When did Abd el-Kader die?

By Sue Protheroe

A lesson in which students use a variety of 19th century newspaper articles (adapted for middle school readers) with conflicting information to explore the quirks and limitations of primary source materials.

Emir Abdelkader Painting

Western newspapers announced the death of Abd el-Kader in 1873, 1879, and 1883. In “When did Abd el-Kader die?” students analyze a selection of newspaper articles (adapted for middle school readers) to speculate about the conflicting information and offer additional questions worthy of research.

Suggested Reading

Bouyerdene, Ahmed. Emir Abd El-Kader: Hero and Saint of Islam. World Wisdom, 2013.

Churchill, Charles Henry. The Life of Abdel Kader: Ex-Sultan of the Arabs of Algeria. Chapnab and Hall, 1867.

Kiser, John W. Commander of the Faithful: the Life and Times of Emir Abd El Kader. Monkfish Book Pub., 2008.

Marston, Elsa. Compassionate Warrior – Abd El-Kader of Algeria. World Wisdom Books, 2013. (Suitable for grades 6-10 and adults looking for a shorter biograhy than the others mentioned here.)

Why teach the life and times of Emir Abdelkader?

  • Uncovers little-known facts about America's heartland
  • Adds historical lens of the conquered, highlighting story of resistance
  • Challenges stereotypes
  • Broadens notions of American cultural, ethnic, and religious identities
  • Offers international perspective beyond eurocentric history
  • Counters extremism
  • Provides role model of ethical leadership
  • Encourages critical thinking and social/emotional learning


Khan, Daisy. Wiseup: Knowledge Ends Extremism. Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality, 2017. 

Kiser, John W. Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd El-Kader. Monkfish Book Publishing, 2008. 

Marston, Elsa. The Compassionate Warrior: Abd El-Kader of Algeria. Wisdom Tales, 2013.

Other Selected Readings

Bouyerdene, Ahmed. Emir Abdelkader: Hero and Saint of Islam. World Wisdom, 2012.

Churchill, Charles-Henry. The Life of Abd el Kader, ex Sultan of the Arabs of Algeria. Chapman Hall, 1867.

Danziger, Raphael. Abd al-Qadir and the Algerians. Holmes and Meier, 1977.

DeTocqueville, Alexis. Writings on Empire and Slavery (translated by Jennifer Pitts) Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Kiser, John W. The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria. St. Martins Press, 2003

Kiser, John W. Lessons From An Arab Warrior

Hourani, Albert. Islam in European Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Johnston, Douglas, Religion Terror and Error: American Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011.

Nasr, Hossein. Man and Nature, The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man. Chicago: ABC International Group Inc, 1997.