Berber Amazigh Queen: Who Was the Legendary Dihya? (Part 2) Berber House 2021

Who Was Dihya? (Part 2)

After the assassination of her husband she led the resistance against Arab invaders. who later invaded the Maghreb back in the 7th and 8th centuries. The military commander Hassan ben Naaman of the Khalif Abd Al Malech, prepared for every possible scenario before heading to Carthage in order to occupy it, but little did he know that he will be facing strong and united Berber tribes lead by a woman battling against him.

After the arrival of Hassan ben Naaman he offered Dihya peace in exchange of her full surrender and her conversion to Islam, a final warning that she naturally rejected and started to prepare for battle. Slouschz reported that she was a descendant of a family of priests that was deported from Judea by the Pharaoh Necho during the ruling days of King Yoshiahu. Dihya’s intentions not include being remembered by history as the leader who will cause her dynasty to be deported. She also had no intentions of converting to Islam “I shall die in the religion I was born to”, she answered the commander’s demands.

After the Battle

After fierce battles she managed to kick the invader out of her realms. She chased him to Tripoli where he went with what’s left of his army after he was defeated and humiliated.

After her glorious triumph she became the Ruler of the City of cartage. One of The first decisions she made was setting free the prisoners she detained during the war, all but one his name was Haled ben Yazid whom she adopted as her own son. In addition of the two sons she already has.

The Defeat

The defeat caused by Dihya took Hassan five years to recover. Then he came back stronger and well prepared which left Dihya powerless. He brought with him a much bigger force this time. He was able to conquer Cartage and defeat the Berber rebels.

In addition of all her graces Dihya also had the gift of foreseeing the future. She knew she was going to be defeated so she ordered her sons to cross lines and adopt Islam. But she herself was too proud to surrender so after she got cornered and knew it was her end she took her own life by throwing herself into a deep well. The well is called up until today “The Kahina Well”.

But this is just one version of the story. Other versions consists that Dihya was poisoned and others say that she died in battles with her sword in her hand. But what is agreed upon is that she was a strong and fearless queen who will be remembered till the end of time.

In the time when the women were discriminated and treated badly Dihya wasn’t only a queen but also a symbol of resistance which made her a source of inspiration to all the women around the globe.

Amazigh Women Today

Today many Berber women pay tribute to Dihya trough their work. The recent one is Honayda Serafi an international fashion designer who grew up in Saudi Arabia and now lives in Paris, Was inspired by the Berber queen Dihya in her new winter collection in Paris fashion week.

The Saudi Arabian designer embraced the Berber queen by recreating the leader’s military armor in sequins and metallic.

That’s not the first time Hondayda has paid homage to a female figure” In a persistent quest to empower women, I aim to shed light – through each of my collections – on a female figure that left her mark in the history of civilizations,” says Serafi. “This season, Queen Dihya not only translates the power of a woman’s mind, but also demonstrates her wit and strategical reflection in the face of danger.”

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