The Libyan Amazigh, poet, linguist, and writer Said Sifaw el-Mah’rouq was born on the 18th of April 1946, in the Amazigh town of Jado, Nafousa Mountain, north-west Libya. His mother died when he was seven years old. His search for his “Tamazight” identity began when he was fifteen, but by the time he reached full maturity he found himself face to face with the “demons of darkness”, the victim of circumstantial absurdities of Libya’s darkest period in history.
His unique, powerful identity and pioneering, daring ideals attracted the enmity of the Libyan monarchy long before the installation of Gaddafi in 1969, when his scholarship to study medicine in Egypt was withdrawn by king Idris’ government; apparently because he was among the first to call for “revolution” against the corrupt monarchy. The kings’s diplomatic staff granted him the choice to denounce his revolutionary activities or else loose his scholarship, and being who he was he refused to bargain, lost his scholarship, and returned home. After the installation of Gaddafi, he continued to speak out the truth, in the open and without fear, since he used his real name to publish his views that even in today’s free Libya not many will dare to think, let alone voice in the open.
Without a doubt Sifaw will be for ever one of Libya’s heroes the real world has ever seen. Imazighen around his charming company saw in him a dangerous personality stemming from his alert vision and simple attitude to life. A true legend of Amazigh history; a powerful and charismatic leader; a genius ahead of his time; a treasure of tales even recorded history miserably failed to see; and a stern activist afraid of absolutely nothing, not even the dark sky and its mythical stars.
He died on the 29th of July 1994 while he was being treated in Tunisia.