (1832-34, 1835-37, 1840-47)
Abd al-Qadir was born in Mascara, Algeria. He is an important Algerian national hero, due to his role resisting the French Invasions of Algeria in the 19th century. al-Qadir is a Marabout or a Muslim holy man, he studied and memorized the Qur'an, he was also educated in several other fields.
In 1832, he became the Amir of Mascara, this is when the first conflict with France began, he organized the Algerian resistance and eventually the fighting subsided. In 1835, conflict with France erupted again, this time he was able to sign a treaty with them in 1837, by which they granted him control of much of Algeria's interior territories. In 1840, there was another conflict with France, and in 1847 he was forced to surrender to French forces. He was imprisoned in France, but was eventually released in 1852, he went on to live in exile in Turkey and eventually settled in Damascus. He is credited with saving 1,200 Christians from a Muslim mob in 1860. He died in Damascus in 1883.
Farwell, B (2001). The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Land Warfare. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.