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While imprisoned by French colonial forces, Algerian revolutionary Moufdi Zakaria wrote the words to what would become the country’s national anthem, “Qassaman (The Pledge),” in 1955. Legend has it that he penned them on the walls of his cell, using his own blood as ink. One thing’s for certain: Zakaria was clearly more than a little peeved about his incarceration. His lyrics seem to express more personal vendetta than national pride.
When we spoke, none listened to us, So we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm And the sound of machine guns as our melody… O France, this is the day of reckoning!