G — H — A — L — I — M — I
This name means nothing. It is a pure invention of the French colonial administration. A simple approximation. A misspelling.
GHA — LI — MI
Of these seven letters, I pick three.
The first? The second one. H. Why this one? Because you can’t hear it. Unless you pronounce it Rhalimi. But here, we say Ghalimi. Like we say Ahmed. Or Mohammed. Yet the H is there…
Mohammed Rhalimi. Capital H, as in Human. The husband. The father. But before being a husband or a father, Mohammed Ghalimi was a humanist. A lover of the human spirit, bent on discovering its inner workings. A disciple of Bourdieu the sociologist. A son of Pierre and Marie-Odette, his foster parents. Un man full of travails, passions, and affections.
What a man!
And the second one? I off course. I because there are two of them: GHA — LI — MI.
I, as in Integrity. Because a man full of travails and passions will only make sense through his integrity. His absolute necessity to respect his own beliefs, his own knowledge, his own decisions. And this integrity is what drew us to him. It fostered sympathy, affection, then love (amour).
Amour with a capital A. The third letter of his name.
Three letters, like his three children.
To my father, Mohammed Ghalimi, 1948 – 2014