Tribute: Mohamed Filali, the hyphen

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Filali. A word, a signature that weighs heavily. One of the very first in a muzzled media landscape, a practice not made to caress in the direction of the hair, caricature. Mohamed Filali, a name that will have marked generations by inspiring future talents with an easier task given the evolution of mentalities, a certain freedom gained with forceps. Filali is the line that hurts. Intimidation and threats rain down on a head determined to do battle, satire as a lethal weapon. And it lasts for years, decades.
 
A hard-to-swallow sandwich
 
Born in Essaouira in 1949, Mohamed Filali arrived in Rabat at the age of 19. His mind is bubbling with drawings. He quickly found himself on the benches of the daily "L'Opinion". We are at the end of the sixties and the political class is quite far from acerbic humor, from humor quite simply.

Filali gradually injects popular caricatures over the pages of a newspaper - as everyone knows - organ of the Istiqlal Party! Later, based on the idea of ​​the editor-in-chief Khalid Jamaï, a weekly supplement called "Sandwich" dedicated to caricature was born. A cultural earthquake followed by a real enthusiasm from the public. This is not without displeasing some political decision-makers and at their head the strong man of the reign of Hassan II, the Minister of the Interior Driss Basri who hides before going on the attack. His dream in the face of this nightmare that is "Sandwich" ends up coming true. A complaint from the embassy of the United States, country of the freedoms, seals the business. A cartoon showing former President Ronald Reagan gives Basri the opportunity to order a ban on the supplement and the cartoon altogether.
 
1978, Akhbar Souk
 
Thanks to a line and bubbles that strike a chord, even frighten, Filali's notoriety grows on sight with serious publications that amuse the reader and disturb the target. Nothing seems to be able to stop the cartoonist. With his friends Larbi Sabban (Al Alam) and Hamid El Bouhali, they created the French title "Satirix" which fizzled out. In 1978, the "Akhbar sou9" bomb exploded. Between caricatures and stolen photos featuring leaders of all kinds in embarrassing situations, readers - there were some at the time - laughed to tears. Sales are also exploding.

Bet won for the team surrounding Filali: Sabban, El Bouhali, Moustapha Rzouzi and his famous section "Rzouzi kay 9ress", Hammouda, Mohamed Bennis... The family is expanding to become a kind of press group with "Akhbar Al Fane" and "Akhbar Al Kora".

Other publications of the same caliber are to the credit of Filali who leaves us, ill, on October 11th. At the beginning of the 1980s, I drew a portrait of him for the Sindbad magazine directed by Abdallah Bensmaïn. The modest artist comes to thank me. I tell him that there is nothing to applaud. He replies, "You know, the simple things are the hardest to accomplish." Thank you for stopping by.


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