About Boumediene, Alistair Horne wrote in his “A savage war of peace: Algeria 1954-1962” book “in his secretiveness and retiring modesty [Boumediene] is most characteristically Algerian”. He added “in his rare interviews with writers and journalists [Boumediene] steadfastly declines to discuss the war, or his role in it”. We indeed do not know much about Algeria’s most important president’s role during the war. His real national appearance during the revolution was when he presided the jury that condemned the colonels (Lamouri and co.) who, encouraged by Nasser, had planned to kill the three Bs (Belkcem, Boussouf and Bentobal) and overthrow the GPRA. But we know little of Boumediene’s life when he was working with Boussouf.
Boumediene visiting Ifri
We do not know much either about Boumediene’s life after Algeria’s independence. Taleb‘s book helps shed some light on the 1965 to 1978 period. I’ve already written about the first two parts of Volume II. Today I write some words on the third part of this book. Continue reading →
I decided to buy this book the minute I heard of its publication, but I hesitated once I got to the bookshop and read Abdelhalim Abbas’s (the author’s son) text on the back cover. He wrote that his father had asked him to publish the book only when a democratic system would be installed in Algeria and when the word freedom would fully bear its meaning. He added that it was therefore the right time to publish the book. I cannot deny that our public expression limits have been released since the end of the 80s; but saying that we have a real democratic system in Algeria is a plain lie. Our political system is as despotic as before and the red lines nobody is allowed to cross move only according to the system’s confidence in its power and to its paranoia level. Perhaps Abdelhalim Abbas feared to die before he publishes the book…
I found it interesting that in 1985, Ferhat Abbas thought his son would live and witness the democracy’s advent in our country. It looks like he’s always had and kept this excess of optimism and faith in humans, just like he had thought for a long time that the French would award the Algerians equal rights without waging a war against them. Continue reading →
In this article, Mr. Mohammed Larbi Dmagh Elatrousse (former culture minister) declares that he won’t write his memoirs because he doesn’t want to talk about sensitive subjects which would tarnish the history of our revolution. He also says that only a tiny part of what has been written so far (he means all the books written by former freedom fighters) is true, and the rest is nothing but lies (he of course doesn’t tell us which are the lies).
The corollary to this would be that Mr. Dmagh Elatrousse believes the Algerian revolution (and before it the national movement) was perfect, and that our martyrs and freedom fighters were perfect too. Or maybe he thinks it’s better for the Algerian people to believe so.
And it was indeed what the Algerian regime had always wanted us to believe. The Algerian school taught us about an idealised revolution with idealised and united men and women whose only goal was to retrieve Algeria’s sovereignty.
Some “details” such as the Emir Khaled, Messali Hadj, Ferhat Abbas, Messalists vs. Centralists, Mellouza, Bellounis and the MNA, Abane’s assassination, Ait-Ahmed and Oulhadj’s revolt, and many others were kept secret. The school books also didn’t mention the French army’s sub-officers or the secret clauses in the Evian accords.
Even the very existence of Mohammed Boudiaf was a discovery for a number of independence-generation Algerians despite him being a member of the group of the six.