Mohamed Sheikh SBAI: symbol of the resistance to all the drifts

Mohamed Sheikh SBAI joined his Creator on February 13, 2005


See also: Mohamed Cheikh: last lion of the desert


It came time to share with you this site_blog, in tribute to my father, Mohamed Sheikh SBAI, disappeared 10 years ago…

There will be raised, with emotion but also with lucidity, the story of this man, Mohamed V and Ben Barka companion and who fought the excesses of Hassan II. The complexity, not to say the wealth of the character is thus posed!

Throughout his history, we will visit the Morocco and the Sahara History, without pretention of course, but without compromission as well.

Hope that this testimony illuminates areas maintained in shadow, by ignorance, or more serious in order to preserve privileges preventing the Maghreb to evolve.

I assume the part of subjectivity inherent to any evidence of characters I have known (in this case, my father), but I claim a permanent requirement of historical objectivity.

I am aware that I will make two kinds of frustrated: those for which historical and political debate must be through a narrow prism of a national cause, and those for whom any discussion must be oriented towards a systematic criticism of system(s).

But thre all others, so many, curious to the truth and wishing that our countries (those of the Maghreb in this case) go ahead and build their future together without renouncing their past. It is those that I address, finally!

Those expecting the sensational, or the superficial, forgive me for adopting historical, geographical and human perspective, instead. I beleive such approch more soothed and necessarily less nationalistic, in the narrow sense of the term, of course. In addition, this perspective may generate hopes for all the Maghreb countries blocked by a conflict that has lasted more than 40 years, preventing their peoples and their youth to build together… To tackle the real challenges: education, the development of harmonious and respectful of the environment, justice and the fight against extremism, and their causes, in the first place: illiteracy, the bad distribution of wealth and the bad governance in general. Ah if the causes, say national of these countries converge on it, the Maghreb would have made a big step towards promising, development and regional integration from any point of view. The new and future generations deserve…

The future is built with its neighbours and not against them. This is valid on both sides of each border… Europe had undertaken it, more than 50 years ago, the Maghreb when? A meditation by the time running!

This site is constructed through blogs (or chapters), ostensibly independent, but bound in the spirit, in order to allow the reader to visit aspect that may interest her/him. I have slipped stories and reflections, captured or ripened over time, of course. Another look at the desert is exposed, with a hymn to the nomadic lifestyle with emphasis on the great forgotten of conflicts tearing the region for decades: the environment!

The history of the Sahara, chapter sensitive if it is, will be more devoted to the history of mankind that countries, displeasing to those who want to bring it to a binary and reduced vision.

Since I’m more interesting to the environment and nature, common heritage, that to which it may belong, I opted for a depoliticized look. Broad debate! Policy me caught up, however, in some thoughts on the recent elections in Morocco for example as well as the problems of bad governance, but through emblematic facts (the struggle of Dr. Labbas SBAI or M’hamid: construction of bad governance). Good read

These articles, some barely begun, are being feed in the same spirit and with the same requirement: the truth

Mohamed Ali, son of Mohamed Sheikh SBAI


Mohamed Sheikh: last lion of the desert

The desert: another look

The battle of Dr, Labbas SBAI for responsible tourism and sustainable development

M’hamid ElGhozlane: Model of bad governance

Reflections of New York: August-September 2015

Travel tales

Poetry of the desert

The history of the Sahara

Chapter 1: Resistance to all drifts

Mohamed Cheick SBAI was one of first to organize resistance against the french occupation in the South, and to coordinate with the network of national resistance. His friends of resistance called Sheikh El Arab, Fqih Basri, Said Bounailat, and Ben Barka of course, among other

He was also at the head of the Sahrawi delegation which welcomed Mohamed V during his famous visit to me hamid ElGhozlane, February 25, 1958


المقاوم محمد الشيخ السباعي يقابل جلالة الملك محمد الخامس

أثناء زيارته التاريخية للمحاميد الغزلان 25 فبراير1958


The great resistant Mohamed Sheikh SBAI with Mohammed V in M’hamid, 25th February 1958, presenting him the grievances of the Saharan populations


The famous speech of Mohamed V in M’hamid El Ghozlane, February 25th, 1958


This discours represents basic argument of Morocco on the Sahara issue

1962: The clash with Hassan II.

Mohamed Sheikh SBAI resolutely committed with Mehdi BEN BARKA,  symbolizing, since 1959, the hope for the Moroccan people. This hope was assassinated on October 29, 1965 in Paris. This is the final break!

The newspaper “AL-Tahrir May 30, 1962


إن الانتصار سيكون ولا بد حليف الشعب من أقصى الوطن إلى أدناه، مهما تفنن أعداؤه في الكذب والشعودة والديماغوجية
و إن أبناء الصحراء كبيرهم وصغيرهم لمستعدون للكفاح بجانب جميع طبقات الشعب المغربي في سبيل الديمقراطية والعدالة والمساواة وضد الرجعية والتخلف

من خطاب السيد بن الشيخ من المحاميد الغزلان، في مؤتمر الاتحاد الوطني للقوات الشعبية، مايو 1962

“The victory will be inevitable and the ally of the people throughout the country, despite the prowess of his enemies in the lie, the comedy and demagoguery. ”
The sons of the Sahara, all, are ready for the fight alongside all social strata of the Moroccan people for democracy, justice and equality and against reactionaries and underdevelopment”

Speech of grand resistant and member of the UNFP, Mohamed Sheikh SBAI, said Ben Cheikh, published in the journal Al-Tahrir May 30, 1962

In 1962, he participated in the 2nd Congress of the UNFP, Casablanca, devoting the final break between BEN BARKA and HASSAN II and opening one of the darkest chapters of the reign of Hassan II in the years of lead from 1962 to 1972, offering the Morocco to General Oufkir. Mohamed Sheikh Sam will be stopped several times during its dark years, touching the death penalty on two occasions: in October, 1963, during the war of the sands between the Algeria and the Morocco and in 1969 in a national purge affecting the last faithful of Mehdi BEN BARKA in 1965 eliminated. In different interviews, Commissioners him out of their drawer his speech at the 2nd Congress of the UNFP, ahead of BEN BARKA and his friends. A BEN BARKA, congratulating comrade Mohamed Cheikh, said Ben Cheikh, the revolutionary words, which will be published in the Tahrir journal, May 30, 1962.

1965-1975: purge of the friends of BEN BARKA.

Mohamed Cheikh was arrested, in 1970 in M’hamid, for the third time on Oufkir order, with a simple slogan: don’t talk to me about more of this “camel from me hamid”. Read: wind it up! The previous two were in October, 1963, during the war of sands and in 1965, following the purges has known the Morocco after the removal of Mehdi Ben Barka. 

Colonel H’da, Governor of Ouarzazate transmitted the order, without appeal, to the cynic caïd EL Belghaiti in Tagounite… The Mokhazni, weeping, could not have unsheathed and cowardly lion of the desert, in full Hamada hoping he dies of thirst. Its resistance, outside the norm, his knowledge of the desert and especially his faith allowed him to join me hamid in a few hours… The hunted by Hassan II Mohamed V Companion. What symbol! 

Sensing the danger he instructed me to inform its few friends in Zagora and Rabat ensure on his family and relatives, because blood hand of Oufkir could crack down at any time. 

Kid, I made this unforgettable trip, CTM, where I reciting at every turn the speech I had to decline to Zagora to his friend Naciri and especially a cousin of the King, in Rabat. Their reactions say a lot about these years of lead suffered the Kingdom:

“Oh, my son, I can do nothing to save your father, that God guide on the right path: Oufkir is the master of Rabat, the Colonel H’da is master uncontested of Ouarzazate and the Super-caid Kifani does what he wants in Zagora…” The challenge of your father to power is a pure suicide… They have even eliminated Ben Barka, despite international protection… “.” The words of very fine Naciri Abdeslam, said Salamou Ali, summarized quite well the years of lead, or years Oufkir, who fell on the Morocco more than a decade during, from 1962 to 1972, year of the miraculous failure of the attempted coup of Oufkir against Hassan II. It was August 16, 1972. Rabat, received in 1972, by Moulay Hachem, Director of the Bureau of investigation and Initiatives in the Palace, to receive the grievances of the population, not me not held a more reassuring words: “called your father to make low-profile, at the moment, it is Oufkir which decides everything in the Kingdom, and it has in focus. If he decides one day to crush him against a wall, one can nothing we here! Send him my warmest greetings.

Dlimi continued repression in a more violent way until he is caught by the fate of Oufkir, with a humiliating at the Marrakech palais torture until he is executed in 1983. 

Morality: you are payed with what you did to others.

Beginning of the reign of Mohamed VI: hope and reconciliation…

The old lion has refused to submit a dossier to the Fairness and Reconciliation Instance (FRI), an initiative also commendable that hollow, squaring the lead’s years, to good account. Mohamed Cheikh felt that his fight responds to an ethic and a principle: to serve and not be served! 


Receiving Mohamed VI in Zagora, October 2001, he whispered to the ear:

“You are welcome in the land that has been trampled by your ancestors… and don’t forget to take the hand of the poor!

  ‘مرحبا بجلالتكم في الأرض التي وطوا فيها أسلافكم… ‘. ولاتنسوا أن تاخذو ا بيد الظعيف.

He declined any help or privilege to the emissaries of the King who came to inquire from him after the Royal visit… A symbol!

This is for some highlights of the history of Mohamed Sheikh SBAI

One thought on “Mohamed Sheikh SBAI: symbol of the resistance to all the drifts”

  1. I really do consider all the ideas you possess offered with your post.
    They can be very convincing and will definitely work.
    Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May just
    you please lengthen them a little bit from next time?
    Thanks a lot to the post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *