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Dahlia, Berber Warrior Queen

Pre desert near the Atlas mountains in Sous-Massa in Morocco
Pre desert near the Atlas mountains in Sous-Massa in Morocco

Background Story


Known as “The Witch” (al-Kahinat) to the invading Arabs, she was a fierce and wise resistance fighter for the Berber people.
Her fate was a soldiers fate, unlike Umm* who suffered death by being torn limb from limb by a pair of camels to which she was tied.
As with the story of Dahlia burning her cities, the story of Umm is hotly disputed.

She was no Umm*, twain by camels two
By soldiers of the Prophet, angry
No, she was of a different breed
She met them fighting, her enemy
She,warrior, who they knew as the Witch
Yet canny, when the time it had come
She told her sons convert themselves
So they be saved, fate cannot be fought
Though it be fought till a warrior falls
The warriors fate, the warriors desire
In such a falling there is no shame
Spartan style, Gods await the Spirit
Ready to toast the Soul of the Brave
Brave was she, name known in history
To today, tales of resistance
Undisputed, bravery speaks loud, clear
Across the ages, from centuries
Long, stories change details, however
Her story it remains the same, truth
Changes little from mouths of the telling
The words uttered, same as their echo
She faced invaders, to save her people
Not to resist the Faith which they preached
Telling her own two sons to convert,
No bandit she, waiting in desert
Soldier brave, blessed to die soldiers death
Unlike Umm, taken with her daughter
When his soldiers they by force seized her
She torn in twain, between two camels.

* Umm Qirfa – torn in two by Muhammads soldiers, some say for attacking a merchants convoy of Muhammads, others said to be a lesson that women should not lead. Story confirmed and disputed and hotly debated by Islamic scholars.

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