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The sacred date for Algerians - February 18, was marked for another year in Sofia.

This time the National Day of the Martyr /shahid/ was celebrated with a solemn ceremony in the residence of H. E. Ms. Latifa Benazza, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Republic of Algeria to the Republic of Bulgaria, in strict compliance with all anti-epidemic measures and with a very limited number of guests.

Martyr's Day is celebrated in Algeria as a tribute to the martyrdom of a million and a half people who gave their lives for the country's liberation from colonialism in both the uprisings and the Algerian War of Independence that lasted for seven and a half years - from 1954 to 1962. Every year, on February 18, Algerians pay their respects to the martyrs through prayers, they organize seminars, cultural festivals, photo exhibitions, and screenings of films about the armed uprising. In addition, the Algerian government and university students do not forget to respect the families of their heroes.

The Martyr's Day ceremony in Sofia, organized by the Algerian embassy, began shortly before noon in the courtyard of the residence, where the Algerian flag was raised to the sounds of the national anthem and prayers were offered for the souls of the martyrs.

Then, in one of the halls, H. E. Ms. Latifa Benazza gave a short welcome speech:

Excellencies Ambassadors,

Dear Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

President of the Bulgaria Algeria Friendship Association,

Dear Ms. Snezhana Todorova, President of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists,

Dear Ms. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum,

First of all, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all of you for being with us on this memorable day of 18 February when we commemorate, as we do each year, the National Day of the Martyr. Also, I am happy to have the honor of commemorating together those who deserve to be venerated by the Algerian nation: our righteous martyrs. Without their rightful jihad, their unswerving struggle, and their huge sacrifice, the sun of freedom would never have risen for my country, Algeria, and the brutal colonial oppression would not have been ended forever.

This memorable day also carries in it the meaning of gratitude and loyalty of the Algerian people to the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their most precious possessions for their people to live in freedom, security, and dignity on its land. Our duty of gratitude is to pay tribute, praise and take the learnings from their devotion and self-denial in order that Algeria could live free and independent.

Distinguished guests,

Insofar as this anniversary is a recurrent occasion for us to feel proud of the heroes of our liberation Revolution and their martyrdom on the battlefield, it also reminds us how great the commitment and firmness of my dear homeland’s sons were as they strongly stood by their people and its fundamental national values.

The celebration of the National Day of the Martyr aims to reinforce the ties between generations and to remind young people of the sacrifices made by their predecessors in order to liberate our country from the clutches of loathsome colonialism.

Our righteous martyrs have lighted the way ahead for the generations of independence, that have never stopped fighting to raise Algeria to the ranks of the advanced nations, thus remaining true to the covenant of these martyrs and to the glorious Revolution of November 1, 1954.

Long live Algeria!

Glory and eternal memory to the righteous martyrs!

After these words, Her Excellency invited her guests to view the specially prepared exhibition of the Algerian heroes in the hall and personally told them details about the tragic moments in the history of the Algerian people.

Lively conversations and treats followed.

The photos were provided by the Embassy of the Democratic and People's Republic of Algeria in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above /from left to right/: H. E. Dr. Željko Jović, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia, H. E. Ms. Caridad Yamira Cueto Milian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba, H. E. Mr. Khalid Ibrahim Emara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H. E. Mr. Esrom Thabo Thage, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa, H. E. Ms. Latifa Benazza, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Algeria, H. E. Dr. Ahmed Al-Madbuh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria, Ms. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic Spectrum and Ms. Snezhana Todorova, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Bulgarian journalists, at the raising of the flag in the courtyard of the residence.

Below: raising the flag; H. E. Ms. Latifa Benazza welcomed the guests; photos from the exhibition