Pierre Rabhi portraits

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Pierre Rabhi

Pierre Rabhi

Pierre Rabhi is a French writer, farmer and environmentalist. Originally a Muslim, he converted to Christianity before getting away from religion. He studied in France as a youth. He is an important personality of agroecology in France. He invented the concept of Oasis en tous lieux, "Oasis in any place" in English. He proposes a society that functions in a manner that respects populations and land and supports the development of agricultural techniques that take care of the environment preserving natural resources. His theories relate particularly though not exclusively to arid countries. There are some controversies about his use of biodynamic agriculture which is based on pseudoscientific and esoterical belief from anthroposophy. Pierre Rabhi was born into a Muslim family in Kénadsa, near Béchar, an oasis in southern Algeria, in 1938. His mother died when he was four years old. His father who was a blacksmith, a musician and a poet, got to know a French couple, an engineer who was a primary school teacher and his wife, when they came to work during colonisation at the Compagnie des Houillères (Coal mining corporation) in his native village. As this couple were unable to have a child and young Pierre’s father was worried about his son’s future, he accepted that the couple bring up his son, on the condition that he continues to be a good Muslim. Later, his father would find himself obliged to close his workshop and go to work in the mine. This would influence the thoughts and philosophy of his son. Thus, Pierre Rabhi’s childhood was shared between France and Algeria, and the Catholic and Muslim worlds until the age of 14.

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