The Moroccan daily newspaper "Al Ahdat Alwataniya" (The National Events) published in its number 1168 of April 3, 2002 an article devoted by Abderraouf Hajji to his uncle Saïd Hajji on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of his death, and introduced it in these terms:

"The city of Salé provided to the Moroccan National Movement an impressive number of valuable men such as Abou Bakr Kadiri, Abderrahim Bouabid and Saïd Hajji who left us for the other world in March 1942, thirty years after the Act of the Protectorate was imposed on Morocco. The birth of Saïd Hajji, which went back to February 29, 1912 coincided with the signature of the treaty of Fès which dated practically day for day at this period of time; and his premature departure was regarded as a great loss for Morocco, with regard to the role he played in a number of fields in which the National Movement started to weigh with all its force thanks to the men who militated in its rows, among them Saïd Hajji was considered by the other nationalist leaders as a very advanced intellectual as regards the time being. They saw in him a great patriot who had a clear and precise vision of his political responsibilities as well as of the means that he proposed to implement in the actions which must be undertaken at the national level to impose the Moroccan personality on the colonial system introduced in Morocco since 1912.

At the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of Saïd Hajji's death we publish, with all our thanks, the following article which was addressed to us from Germany by our friend Abderraouf Hajji."

Abdellatif Jabrou


For sixty years Saïd Hajji passed away

March 2, 1942 Saïd Hajji passed away after a short existence which hardly lasted thirty years of which he devoted the major part to the militance in the National Movement and the struggle he carried out to permit to his country to recover its freedom back and occupy its place among the other countries of the Nations' Society.

Very early, he played the first roles within the framework of the leadership of the "Koutla Al Amal Alwatani" (The committee of the National Action) and was particularly distinguished at the time of his participation in the conception and elaboration of "the book of the claims of the Moroccan People" which was presented by a delegation of the above mentioned Committee to the High Authorities of the country as well as to the French Government and the General Resident of France to Rabat. This register of grievances which was established by a commission limited to four persons, was initially presented in 1934 in its complete version, then again in 1937 in a summerized version emphasizing the most urgent requests.

After the measurement of prohibition of "the Committee of the National Action", the "koutla" took the appellation of "the National Party" . But, as soon as Allal Elfassi was proclaimed as a leader of the new entity and Mohammed ben Hassan Alwazzani as a Secretary General, the latter decided to withdraw his membership from the party, creating a scission without precedent in the history of the patriotic movement in Morocco.

The dispute could not be overcome in spite of the multiple attempts undertaken by Saïd Hajji and his companions of the branch of Salé to find a compromise solution which would permit to get out from the impasse in order to face together the colonial power with a solid and unified front. The efforts of reconciliation having failed, both sides refusing to compromise, Saïd and his comrades were thus in a delicate position to choose between the two involved parties. Some choose the camp of Elwazzani, the others - and Saïd among them - joined the ranks of Allal Elfassi by opting for the camp of the National Party. Saïd has immediately published in the newspaper "Almaghrib" which he has newly founded, the text of the official statement announcing the creation of the new political entity

The National Party entered at once in confrontation with the protecting power by holding its first congress under the chair of its new leader. This one pronounced in his opening speech a severe indictment of the French colonial policy in Morocco, putting forward the deplorable state of the political, economic and social situation of the country 25 years after the establishment of the treaty of the Protectorate. Then, Saïd Hajji took the floor to speak in the name of his collegues of the branch of Salé. He said that he was feeling a glow of pride as he saw this mobilization of his fellow citizens for the cause of freedom. Before leaving the floor, he concluded his improvised intervention by this remark which denoted a great patriotic fervour:

"What we are living today", he said,"is the price that we must pay for the success of the legitimate claims of the Moroccan people."

Then, Omar ben Abdeljalil spoke in the name of the branch of Casablanca, and was relayed by Abou Bakr Kadiri who gave lecture of a draft resolution to be submitted to the approval of the congress. The text of this project, known under the appellation of "Al Mitaq Alwatani" (The National Pact) reiterates the requests relating to the freedom of the press and the right of association. It puts as a condition for any new negociation with the colonial power the lifting of all measurements which have been taken to reduce the public liberties and the execution of the requests as formulated in the register of the urgent claims.

It was foreseen that the National Pact was going to cause an immediate reaction of the General Resident of France in Morocco who, immediately, ordered to put under arrest the main responsible of the new party with, at their head, the leader Allal Elfassi, Mohammed Elyazidi, Omar ben Abdeljalil and Mohammed Mekouar. As for Saïd Hajji, not arrested undoubtedly by calculation, he remained alone on the political scene with, moreover, the responsibility for a newspaper which was the only publication left to carry the torch of the press struggle, after the prohibition of the official newspaper of the National Party, the weekly "Al Atlas."

Saïd Hajji started to put forward a strategy which would conduct the activities he had to undertake under his sole responsibility to obtain from the colonial power to change its policy towards the nationalists and release all the political prisoners, including the leaders of the National Party. Here is what he wrote about the role he assigned to himself as a defender of the national cause in the absence of his other companions:

"We lived days of the darkest ones after the arrest of the leaders of the party, and on reflection after considering the whole political situation and the dangerous turning taken by the last events, I have noted that some hands were acting in the shade, seeking to gain a benefit from the crisis situation that the country was passing through, and wanting to dig more deeply the ditch which separated them from the patriotic ideas preached by the leaders of the National Party that they held for intransigent extremists. Also, and after a deep reflection, I came to the conclusion that it was of my duty to thwart this infernal plot fomented by "the Direction of Indigenous Affairs" with the shaming complicity of a certain number of collaborators who were not very scrupulous of the national cause. I then imagined several scenarios that could lead to the opening of a new way which would allow, in case of success, to counteract the effects of the plot aiming at accusing the political detainees, by obtaining their liberation on the one hand and to ensure that the Plan of Reforms submitted to the examination of the French colonial power will be totally or partially put into execution on the other hand."

Saïd Hajji was not only a fervent patriot who loved his country and had an unlimited consideration for his companions in the field of their common struggle for liberty and a better future; he was also an enthusiastic reformer, in permanent research of renewals to deal with in order to open the way for new horizons likely to ensure the country a more promising following day. He was the man of the projects where he kept investing all his energies to realize them.

Unfortunately, the death surprised him at a moment when he intended to reach the stage of the concretization of his various projects the realization of which would have largely contributed to engage Morocco in the way of the progress to which it aspired.

Abderraouf Hajji