The spelling is wrong, another illustration of our trilingual illiteracy, but the question remains valid. “Where is our future?” it says. I took the below picture in Bejaia, and next to that wall were sitting five or six young men, in their twenties. They played with their mobile phones and commented on the girls who passed by.
If they’re not the authors of the question, they do not have the answer. I wonder if they’re looking for one. Continue reading →
I have a short story to share with you. Several years ago, at the airport, I was finishing my coffee while the passengers started boarding. A police officer passed by and lit a cigarette. The airport was already a non-smoking place so, without thinking much, I rose up to remind him of the rule. But before reaching the man, I thought a little more and considered the risk of the officer not liking my comment and getting me into some petty trouble. I had an important meeting on the next day and couldn’t afford to miss my flight so I decided to keep silent.
I chose the status quo over change after weighing the pros and cons. The risk, tiny as it was, of missing my flight was big enough to hinder my initial action. Today, there are still a few airport employees and some passengers who smoke in non-smoking areas.
Someone even told me she saw policewomen smoke in Houari Boumediene airport’s bathrooms. Continue reading →
Professor Pierre Chaulet passed away last Friday. He was one of those French men and women who sided with the FLN during the Algerian war. I do usually take my time before writing about a recent event and this is why I am not going to write about this valuable Algerian man. The reader can browse the internet (Algerian news websites and blogs) to find some good tributes.
Instead, I will write a few words on Frantz Fanon‘s book “A dying colonialism“. Note that I didn’t write about the author last year for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of this death. Some good articles have been written last year and the reader could easily find them on-line.
Frantz Fanon was another Frenchman who defended the Algerian cause and sided with the FLN. And it was Pierre Chaulet who introduced him to the revolutionary party in 1955. Unfortunately, he died a few months before the ceasefire was declared. Continue reading →
“Our Spring is Algeria” was the official slogan of last May’s legislative elections. It was a message from the rulers to all those, inside and outside the country, who wanted to see a real change in the Algerian political ecosystem through a process similar to what happened in Tunisia, Egypt or, why not, Libya and Syria.
Our rulers, who compared the May 10th, 2012 to November 1st, 1954 (again why not!), kind of succeeded as many Algerians are now proud that the country didn’t follow our Arab brethren’s path. Continue reading →
Two years ago, I wrote a post about the 8 May 1945 massacres perpetrated by the French in Algeria. Unlike the traditional trend in Algeria, my post wasn’t just about the past and a way to say how ugly the coloniser was and how brave we were. My post intended to look into the past in order to improve our present and create a better future.
My previous post needs an update.
The so-called “Arab Spring” was (I use the past tense already) yet another missed opportunity. Riots and protests in Algeria started way before the uprising in Tunisia and they are still occurring very regularly. There were already many suicides among Algerian youths and, since Bouazizi, more and more of these youths do set themselves on fire. But so far the Algerian people hasn’t decided to revolt for real.
And this fact should have pushed the Algerian rulers to consider the situation seriously and Continue reading →
I said in a previous comment that what the Algerian leaders, or élite if you wish, should do was to give an ideal to the people, the young ones most especially. An ideal which they (the leaders and the people alike) would believe in and work together to achieve. Continue reading →
This is one of those moments when I question my own beliefs and try to understand not only what is behind them but also their consequences. I usually do this alone but I thought I’d share it here this time. Do not expect much though; I am not a big fan of answering consecutive questions on the same topic so, very often, I get bored very quickly and think of something else.
In 1984, George Orwell wrote: “There is no way in which the Party can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is for ever. Make that the starting point of your thoughts”. And I thought do I (but I’ll use “we” from now on) believe change is possible in Algeria? I mean do we really believe it? I readily answered YES WE CAN!… I mean yes of course we do!
I’ll elaborate in a moment. Continue reading →
The “Arab spring” didn’t affect Algeria in the way many had hoped. There were of course some riots here and there (note that riots have been continuously erupting in Algeria for many years now), a number of men and women attempted to kill themselves, and some political parties and civil society representatives (every word here should be put between quotations) created the CNCD and wanted to copycat the Tahrir gatherings but the Algerian people didn’t follow them and they had to stop their movement a few weeks ago.
The Algerian pouvoir told us Algeria is not Tunisia or Egypt (which is ironic when you think of the times when this same pouvoir kept telling us we’re all “identical” Arabs and part of the Arab Nation) and that the riots had only social demands. So it was easy to stop them and satisfy these demands. And indeed, during the past months, every time somebody wanted something all they had to do was to launch a strike or gather before El Mouradia and abracadabra the government finds the money and solves the issue. But despite the purely social demands, the pouvoir decided to launch some political reforms as was promised in Bouteflika’s speech. I wonder if these political demands didn’t come from elsewhere, behind the sea and the ocean. But anyway, Ben Salah and El Mokh got busy during a few weeks and met with many Algerian personalities and organisations (the list compiled here by Algérie-Politique). And now they should shortly give their conclusions to the president who will decide of the next steps. Note here that it took longer than his Moroccan counterpart but I am afraid we will reach similar results: pseudo reforms to buy time.
So let’s forget this boring establishment (pouvoir and opposition alike) and consider the other alternatives, which is the object of this post. Continue reading →
The Algerian president is also a fan of this saying as it seems he intends to not leave before death comes. Someone should tell him the saying is only an image and that three mandates are already an eternity for most of us. It is by the way ironic that the candidate who declared in 1999 that his life was behind him, that he had no interest in Power, that if the people did not want him he’d be glad to leave them with their mediocrity; that man changed the constitution and cheated in the elections just to stay in charge of these mediocre people.