I am not sharing a video this time. Instead I post the below, my own composition :)
I hope you like limericks.
Unwritten languages face many threats. They could of course disappear, and when they have people trying to save them, as it is the case with Kabyle, they still face the threat of losing all or part of the cultural patrimony they carry.
Some Kabyles nowadays speak in French or Algerian dardja, and many do speak Kabyle but mixed with so many Arabic or French words that you wouldn’t recognise it. Several Kabyle words are therefore not used any more.
But it is not just words that disappear. Poems and proverbs tend to be forgotten as well. A great-aunt of mine, aged 103, lost her 16 yo and 18 yo sons who died as martyrs in the early days of the Algerian Revolution. I think she never recovered from her loss and she used to sing many poems dedicated to them and to the war in general. Unfortunately nobody did learn or record them, and they will probably disappear the time she will leave us. Continue reading
I started this post almost a year ago and then forgot about it, and I remembered it only these days after reading the discussion that is going on here mainly between Oumelkheir and QatKhal. It is not 100% related but never mind, I just used it as an excuse to finish the post (write the last three lines) and publish it.
The relationship between religion and politics has always been very tight, and religious men have used politics as much as politicians have used religion to settle their power. Politicians do indeed need an ideology to support them and, while some have used “non-spiritual” ideologies such as secularism or communism, many others used existing religions or even created new ones to back-up their political systems.
Religion was also used to justify wars and gather and motivate the soldiers. Regardless of their real background, many wars were waged with mixed temporal and spiritual aspects.
I used the past tense here but I could have used present and my assertions would have remained as correct. And today as yesterday, religion is a central point in every conflict (armed or not), especially when a Muslim entity is involved.
Algeria’s recent history gives us many examples where conflicts were backed-up by different religions. Continue reading
Louis-Philippe cynically declared in 1835, “What difference does it make if a 100,000 rifles fire in Africa. Europe doesn’t hear them”. What a mistake he had made!
56 years ago, a handful of young Algerian militants of the PPA/MTLD decided that it was time to put an end to the French presence in Algeria and break-up the war. They did make not only Europe but the whole world hear Algeria’s voice. Many say Continue reading
I said in a previous post that I didn’t care whether France apologizes or not for the crimes it committed in Algeria. I haven’t changed my mind and it still gets on my nerves to hear the Algerian politicians’ calls for an apology. Only recently, Ennahda and the Moudjahidines’s organisation insisted again on passing the law criminalising French colonialism despite the clear message of the APN’s president.
What I said in the past and which I still call for is to have the French pay financial compensations for their crimes. This would include the victims of the nuclear tests in the Sahara but also the victims of the anti-personnel mines. And this is really important especially for the latter for we still get new victims of these dirty mines.
There are a number of books dealing with the Regency of Algiers and giving details on its socio-economic, architectural, military and/or political aspects. But many of them use the information provided by Diego de Haedo in his “Topography and General History of Algiers” (published in 1612) and “History of the Kings of Algiers“. Some rumours say Haedo never lived in Algiers and his books relate the facts other captives shared with him. But regardless, the book gives valuable information even though Christian Haedo displays a certain disdain of the Muslim inhabitants of the Regency.
Haedo’s books, obviously, don’t cover the time period close to the French invasion of Algeria. And this is what makes Hamdan Khodja‘s “Le Miroir” interesting. There are of course other works relating the events around the French invasion but “Le Miroir” is noteworthy because it was the first book written by an Algerian following the French occupation.
In a recent program on AlJazeera, Algerian Djahid Younsi (from El-Islah party) and Libyan Elhadi Chellouf (a martyr’s son) debated over the “Why do the Arabs request an apology? And aren’t the Arab rulers worse than the colonisers?” question. As often with AlQasim’s programs, the debate led nowhere. Chellouf said that the colonisation was great and he would be happy to sit in a French or Italian tank were they to invade the Arab countries again. He added that the Arab populations should rather request an apology from their rulers instead of targeting the gentle and kind colonisers. On the other hand, Younsi admitted that the Arab rulers are the worst ever, but he said they should be faced on the political field. And this situation shouldn’t prevent the people from requesting the rightful apology for the confirmed colonisation crimes.