Azzedine Meddour was born on May 8th, 1947 in Sidi-Aich, Bejaia, and there he completed his primary and secondary schooling.
He studied French Literature at the university of Algiers and then went to Moscow to study cinematography in the oldest film school in the world, the VGIK. There he met and married Russian Erina in 1977. They had two daughters. Continue reading →
One of the reasons why I liked Orhan Pamuk‘s famous book My name is Red, which I mentioned here, was the fact its main characters were Ottoman miniaturists who viewed their art, philosophically, as the perfect art; and who competed with their Persian counterparts and European painters who practised a different art.
In Algeria, and perhaps in most parts of the world, we cannot think of the past century’s art of miniature without mentioning Mohamed Racim (Wiki [En], [Fr]), the father of Algerian miniature.
Mohamed Racim (born 24 June 1896, Algiers – died 30 March 1975, Elbiar, Algiers) was born into an artists family. Both his father and uncle owned a wood-carving and copper-working workshop in The Casbah. Mohamed and his (un)equally famous brother, Omar Racim, worked in the workshop and there they learn the bases of their art. Continue reading →
Every time Algeria holds its local elections, a movie comes to my mind and probably to many of my compatriots’. I am speaking of Carnaval fi dechra (watch here) and its main character Makhlouf el Bombardi portrayed by Athmane Ariouat.
Athmane Ariouat was born in M’doukal, Batna. At the age of 10, his family moved to Algiers where he studied at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique d’Alger between 1969 and 1972. He also took Arabic theatre courses under Mustapha Kasdarli’s supervision. The rest of his biography can be found on Wikipedia (Ar, Fr) or in this video. Continue reading →
I first heard of Hanin Omar in 2007 in the “Princes of Poets” TV show. She is one of Algeria’s new generation poets, many of whom write in Arabic and some in French. She was born in Oran in 1984 (I am not very sure about the year) and, besides being a poet, she is a medical doctor.
In one of her interviews, she said that she started writing poetry at the age of 9 when she came across a poetry book, read one of Nizar Qabbani‘s poems and tried to copy him. She likes to call herself “the pupil of Nizar Qabbani”, while some do call her “words fairy” or “poetry Cinderella”. Don’t ask me why.
He is known as Rouiched (as in little Rachid, big Rachid being great Rachid Ksentini) but his real name was Ahmed Ayad. He was born in 1921 in El Casbah, Algiers. He left school at the age of 13 and started working. He sold vegetables and fruits among other jobs.
Mahmoud Stambouli discovered him and helped him get a small role in Abdelhamid Ababsa‘s “estardje3 ya assi” play, and the public liked one scene where Rouiched punched the judge. Continue reading →
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 →
Her real name is Fatma Haddad, she married Hadj Mahieddine El Mahfoudh, a well-known Algerian musician. She was born at Bordj el-Kiffan in Algiers on the 12th December 1931, to a poor family and she lost both her parents when she was five-year old. She was then looked after by her grand-mother. When Baya was ten, a French woman (Marguerite Caminat-Benhoura), who feld to Algeria to escape World War II, offered her a room in her house. Marguerite was working as an Continue reading →
Yacine Ouabed is an Algerian poet. He was born in March 27th, 1967, in the Soustara neighbourhood of Algiers where he spent his childhood listening to Casbah‘s chaabi singers.
At the age of 20, he joined a local theater troupe named “noudjoum elghadd” (tomorrow’s stars) which performed in hospitals and youths houses. Soon Yacine became the troupe’s director but he had to leave it in 1997 because of financial problems.
Yacine Ouabed became famous when he started his collaboration with chaabi singer Kamel Messaoudi. The beginning of this cooperation was in 1994 with Continue reading →
It is less Hizia that is noteworthy here but rather her story and the poem which relates it. Most of what is known of Hizia actually comes from this poem and the events below are therefore not 100% accurate.
Hizia belonged to the Bouakkaz family, an important house in the Dhouaouda tribe. For most of the 19th century, this nomad tribe, which descends from the Banu Hilal, reigned over a large territory ranging from Setif to the North and Ouled Djellal to the South. Those who read about Algerian history must have seen the Dhouaouda mentioned in many important, not always positive, events.
Hizia was born in 1852 or 1855 in Sidi Khaled, Biskra and died in 1874 or 1878 in Oued Tell (50km Northern Sidi Khaled). When she was young, her father Ahmed Ben ElBey, hosted his orphan nephew Said. And while growing up together, Hizia and Said became Continue reading →
Amel Brahim-Djelloul is an Algerian soprano opera singer and concert recitalist. She started her musical studies with the violon before moving on to study singing in Algiers, in 1995 under the tuition of Abdelhamid Belferouni. Following Noelle Barker‘s recommendation, she set off to Paris to continue her studies at the Ecole Nationale de Musique at Montreuil with Frantz Petri and then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris with Peggy Bouveret and Malcolm Walker, with whom she has since been working. She graduated from the Conservatoire in June 2003. Continue reading →