Aouali Ouici Senouci
At a very early age Aouali Ouici Senouci is conscious of what her country is being subjected to. Several times her father tells her: ‘The coloniser is a traitor, don’t trust him’.
At her local medersa (Islamic school), she is taught Algerian history and learns patriotic songs. Very early on she is looking to be recruited into an FLN cell. A comrade invites her, along with other class mates, to join the fighting arm of the FLN. She accepts immediately and leaves to join the maquis. In a letter to her a female comrade writes that ‘the love of your country is an act of faith’ and she never forgets this.
In 1956, she leaves for Marnia and then Nedroma. She is entrusted to a nurse to train as a paramedic and is then transferred to Oujda in Morocco close to the Algerian border where she works under Colonel Boussouf.
There, she discovers the reality of army life. In the morning, she undergoes military training - weapons handling, lessons in ambush and combat tactics - while in the afternoon she attends political education classes.
In terms of her military role she is a ‘controller’ which means that she coordinates overall strategy in the border region. She is responsible for typing up war and psychological action reports in a listening station which is intercepting French messages. This intelligence is then used against the French.
She creates the newsletter The Future (L’ Avenir) in order to counter French propaganda and better inform Algerian refugees in Morocco. With independence in early July 1962, she helps to organise the return of these refugees to Algeria.
She returns to Tlemcen a little after and works for the Ministry of Tourism until her retirement.
She still lives in Algiers.