A few days ago I was watching this disturbing video on the bombing of Al Barra in Syria. There were too many civilian victims. I thought Bashar was a monster. But is he the only monster in the Syrian tragedy? What about the different opposition factions, Syria’s neighbours, “friend” and “foes”, Russia and the West, TV channels? It is said that Lakhdar Brahimi might resign soon, do we know the real reasons?
Obviously I don’t know.
3G deployment in Algeria is taking forever, the minister keeps setting dates and then postponing. Some people think it is because of purely technical reasons, others say it’s because the government is incompetent, others say it is because of Djezzy problem, and a few days ago somebody gave another explanation on TV.
I think it is all the above but, let’s be honest, I simply don’t know. Continue reading →
Meeting with a book has sometimes to do with luck. Sometimes it is because you are at the airport with some foreign currency which you couldn’t spend even after you visited the restaurant, the café and the duty-free shops. And then you spot a book with a catchy title and the right price to empty your wallet. So you buy it and read it during the 12 hours-long flight. Then you decide to write a review because you have nothing more interesting to write about.
This is what happened to me and this book.
Well, not exactly. I decided to write this post because the book’s topic is essential in our present days where so many wars are said to be launched against Islam-ist groups and threat.
In “A world without Islam“, Graham Fueller tries to picture a world where Islam wouldn’t have existed and considers the current trends to find out whether they would have been different or not. Would there still be a war on terror, a clash of civilisations, hatred towards the US, etc. Continue reading →
So the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union “for [having] over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Wikipedia says the prize is worth US$1.2 million. I wonder if EU will give the money to Greece or Spain or… Goldman Sachs. Perhaps this prize will revive rating agencies’ faith in the EU and encourage them to stop lowering their ratings. L’espoir fait vivre… Continue reading →
More than 20 years ago, when what was later called the black decade started, many Algerians chose to side with those who decided to use violence against the Pouvoir, or the state if you wish. These Algerians didn’t take an active role, I mean they didn’t join those who became the terrorists, but they were glad the Pouvoir was targeted through what they thought were its agents (army, police, gendarmerie, press, etc.), and they thought the victims deserved their fate as they defended the Pouvoir elhaggar. Some of these terrorists’ supporters didn’t even share their “champions”‘ ideology and could have been among their victims but they hated the Pouvoir so much that they were ready to give a hand to the devil in order to suppress it. They chose a side.
Considering the unfortunate events in Syria, I am amazed by how easily people decide which side they support. I am not talking of those who live survive in Syria, I am not even talking of Syrians living abroad. I believe these two groups are the ones concerned by what is happening in their country and, perhaps, they ought to choose a side and they do not do it that easily. I am talking of the people in the street or on the internet. 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 →
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 →