Biography of Farhat Abbas (1894-1985)

Pharmacist and Algerian politician born on August 24, 1894 in Taher, near Constantine, and died on December 24, 1985 in Algiers. He/She was one of the top leaders of the nationalist movement in his country, and played an outstanding role in the prolonged struggle that held Algeria to independence from France. It was also the first President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria.

Member of a traditional Muslim family, Farhat Abbas was the son of an official of the civil service of the colony, which enabled you to receive education and intellectual training entirely from French stamp. He/She began his studies of Liceo in the city of Phillippeville (current Skikda) and Constantine, after entering the University of Algiers, where he/she graduated in pharmacy. After two years of military service in the French Navy, Abbas worked as a pharmacist in the town of Setif, in which also played his first political office as a councilman, to later get the Mayor of Constantine.

Abbas initially practiced a policy of social and Redemptorist, and was one of the most prominent members of the Muslim student association of the North Africa. Due to his great knowledge of Western culture and the benefits that this reported, Farhat advocated collaboration with France and the assimilation of the native elements of the country in the society of the French colony as the indispensable vehicle for future emancipation of the colony, although always carried out under the imprint of French civilisation. However, deeply disillusioned by the authoritarian behavior of the colonial authorities, in the year 1938 Farhat founded the Algerian Popular Union, a nationalist movement of moderate court whose first objective was to the preserve the culture and the Algerian language against the French monopoly. As soon as the second world war, Abbas burst enlisted in the French Navy physician body.

On February 10, 1943, shortly before joining totally libertarian and opposition movement to France, Abbas prepared and published the so-called manifesto of the Algerian people, which would powerfully influence the subsequent development of his country's nationalist and independentist movement. The manifesto, which was presented to France and senior allies in North Africa, reflected a radical change in the political line defended to date by Abbas, which not only condemned the colonial policy of France in Algeria, but that it also clearly demanded the right to self-determination of the people of Algeria and the establishment of a Constitution. In the month of may of the same year, Abbas and a small group of collaborators and colleagues published an appendix of the manifesto in which claimed the total sovereignty of Algeria as independent, manifesto state that also was timely submitted to the French authorities. The French Governor of the colony emphatically rejected nationalist demands, so Abbas founded, together with the leader of the Algerian working class Messali Hadj, the Group Amis du manifest et de la Liberté ('friends of the manifesto and liberty'), which gave the final step towards full nationalist and demanding policy, circumstances which made his figure as a nationalist leader encaramase is to the top. After the Suppression of the AML by the French authorities, and after spending a year in jail for their political activities, Abbas took another significant step by founding, in 1946, the Union démocratique du manifest Argelieu ('Union democratic of the manifesto of Algeria'), which held the Presidency until 1956. The work and objectives of the UDMA focused on harnessing the anti-colonial forces to create a free, independent, and federated Algeria from France. However, due to his failure, in 1955 he/she decided to enter the Front de Libération Nationale (National Liberation Front), whose headquarters was in Cairo, and from where he/she did not stop fighting against French rule, to which organized revolutionary committees and traveled through several countries of the area and of Europe to gather support for the Algerian independence cause.

In the year 1958, Abbas attended the American Conference held in Tangier as Chief delegate. On 18 September of the same year became the President of the first Government interim of the Republic of Algeria, charge that held until August 1961, and he/she was replaced by Jusef ben-Jeddah. Throughout the subsequent independence process of their country, Abbas maintained a moderate and practical stance for the subsequent achievement of independence, which earned him his appointment, in September 1962, President of the constituent Assembly of Algeria. As the highest political body of the newly created Algeria President Abbas defended the practice of parliamentarism and democratic constitutionalism, which brought a great enmity and bitter clashes with the President of the country, the radical nationalist Ahmed ben Bella, whose most serious consequences was their later expulsion of FNL and all public offices in August 1963.

Confined in the desert of the Sahara between the years 1963 and 1964, and again in 1979, finally he/she was freed of the charges weighing against him and allowed him to finally retire from active politics and of any public office, after which he/she went to France as a semiexiliado, country from which the revolutionary authorities not allowed him to return until shortly before his deathwhich occurred in 1985.

Prolific writer, Abbas left written all their political and personal experience in various works, all of them are interesting to get to know the bloody Algerian conflict in their struggle for independence from France: colonial La Nuit ('the colonial night', 1962), Jenne Algérien: of the colonie vers the province (' the young Algeria: from colony to province ', 1931), and finallyAutopsie d´une la guerre ('autopsy of a war', 1980).


CALCHI NOVATI, Giampaolo. The Algerian revolution. (Barcelona; Ed. Bruguera, 1970).

HARONN, Ali. The guerre du FNL in France: 1954-1962. (Paris; Ed. Éditions du Sevil, 1986).

NONSCHI, André. Naissance du nationalisme algerim. (Paris; Edition de minuit, 1979).