Aisha La Contessa:
Some, especially people from the same origin, might find it funny and others might find it weird that I start this series
honoring women with a myth. The funniness stems from the fact that I have chosen to talk about a female character whose name is still used to scare both children and grownups. The intriguing part stems from the fact that the history of this heroic Moroccan woman or scary witch has never been defended as a truth since historian were rather pro-the mythicized life scenario. Aisha La Contessa or Aisha Kendisha whose both name and history has been distorted, was said to have been a very a beautiful woman from the North who fought Spanish Colonization. She was the mysterious knight who attacked enemies using the night, the hills and mountains to her advantage to kick the foreign authorities out of her land.
The soldiers who knew that her name was Aisha and who were scared and impressed by her military tactics, found themselves compelled to honor her as a Contessa. The horror she instilled in her enemies must have inspired them to use her name to scare their children to bed and silence. All her compatriots remember ; however, is that she was an enchantress who scared the enemies, and they also used her locally distorted nickname to scare their children. She is now remembered together with her husband Hamou Pasha, as very scary spirits whose names should not be mentioned without reading all Koranic verses a Moslem can recite to protect him/herself. Aisha and Hamou have seemingly been resented by both the locals and the colonizers. The former viewed them as symbols of open mindedness and a threat to traditions; the latter considered them as threats to their existence in a conquered land. The Fact that Aisha’s husband’s title was Pasha and that she herself was called a contessa might push the mind to wonder
if this was a mere coincidence. Aisha’s scariness lies in her being strong, beautiful and belonging to a a high social order.
To sum up, Aisha kendisha or Aisha La Contessa is another Jane D’ Arc; another woman who has been witch- hunted or alienated by her population and Foreign enemy forces. In addition to being beautiful,Aisha Kendisha was a fighter for freedom and her land. Jane D’Arc and Salem witches were burnt; Aisha was turned into a scarecrow figure whose name is waved to scare or insult others: an honor no veteran would want.
Portrait by J.Ouriour