There are many works treating of music and its relationship with social class, age, gender, race and several other dimensions. Somebody’s musical tastes give some interesting hints on who they are. I don’t know if such studies have been carried in Algeria and I hope they have because, I am sure, there is a lot to learn about Algerians from the music they like.
I am not aware of which music today’s young Algerians like, and I reckon you’ll a lot of hip-hop and its likes. Amateurs must forgive my ignorance of these not-my-cup-of-tea styles. I will therefore write a few words on what my friends used to listen to during high school years and how their tastes related to their social and cultural conditions. Continue reading →
I went to Paris a few weeks ago and, like often, I spent a few hours at the IMA. There was an exhibition, of photographs, paintings and sculptures by Tunisian artists, apparently related to the “Jasmine revolution”. I was disappointed to be honest, but this is not the topic.
So at the IMA I observed the roles distribution of its employees: the security people were black or from Algiers, the hostesses from Eastern Europe as they’re apparently the only to speak more than three languages, and French and Lebanese employees were at the bookshop and restaurants. And while in the bookshop, I was glad to find the books selection dedicated to Algeria’s independence 50th anniversary. But only a few were written by Algerians, and the only Algerian books in Arabic were Laredj‘s, Mosteghanemi‘s and Ouettar‘s. I started reflecting on the value that is “given” abroad to Algeria and Algerians, or on Algeria’s visibility abroad. Continue reading →
Five days ago, Palestinians and those among us who are concerned about the Palestinian cause remembered Deir Yassin’s massacres. It was a good reminder to those, centred on what’s happening in Syria or Mali, who didn’t notice the recent escalation in Gaza. But what to do, it is not easy to keep the press’ interest in a 64 yo conflict which became the normality.
The author was studying in Cairo during the 1967 war and since that day Israel didn’t let him go back home. He had also to leave Egypt and his wife and little boy (poet Tamim Barghouti), expelled by Sadat in 1977 after the president’s visit to Israel which announced Camp David. Many Palestinians could go back live or visit Ramallah and Gaza after Oslo (probably the only positive outcome of these accords), and Barghouti relates his own “return” in 1997, 30 years after he had left his mother land. Continue reading →
While I was zapping between the many Turkish TV channels I receive (I am not addicted to Turkish soaps, not to all :-)) I heard the word “doshman” (dusman in Turkish) which we happen to use in Kabyle. I thought how interesting; not only the word is Turkish but it kept almost the same meaning after being “Kabyle-ised”. This reminded me of Benecheb’s book on Turkish words in Algerian dardja.
Very little is known about the biography of the late Wardia (or Ouardia). It is a sad reflection of the indifference with which we treat our artists, and Wardia was a great artist. I don’t think there is a single Algerian face Wardia didn’t bring a smile to. Larger than life is what comes to mind when speaking of her, a genereous lady, with a great natural talent. When I was a kid, I used to call her Khalti Wardia (Auntie Wardia), I remember that initially, I found her very loud and the roles she acted in her movies seemed quite scandaleous to me. But I grew to be fond of her because I felt that she was simply spontaneous and authentic. Funny too, hilarious actually. Continue reading →
The title is a hoax. Lame I know. This title was inspired by an article I read here, which talks about an Israeli Palestinian-sympathizer (named Saar Szekely) who has made it to the Big Brother finale (Israeli version of the famous reality show).
This video shows a subtitled conversation between Saar and his housemates about the Palestinian issue. Watching the video has made me wonder whether Israelis are hopelessly brainwashed by Zionist fibs or they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong but they still believe they have an exclusive right to do it because they’re fated to be persecuted Jews. Either way, they are Continue reading →
As I have already written about a Ukrainian author I thought why not an Egyptian one. Sulaiman Fayyadh‘s Voices(أصوات) which I read in Arabic is one of those short novels which you read in one go and which opens up several topics.
An Egyptian man, Hamed, who left his village at the age of 10 and became rich in Paris, decided to go back home 30 years later for a short visit. And he took his French wife Simone with him. Fayyadh uses the voices of many of the story characters (Hamed, his mother, his brother, his brother’s wife, a young high school student, the mayor and the police officer) to relate the events that happened before and during the visit. Each giving a different perspective and completing the story.
Voices ends in an unexpected way with Simone‘s death by the hands of the village’s women. إن كيدهن عظيم :) And as I don’t want to entirely spoil the story, I won’t tell you how the woman died despite the fact this was one of the major points Fayyadh wanted to address. Click here [ar] if you want to know more.
Besides its end, the story deals with topics, which have been and are still being treated in novels, articles and movies, related to the East/West relationship and what some would call the clash (or dialogue) of civilisations. Continue reading →
I have often heard this term, “Dimoukhratia” (ديموخراطية), used by Arabic-speaking people when talking about the political situation in their countries. It seems that this word has made it into the Algerian lexicon and the first official definition of this word has been published today, April Fool’s Day, in the newest edition of the Dictionary of the Algerian Academy:
DIMOUKHRATIA f. n. XXe century, originated from the Greek word dêmokratia. Combines Continue reading →