The Moroccan daily newspaper "Al Ittihad Al Ichtiraki" published in its number of March 24, 1993 under the heading "No future without memory" the following article on Said Hajji established by Ibrahim Baamrani and entitled:

"Said Hajji one of the founders of the national press in Morocco ... and pioneer of the revival during the thirties."

Said Hajji (1912-1942) is regarded as the intellectual who emerged the most during the thirties, combining the qualities of the intellectual with those of the politician in his national activities and struggles.

He is one of the native sons of the city of Salé, who could pursue his studies in England and in the Middle East, and more particularly in Syria and Egypt where he spent four years studying and deepening his knowledge in contact with great thinkers and men of letters such as Abbas Mahmoud Al Akkad, Taha Hussein and Mohammed Hassanayn Heykal.

Then, he regained his fatherland to carry on his national, cultural and journalistic activities, relying only on himself to perfect his education and enrich his intellectual formation. He opted for the journalistic profession which gave him the opportunity to widen the field of his culture and knowledge and to involve in the exercice of writing in order to treat the political, cultural and social questions which he considered as a priority in the reform process needed by his fellow citizens.

The interest of Said Hajji in the press activity appeared at his place as he was 15 years old. Then, he persevered in the fight for the liberty of the press within the Committee of the National Action asserting the rights for the nationals to publish newspapers in the Arab language in their country, which opened the way to the publication of some national newspapers. "Almaghrib" which was created by Said Hajji in mid april 1937 was considered as being the first national daily newspaper published in Morocco.

Said enriched "Almaghrib" by a literary supplement, and added to it after a while a cultural review, "Al Taqafa Almaghribiya", and this in addition to the articles he kept publishing in various Arab newspapers , focused as regards the majority of them on the national problems and the defense of Morocco's interests against the aimings and the plans of the colonial policy.

The interest he carried to the press activity and to the role that the militant journalism could play to the profit of the national cause allows to appreciate the early awakening of his political responsibilities and the role he played as a member of the avant garde and a pioneer of the cultural revival of Morocco.

Within the framework of the national activities he undertook since his early youth, he oriented the most part of his preoccupations during his study time towards the research of the most adapted means to better promote our country and more effectively defend all the questions relating to the struggle led by the National Movement for the Moroccan cause. .

He also followed with much interest the different stages of the cultural rebirth of the Arab countries of the Middle East, comparing their level of culture with that of Morocco. He succeeded in creating, at the beginning of the thirties, an association grouping the Moroccan students who were mobilized for the cause of their country while studying in the Middle East. The membership of this association was then extended to the students of the Arab Maghreb, which made it entirely similar to "the Association of the Moslem Students of North Africa in France."

As one of the most influential members of the National Movement in Salé, he took part with his other companions in the struggle which was carried out against the Berber decree since the first day of its proclamation. Then, he contributed to the elaboration of "the book of the claims of the Moroccan People" which has been presented to the high Authorities both in Morocco and in France in 1934, and then took the defense of these claims by analysing them clause by clause in the newspaper "Almaghrib."

Those who were familiar with his deep patriotic thoughts will not fail to notice that most of his writings were based on the action in favour of the independance of Morocco and its release of the foreign occupation as he specified it in one of his articles where he wrote:

"The orientation towards which our patriotic fervour leads our steps and incites us to do all our best to reach our objectives is to preserve the sovereignty of the Moroccan State in order to enjoy its sacred rights and recover back the aureole of its flourishing history. Every Moroccan gifted with a talented spirit is perfectly aware of the responsibility which weighs on him and is ready to consent to all the sacrifices needed to ensure the triumph of his principles."

With regard to the cultural question, the spirit of Said Hajji was fully occupied in aspiring at the institution of a national culture combining tradition and modernity. a culture broadly open and released from the colonial yoke, a culture which enables the Moroccan society to evolve from lower forms of life to an advanced stage of the construction of its revival on healthy bases.

Said Hajji was convinced that this revival could hold on a solid base only if it were paid a careful attention to the question of teaching and propagation of culture among the rising generations. He preached the creation of private schools, the reform of our traditional teaching and the necessity to keep watching its evolution by surrounding it with all the care it deserves and, last but not least, the sending of the Moroccan students to study abroad. He estimated, on his part, that the unique way for the Moroccan intellectual to reach an adequate education is to bring him to study, in addition to the Arab language of which he is supposed to know all the secrets, a foreign language in order to be able to follow the various aspects of the modern civilization.

By analysing the state of underdevelopment of his time, he noted that there was an enormous gap between the modern world and the world in which we live. To leave this stage of underdevelopment, he proposed to adopt the positive attributes of the modern civilization and take care to distinguish between its two aspects: an essential aspect which is that of science and technical progress, and a secondary aspect which is that of the specific traditions to each human grouping. It is up to us to seek where the first aspect is after having lost it for such a very long time, while the second aspect should not be required among other people, but must be rediscovered within one's own community and added to the positive aspects of one's own civilization. It is only at this price that we will be capable to revive the Moroccan civilization whose torch kept propagating its lights for the whole period of the Middle Ages.

Such is, reduced to a few examples, the way of thinking of Said Hajji. It reflects a clear image of the specificity of the national thought in the thirties. According to Mohammed Abed El Jabri's opinion, Said Hajji introduced the problematic concept of the cultural rebirth in Morocco in a conscious way during the thirties and at the beginning of the forties, and the example he preached for the adaptation of the Moroccan culture to the modern world is personalized by the giants of the culture in Egypt and Syria during the considered period.

With Said Hajji who was undoubtedly one of the most eminent and active militants among the young generation, and one of the most conscious intellectuals among the leaders of the National Movement, the cultural question started to be considered as a national question as well as a question which conditions the whole future. The thought of Said Hajji was inventive and characterized by a fertile imagination. Both his activities and his writings were varied as were varied the literary, cultural, political and social questions of Morocco, which placed him at the head of the pioneers generation that built the bases of our cultural rebirth.

Brahim Baamrani