The eighth edition of the Melhoun National Poetry Festival dedicated to Sheikh Sidi Lakhdar Benkhelouf will take place on 16, 17 and 18 December 2021 at the Ould Abderrahmane Kaki House of Culture in Mostaganem.
"This heritage, which constitutes a significant part of the popular culture of our country, has always been this great reservoir of socio-cultural knowledge of the abyss of our nation," press release.
SHEIKH EL HABIB BENGUENOUN
1761 – 1864
Born into a farming family in Mascara in 1761, El Habib Benguenoun pursued Koranic studies that he left after memorizing a large part of the Holy Book.
Avoiding a career as a taleb, he nevertheless poured into professional life. The butchery interests him and this is how he settles in the district of Largoub in Mascara.
His passion for poetry arrived very early, composing verses, from his tender youth. Stirring and very active, he will ask for the hand of his beloved from the tribe of guessaïriya.
A clear refusal was opposed to him by the family, but it was without counting on his poetic verve that he develops from this quite unexpected fact.
He exercises himself in satire by lengthening long verses against the girl's parents.
He wishes them curses of all kinds relying on the holy marabout Sidi Mohamed Benamar (eleventh century) to avenge him.
As if by magic, the wish is granted, the tribe of guessaïriya will experience a year later a great curse.
These same parents end up granting their daughter's hand to the young El Habib Benguenoun.
After many adventures, he took a second and then a third wife around 1820, a Tlemcenian of the El Masmoudi family who gave him two children in addition to the other four born of the first bed.
Designated Moqaddem of Sidi Lakhdar Benkhelouf in Mascara, by his friend El Hadj LakehalBouferma descendant of the bard, prince of popular poets.
El Habib Benguenoun had boundless admiration for this monumental personality who lived in the sixteenth century He then led, and this, annually, a large procession of pilgrims who came to meditate in front of the tomb of the Sheikh.
Artist with extreme sensitivity Cheikh El Habib Benguenoun listened only to his reason and his heart.To be more certain, he addressed himself with scathing odes, verses, rather spikes, or butcher's fangs correcting if necessary the ones and the others who dared to stand in his way.
If the panegyric is often absent in the work of Sheikh El HabibBenguenoun, the fact remains that he constantly observed his faith in Islam that he practiced like all Muslims.
Faithful in friendship, he maintained with great care his relations with the scholar Abu Ras Naciri (1751 – 1822), with El HadjLakehalBouferma of Sidi Lakhdar, with the poet Mohamed Oueld Ali Merine, as well as with the brothers El Hadj Ahmed and Mohamed Benzellal.
He enjoyed his fierce opposition to the authority of the poets of Mazouna. This old city, which radiated culturally during this period, was a real intellectual minaret.
The Nodal center
of Melhoun poetry was in this region which had sheltered the first beylik of the west during the regency of Algiers (Ottoman period).
The supremacy of the poets of Mazouna will get the better of him. He will eventually give up. SheikhEl HabibBenguenoun will receive in the twilight of his life, an important support that of Sheikh Mostefa Benbrahim who had said of him "Benguenoun, who lives in Mascara is a sea (of poetry) overflowing on the poets of all the regions".
Sheikh El Habib Benguenoun sang, like most popular poets, women, pain, separation, joys and sorrows of man. He defended the popular language, that of the plain of Ghriss his native region, he loved Sheikh Sidi Lakhdar Benkhelouf and carried it high in its versification.
He woven his poems or qacida, or rkeb as one weaves a beautiful fabric. The "hedda" is staggered with the "frech" in an elegant way punctuated by a "richa" to embellish the theme and the message desired by the poet.
Professor Ahmed Tahar (1905 – 1981), this eminent teacher and researcher who had won the Algerian Translation Prize in 1942, took an interest in this great poet in a study entitled "Benguenoun: popular poet of the ghriss plain".
This document contains 8 poems in Latin transcription and in French translation.
Remained in oblivion for a long time this manuscript was discovered and highlighted in 2012 by Dr. Ahmed-Amine Dellaï researcher specialized in Melhoun poetry at the CRASC of Oran.
It is published by CRASC.
Some titles from the repertoire of Cheikh El Habib Benguenoun
Biyadjatnikoudabiida................................. بياجاتني كودة بعيدة
El mchahra.......................................................... المشاهرة
Djanikhbaroumdlèl...................................... جاني خبر أم دلال
Yaaadebqelbikinesbor................................ يا عذاب قلبي كنصبر
Dhalma (Tal eddoraâliya)...........................) اّ ظالمة (طال الضر علي
QollelSi Mohamed la yeghidekhalek...... قل للسي محمد لا يغيضك حالك
Rebbiqdaaâliyaoueblisâmani............... ربي ق ضى عليا و بليس عماني
Hedessaydkhteltousobtehardjoubiid.. هذا الصيد ختلته صبت حرجهبعيد
This great poet in love marked his existence by the production of a verb that recalls the strength of the poets of the djahiliya and their notoriety.
Its expression, in the manner of the goual, is addressed to the average population.
This allowed him an ease in the production of images that he wanted to bring to the story.
He died in Mascara in 1864, at the age of 103 after a century well accomplished.Author: Abdelkader Bendamèche