As he celebrates (or not) his seventy seventh birthday today, Bouteflika will have to wait a few more days before he receives his most longed for present: the confirmation of his presidential candidacy for a fourth term. All potential candidates must indeed submit their application files before March 4 and the Constitutional Council is expected to validate them and publish the full list of eligible candidates on March 13.
It was PM Sellal who, disregarding Bouteflika’s call for the administration neutrality, annouced that the president will run for a fourth term. The announcement led some parties such as the MPS, RCD and Ennahda to call for a boycott of the presidential elections and some potential candidates such as Kamel Benkoussa and Soufiane Djilali to withdraw theirs. It is fair to say that some other candidates also withdrew but only to back the president’s candidacy. All this happens in the midst of a total indifference of the majority of the people that even the turbulent Saidani and other circus entertainers couldn’t stir up. Continue reading →
It is possible to find references to God, the Prophet Mohamed pbuh or faith in many Algerian songs. And almost all musical styles, from the most sacred to the most profane, display such references. This perhaps shows the place religion’s taken in our people’s daily life.
Nasheeds and mystic Sufi music could be flagged as sacred even though the first nasheeds I knew were more patriotic than religious. Algeria offers in Chaabi and Andalusian music two musical styles which could convey a religious message. The Madih is for example a famous sub-genre of the Chaabi music (be it in Arabic or Kabyle) and Algerians are used to hearing it in Ramadhan after the Iftar and on Fridays after the Jumua prayer. Continue reading →
You cannot have escaped it. If you are Algerian and/or follow Algerian content on Facebook and YouTube then you must have come across pictures and videos made by Algerians and which depict their authors’ idea of what Hitler would have thought of Algeria and its people.
The picture to the right says “Hitlerian like” and I found it posted on Facebook by somebody who probably felt that hitting the Like button was not enough. But this example is not what the other videos and pictures are about. Continue reading →
Abdelmalek Sellal, Algeria’s Prime Minister (and prime humorist), has recently called the presidential election candidates to safeguard the nation’s unity and to be democracy knights.
In Algeria, having different opinions is sometimes considered a threat to the nation’s unity and one could easily be flagged as unpatriotic should he/she display a behaviour which is not accepted as the national norm (don’t ask me what this means).
My point today is not about the nation and its unity. It is rather with the democracy knights that Sellal wants us (I say us as I am a candidate too) to be.
It has been long since I last mentioned the Andalusian music on this blog, which is a shame as it is my preferred music style besides Algerian Chaabi.
Cheikh Larbi Bensari was born in Tlemcen between 1863 and 1872 and soon became the city’s style master.
He began his active life as an apprentice barber but soon switched to music and trained under Cheikh Boudhalfa’s control. He learned to play the violon, the mandolin, the gnibri and the rbeb; and sung several Andalusian styles such as the Gharnati, Hawzi, Sanaa and 3rubi. Apparently, he even sung in Kabyle. Continue reading →
I just started reading the third volume of Ahmed Taleb-Ibrahimi‘s memoirs. I will probably write something about it when I am finished (hope it won’t be as boring as the first 50 pages of the book) just like I wrote about the second volume (here and here). Right now it is the story he relates in the very first pages which I would like to share. The next presidential elections will be held on April 17 and it would serve to know how Chadli Bendjedid, Algeria’s third president, had been (s)elected.
I haven’t read Chadli’s memoirs yet and I don’t know how much they match with Taleb’s. The episode related by Taleb coincides quite well with Hocine Malti’s version. Anyway, I don’t expect Taleb to lie so it is safe to share his perspective even if it is just his perspective and he probably didn’t know everything. Continue reading →
No, I am not going to speak about Bouteflika’s fourth presidential term nor am I going to analyse Egypt’s Ikhwan. WordPress just sent the notification shown in the picture so I decided to dedicate a post to this “achievement” and share some statistics.
The blog hasn’t been very active this past year and even less as of late. July and September have been blank. So only 36 posts have been published since November 2013 which is less than one post a week.
I was thinking I’d try to explain or analyse it but I cannot be bothered. Perhaps it is the very reason why I posted less. Anyway, I said I’d give you numbers so here you go. Continue reading →
Algeria’s Fennec foxes will face the Burkina tomorrow in a qualification game for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Algeria has lost in the first leg but still holds all its chances to qualify in Blida’s Tchaker stadium.
And it is exactly four years since the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and the game held between Algeria and Egypt in Um Darman. Algeria won that game and qualified for the World Cup.
It is also four years since we started this blog and I am surprised we kept it alive that long. The blog wasn’t the only thing that began with the Algeria/Egypt game. Algerian people suddenly reunited and patriotism took them over, the regime proved it was capable of achieving unusual stuff and some dreamers thought both the government and the population would raise and develop the country. They realised they were wrong soon enough and nothing really changed in the country.
You may have noticed that most of the people in the Noteworthy Algerians section are dead. The ratio so far is 25 dead to 6 alive. Perhaps a whole life is needed before someone can be considered noteworthy. This post about Dr. Nidhal Guessoum is an attempt to balance things.
Nidhal Guessoum is an Algerian astrophysicist. He received his BSc in theoretical physics from the University of Algiers (USTHB), his MSc in physics and theoretical astrophysics PhD in 1988 from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Continue reading →
Amar Saidani, announced a few days ago that Bouteflika’s going to be the FLN’s candidate in the upcoming 2014 presidential elections. The FLN Secretary General talks a lot since he got to his new position and the more people talk the less I listen, although I don’t think I’d listened to Amar Saidani in the first place.
But Bouteflika is not the only one to make noise – I know the man is actually silent, another potential candidate also made the news last week. Rachid Nekkaz, a businessman who failed to gather the 500 endorsements for French presidential elections in 2007, just ditched his French citizenship as a first step to run for office in Algeria. Check out his website.
I realize that, as a potential candidate myself, I need to make the headlines as often as possible. My silence in the past months on this blog didn’t help and I am not as active as I should be on Twitter. This is why I am taking the opportunity of being on the eve of Algeria’s celebration of the 1954/1962 Revolution to announce the founding of my party. Continue reading →