Rab Dzair, one of Algeria’s fabricated myths fell a few weeks ago when Bouteflika, or whoever is deciding in his name, dismissed General Toufik. More pictures and even a video footage of the head of the DRS finally emerged and people got to know how the man looked (I am not speaking of the old images). The myth fell once more with Toufik’s short letter in the press showing his helplessness.
But today’s post is not about this once invisible man. It is about another police officer who became famous in the 80s because of his activities and also because of his invisibility. I am of course speaking of Mohamed Lazouni, aka الشّرطي المخفي (Shorti Makhfi – the invisible/hidden cop) who, let’s admit it, unlike General Toufik, brings back good memories and didn’t harm the Algerian people. Continue reading →
Tomorrow we will celebrate the 61st anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. I used to dedicate a post to this occasion with a link to a song or a poem. This time will be different as I am taking this opportunity to finish this book review draft and post it.
The Algerian Revolution was the final step taken by the Algerian people towards their independence. All the armed and peaceful resistance actions taken since the French invasion in 1830 paved the way for the glorious War of Independence. The resistance movement led by Emir Abdekader was a major episode even though it ended with the prince surrendering to the French who imprisoned him and his followers in France instead of sending him to today’s Turkey, Syria, Egypt or KSA as was agreed between the Emir and the Duke of Aumale. And this is where Amel Chaouati’s book comes in.
Many books have been and are written on Emir Abdelkader but only a few speak of his 97 followers (including 21 women and 15 children and babies) and I don’t remember reading any which relate the story of the women amongst them during his detention period in France (three months in Toulon, four in Pau and four long years in Amboise). Chaouati tried to tackle this aspect.
I admit I was more sceptical when I bought the 1500 DZD worth book than when I started reading this one. I wondered what the author would have to say knowing the scarcity of historical sources. And I was right, there was little material to fill the 204 pages of the book except that the author chose a different perspective.
Some Algerian tweeples took the political compass test to find out where they would be on a (left/right, authoritarian/libertarian) plane. I did take that test several years ago and took it again some days ago with fellow tweeples. To my surprise (or not), my position didn’t change much in all these years. No conclusion implied but note how Gandhi is the closest to me.
This is a way for me to introduce a new compass which I named “The ChatNoir Compass”. I hope fellow Algeria blogger ChatNoir won’t mind and won’t sue me for intellectual property. Continue reading →
More than a year ago, a movement called Barakat was created to protest against Bouteflika’s fourth term. Here I have to say that I hadn’t believed in this movement which failed to gather the people around it. Anyway, the movement’s members demonstrated a few times in Algiers and the police was always there to stop/arrest them. At that time, Ennahar newspaper and TV campaigned for the sick man who’s become the country’s president for the fourth time and had therefore been very harsh on Barakat. As can be expected from media which lack professionalism and deontology (let’s be clear, this is not specific to Ennahar), Ennahar used all means to discredit the movement (cf. this video on Amira Bouraoui) and, as an information outlet, never protested against the fact this movement and other Algerian opponents were denied their right to demonstrate and were faced with violent police forces. Continue reading →
My previous book review was dedicated to the now International Star Kamel Daoud. It was almost a year ago and, back then, Daoud was a LQO newspaper chronicler known by a few Algerians. Eleven months later and after some TV appearances in France, a lost Goncourt, a threat by a Salafi clown and a Goncourt First Novel Prize, Daoud has become Algeria’s best author and specialist in all social, Islamic and political questions… abroad.
I still believe that Daoud wouldn’t have been acclaimed that much (in France) and certainly not awarded a penny had he not written something related to Albert Camus and had his political opinions been different. For his novel is boring most of the time just like his chronicles (you can disagree) which are also sad and depressing (you must agree). Today Daoud Continue reading →
Yesterday was Bouteflika’s birthday. He is 78. The president threw a party to celebrate it and invited many guests. PoF source, who was among them, contacted us earlier this morning to share the below information. They made little sense and I cannot tell if it was because they were drunk (they sounded both drunk and tired) but they’ve always proven reliable. According to our source, the initial plan was to hold a bigger party. All Tlemcen was to be invited and the whole thing was supposed to last seven days and seven nights non-stop. But as crude oil price remained low, the party’s been reduced to a single night and only Nedroma people were invited. Even the huge fireworks had been cancelled. Continue reading →
One of my friends sent me a link to a Kabyle song they liked and asked me to translate the lyrics so they could understand their meaning. I did find the lyrics online (Google spares us a lot of efforts) and as I like the song myself I thought why not share it on the blog. Not only this; I admit that I lack the energy/motivation to write a proper post and wouldn’t like to see this blog vanish.
Last month, Europe and the Western world in general were ‘shocked’ by the terrorist attacks on journalists from the comic magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket. As usual following such events, we were graced by numerous ‘peaceful’ demonstrations and such like ‘democratic’ paraphernalia to mark the contrast between the civilized West and the barbarian Muslim world. Not to mention the huge mediatisation of the events. Many Western leaders gathered in Paris and participated in the demonstration. The slogan of the demonstration was ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie). In the aftermath, Continue reading →
Al Huffington Post published yesterday an article about the Algerians living in the USA. I didn’t find the article particularly interesting (I don’t seem to find anything really interesting in the Huff Post) and I believed this article should have been in the online aggregator’s French version rather than in the Algerian (yet in French) one. But at least this article pushed me to write this post which I wanted to start a few weeks ago after I’d watched the interview given by Joan A. Polaschik, US ambassador to Algeria, to APS.
In the video above, Mrs. Polaschik says that her focus will be on three areas: promoting security and stability in our region, strengthening economic and commercial ties between the two countries, and strengthening the bonds between our two peoples. APS journalists were more interested in the former two and this is why I am dedicating this post to the latter item. Continue reading →