I was talking to a colleague the other day and he told me with a twinkle in his eye: “Listen, we don’t have a government since the last parlementary elections. That is 3 months ago. What more proof do you need that Algeria functions without a government and has been doing so for years?” Then he giggled. In other words, our government is completely obsolete. I was compelled to admit he is right and it was a funny way of making what many would argue is an obvious point. Indeed, ever since the 10th of May, seven Ministries have not yet been appointed a new Minister: The Ministry of Higher Education, The Ministry of Environment, The Ministry of Transport, The Ministry of Public Works, The Ministry of Work and Employment, The Ministry of Post and Information Technologies and The Ministry of Justice. Prior to the elections, many Ministers resigned from their positions in order to be able to participate in the elections as candidates. Being an MP in Algeria is a much more carefree occupation than being a Minister and the perks are almost as mouth-watering if not more. And now here we are. Same as per usual. Proof that this country has been surviving without real government for years.
As is universally known, the number 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything. This number was calculated by a giant supercomputer over a period of 50 million years. Unfortunately no one knows what the question was. Therefore, in order to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet and using organic components was created and named DRS.
The DRS calculated the Ultimate Question to be “What should be the ultimate voter turnout?”. When asked how it came to this solution, the DRS replied: “The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’. I typed it out. End of story.” The DRS described its choice as ‘a completely ordinary number, a number not just divisible by two but also six and seven. In fact it’s the sort of number that you could without any fear introduce to your parents’.
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
Observe: Watch (someone or something) carefully and attentively.
This is what I get when I google the word “observe”. So observers are humans gifted with this extraordinary ability of watching things carefully and attentively. Not every human can be an observer, and being an observer is not something you can decide alone. It is indeed a distinction others may or may not give you.
Watching things carefully and attentively is not the only gift an observer must have. Being able to observe and not act/react is an important aspect of the observer’s personality. There are some other characteristics which I will mention later on. 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
There has been a democratic explosion recently in Algeria when president Bouteflika has decided it was time to indulge in some reforms in order to consolidate democracy. New political parties have been mushrooming since then. I wouldn’t be surprized to find out that the list of new parties I’ll publish here will become outdated tomorrow. New political parties are being born as we speak! Who would have thought that apathetic Algerians have so much politics in them! When you compare the process of conceiving a new political party, having it agreed by the beauraucratic authorities and all what goes with it with the process of conceiving a human child, bearing and raising it to become a responsible adult, you are filled with wonder at the brilliance of democracy. It exceeds biology! A party is born in a fraction of a second and it participates in legislature elections the second it is born! That is why this democracy thing is super awsome – it Continue reading