Lalla Aicha, regent of Touggourt

Lalla Aicha (Arabic: للا عائشة) (known as Aichouche) (Arabic: عيشوش) was regent of Touggourt during the minority of her son Abd ar-Rahman from 1833–1846.[1][2] She was from the Ben-Gana family,[3] which was granted the title ‘cheikh el-Arab’ by the French.[4][5][6]

Lalla Aicha
للا عائشة
Regent of the Touggourt State
Regency1833 – 1846
SpouseSultan of Touggourt
ChildrenAbd ar-Rahman
Lalla Aicha



Some sources claim she married Amer, Sultan of Touggourt (1822–1830),[7] while other state she was the wife of Ibrahim III, Sultan of Touggourt (r. 1830–1831).[8] Lalla Aicha was the mother of Sultan Abd ar-Rahman (r. 1840–52).

Aicha's husband Sultan Ibrahim was murdered by his brother Ali, who usurped power in 1831.[8] Consequently, Aicha and a faction of courtiers rebelled against her brother-in-law Sultan Ali (Sulayman's father) and maintained power by killing other potential rivals, including Sulayman's infant son.[9]

Aicha ordered Ali poisoned which occurred,[8] before taking power in the name of her son Abd er-Rahman, then aged eight. Assuming the title khalifa[10] (viceroy) she took over the direction of government, managing state affairs with great ability. Accounts say that she rode a horse, wore pistols on her belt and even smoked tekrouri (hemp). She governed the state on her own until her son was old enough to take over.[3]

According to an 1854 account by Sulayman IV, last of the Beni Djellab sultans, the period of Lalla Aicha's rule was characterised by extreme violence within the ruling family, although this was not entirely unusual.[9]


  1. ^ Willy Jansen (1987). Women Without Men: Gender and Marginality in an Algerian Town. Brill Archive. p. 83. ISBN 90-04-08345-6.
  2. ^ Cahoon, Ben. "Algeria". Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "تاريخ دولة بني جلاب فرنسي". جوهــــــرة الواحات تقــــرت. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  4. ^ Benjamin C Brower (2009-07-07). A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902. Columbia University Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-231-51937-3.
  5. ^ Algeria: Tableau de la situation des établissements français dans l'Algérie en 1837-54. Journal des opérations de l'artillerie pendant l'expedition de Constantine, Oct. 1837. Tableau de la situation des établissements français dans l'Algérie précédé de l'exposé des motifs et du projet de loi, portant demande de crédits extraordinaires au titre de l'exercice. 1841. p. 4.
  6. ^ Kielstra, Nico (1987). "The decline of tribal organization in the Souf (S.E. Algeria)". Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée. 45: 11–24. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  7. ^ "سلاطيــــــــــــــن تقرت "فرنسي" (citing Magali-Boisnard, Sultans de Touggourt Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1933". جوهــــــرة الواحات تقــــرت. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b c la societe archeologique de la province de constantine (1868). Recueil des Notices et Memoires de la societe archeologique de la province de constantine – Touggurt, 2e VOLUME DE LA DEUXIÈME SÉRIE (PDF) (in French). Paris, CHALLAMEL, aîné, Éditeur. 30, rue des BouIangers. pp. 196–197. ... Ali died poisoned in turn by order of Lalla Aichouch, widow of Ibrahim and mother of Sidi-Abd-er-Rahman-bou-Lifa.
  9. ^ a b René Pottier (1947). Histoire du Sahara. Nouvelles Editions Latines. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-2-7233-0859-5.
  10. ^ Algeria: Moniteur algerién. Journal officiel de la colonie. nr. 532-880 (5 avril 1843-10 fevr. 1848) 2 v. 1843. p. 703.