Al Maghrib - A special edition in commemoration of the first anniversary after Said Hajji passed away - 6th year, No 1189 , March 11, 1943.
A whole year has gone by since you left us, Said; and now your devoted loyal friends and companions will celebrate today in your honor the first anniversary since you passed away. We will evoke a number of memories, reopening a page already amply turned, and recalling a fruitful period of the struggle you waged in life. We will be seeing again a soldier falling in the midst of the fray and a stunning play as the curtains drop.
You were not one to wander this captivating world, seduced by its charms without leaving an echo that reverberates in the confines of our collective memory. You were not of those who bonded with people, happy with mediocrity leaving no trace embedded in their minds, engraved in their hearts or written in their timestamps. On the contrary, you were action personified and hope embodied. You led a life full of activities. Before you would finally achieve one of your objectives, your fastidiousness was such that you never reached the end of some interim stage without beginning another that needed attention. Moreover you did not even try to understand if this new stage had a conclusion, assess any limits or even imagine such limits could exist. Your explored everything, your mind spanned across all horizons.
So what does evoking your memory incite in me? It brings back a lot of memories; a past overflowing with activities, hopes and dreams. It brings me back to numerous and varied historical moments of our nation. I see you pursuing your studies abroad far from home and I see you providing the local Arab youth the example of a young dynamic Moroccan bubbling with enthusiasm.
I recall when you were far away, how you always sought to be informed of the events unfolding here, the activities being deployed by your comrades in the struggle and the progress they made in the battle against foreign occupation. You paid attention to the little details just as much as the bigger items. You were always on the lookout for incoming travelers to be informed about the situation in Morocco. For you this was a source of comfort and also subject to enrich your warehouse of facts to feed your journalistic essays.
But despite all this, you never ceased to tell yourself, seeking better consolation, as you said in a letter dated February 19, 1932 from Damascus, "Oh my heart, patience! It burns with the desire to be at home and to participate in the efforts of my comrades striving for the national cause. There remains only four months until we meet again to establish the actions we deem in the interest of our nation." When you were in Europe, far from home, you did not let yourself become addled neither by the Western civilization's misleading impressions nor by its troubling deceptions. Nothing turned you away from your country nor made you forget your friends.
In another letter dated February 16, 1936, you wrote in particular, "I arrived in London after a journey lasting several days and I found it was a city full of all manners and qualities of merchandise. However I felt very nostalgic for my country." In the moment when you could not express your feelings neither by act or speech you resorted to the pen to record the emotions you felt towards your friends and your nation. We all felt incomparable joy reading your letters. They brought an undercurrent of affection that helped us withstand adversity. They provided profound relief to our minds and we saw in them the best interpretation of your hopes and dreams.
All this and many other memories resurfaced today on the commemoration of the first anniversary since you passed away. I will never forget the collegiality which linked us together at work nor the brotherhood which united us in the struggle on the patriotic front. Although the moment has not yet arrived for all to speak about work colleagues and about comrades in the struggle, I will cite one friend whose has been among the most devoted. Hence to speak of Said is a testimonial for loyalty and for consolation. He is the example to contemplate for the current circumstances where the world is bloodied and inflamed. It is filled with acts of brutality and inhumanity; a time where men turn into wolves and become man's worst enemy. And at the same time voices are raised from the hearts and minds of those who call for pity and compassion. The time for loyal and sincere friendship is overwhelmed in these circumstances when materialism supersedes spiritualism, degenerate egotism wins over acts of generosity that otherwise would typify a reconciled humanity; a humanity whose love of their neighbor wins over cruelty, where the mind controls the passions. where it distances itself from disorder and the bad to live in a better world where peace and the good are reestablished.
Luckily, the human species can count amongst its ranks men with high mindfulness and great purity of their soul; men who accomplished great things and made friendship a motto for existence. They were men who brought joy to the heart and solace to the mind while also being a source of energy, a facilitator for work and a guide who leads one to success. You were a friend who appreciated the true value of friendship. You strove to always be loyal and devoted to your friends. Your support made them happy and you took pains to leave them at peace. In them you found sources of refuge in difficult times, guides when you were lost, helpers when you needed assistance and supporters in times of trial. For them you were the stimulus to increase their fervor, to achieve their most astonishing hopes, to initiate their most varied undertakings, and to overcome their most difficult obstacles. You helped them subdue and iron out their most insurmountable difficulties and to that end, to face all dangers with audacity.
You were a friend in the true sense of the word. You did not believe in a friendship that was contingent upon some interest; one that lasts only briefly. Your friendship was without blemish. Your noble character was appreciated by your friends which you validated by recognizing their own merit and value. This shared esteem was reinforced by reciprocal admiration. The sympathetic vibes from the heart lead to a mindful friendship. Likewise the shared feelings lead to a mix of emotions and sensitivity. And what can be said about the ease that begins first by inspiring consideration before becoming a inexhaustible source of friendship and a motive for sharing common virtues; values which are not wiped out with the passage of time nor by distance between locations or by physical separation?
You had expressed the wish that I expunge from my mind all images of you and that I abstain from representing you whatsoever in this manner as you wrote in one of your letters to me from Salé on August 7, 1935: "with the exception of an image of Said, a simple man who lives for his friends and sees in friendship a very strong spiritual bond." I have made this image of you in conformance to your wish while you were amongst us and now I am keeping this same image per your wishes after you death.
Hachmi El Filali