Are Algerians under the captivity of their negativity?


Elkhabar reported today about the creation in Tizi-Ouzou of a new class for pupils suffering from trisomy.  This announcement, together with the opening of a new specialised centre, was made during a one-day conference which aimed at making the population aware of this illness and the affected people’s situation.

I congratulate the organisers for this achievement, and I wish to hear more good news coming from Algeria. Because, and to be honest, I checked my previous posts on this blog and I must admit most, if not all, deal with negative aspects related to Algeria. It was not done on purpose, and I have to tell you that I tried many times to post about important positive news, but couldn’t find any. In a recent discussion with algerianna, I said that I only talked about negative aspects because I wanted them to be improved. It was a joke as I know from the personal and group development literature that it is advised to stress on the strong points and reinforce them and then work on the negative ones.

Now giving it a second thought and trying to look at a bigger picture, I can safely say that we Algerians are very prone to negative criticism and are never happy. Let me take an example.

Algeria’s grains (wheat and barley) production has hit record figures in 2009, which reduced (very slightly) our 2010 wheat imports volumes and enabled us to export some barley, around 100,000 tonnes. And yesterday was sold the first part (11k tonnes) to Tunisia through a French merchant. It must be noticed that, according to the agriculture minister, the product quality was so high that we could sell it at $140/metric ton instead of the $120/metric ton of Chicago’s Commodity Market Exchange. Another important point is that this is the first time Algeria exports grains since 1967, which is longer than our football NT 24 years absence from the world cup competitions. Not only this, the head of the OAIC state grain agency declared that “we still have a large stock of barley, and we can easily export several other cargoes” and that “we will export more, but not now because the prices are going down as we are very close to the harvest season”, which tells us that the state is being wise in this operation.

Of course, Algeria remains one of the biggest wheat importers even after and 2009’s record production, which was more due to God’s help with a suitable weather than to the state’s planning and decisions. However, the state’s action must not be ignored, and this event must be celebrated and people should be happy about it. But what do we see in the Algerian press and from some Algerian commentators?
Here is Saad Bouokba’s  editorial. Not only he doesn’t mention any figure (because the available ones don’t support his opinion) but he goes back to mentioning some old stuff such as the importing of rotten potatoes two years ago and linking it to this positive achievement. He also, through an “intellectual gymnastics”, says that our “high quality” barley will be given to French beasts, while our animals will have to eat imported (and low quality) food.

Some commentators followed him and complained about selling the barley to France, selling it at a low price, and about the Algerians refusing to eat it. But the situation is not desperate. Some other (a majority) commentators criticised him and pointed at the positive aspects behind the news. They also reminded him that positive actions must be encouraged, and one (علجاني : وهران) even told him that it looked nothing pleases him and wondered when he would say something positive. I personally liked (سليم : الجزائر) comment who tried to explain the editorialist bad mood, and (رضوان : الجزائر) who sees in the rotten potatoes story an opportunity which pushed our farmers to work harder.

But I still wonder why are the Algerians negative? I of course talk of stuff related to the government’s actions. Is it because they are used to the state’s mediocrity and don’t believe they are capable of doing something positive? Is it that there is no 100% positive matter and the perfectionist Algerians refuse to acknowledge it as soon as they spot a 1% negative aspect (such as bribery or time delay)? Or perhaps it’s because the Algerians are stuck in the captivity of their negativity, as stated by T-Bag from Prison Break, and they are unable to spot or think positive?

On my side, I am happy I could write this post and mention two positive news even though I managed to talk about a negative aspect in our society. But hey, it’s a first step and it’s all good.

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8 thoughts on “Are Algerians under the captivity of their negativity?

    • LOL Maysaloon. Now I know why this negative thinking increased recently in Algeria. The many young Algerians who go to Damascus to buy garments and co. must have brought your developed negativity with them!

  1. I am glad you brought this up. When reading Saad’s column this morning, I realized that our press can be a real killjoy sometimes. I suppose they are in a catch 22 situation; if they hail anything done by the government as a success, they risk of being thought of as bootlickers (chiyyatine) , and if they do the opposite they are killjoys. They usually opt for the latter hoping that some ill-informed readers would jump on the bandwagon and give them the support they need.
    What is sad about Saad’s column is that he tried so hard to turn this positive into a negative that he ended up using crude words and bad similes and metaphors. The result: many commentators disagreed. He was definitely swimming against the tide of optimism of a number of readers, as demonstrated by their comments. Also, of note is the absence of numbers to support his leaky argument.
    This brings me to question the professionalism of our press; it keeps criticizing the government but cannot recognize its own deficiencies: rarely do our newspapers support their arguments with numbers, and when they do, these numbers are usually wrong!

    • You are right Pandora. Our journalists (including the serious ones) are light-years away from professionalism, and they don’t seem to realise it.
      I used to like Bouokba when he was with Elkhabar but I feel he’s going down the pan since he moved to ElFadjr. Very often his editorials are shallow and useless.

      Now regarding your first point, we do have the state newspapers + TV + Radio who never talk about negative events, so I find it normal and acceptable that some private newspapers stress on these negative aspects (for balance purpose). But I believe there should be some objectivity and it’s good to acknowledge the positive achievements, and I think automatic apposition is not constructive.

      PS: Welcome back🙂

  2. Gosh MnarviDZ, I can’t believe you’re talking about barley and wheat when the country is going down the pan, corruption is imploding the country, unemployment rate is astronomical, the prices are sky rocketing, most Algerians are loveless and prone to aggression, the Algerian race is going extinct due to lack of good marriage and procreation prospects within the nation, our national footbal team has lost all its friendly matches except one (but it was thanks to a crappy penalty), there are no political horizons for a more accountable self-governance, our perfect revolution‘s history is starting to look like shredded wheat from so much, well, shredding, the ‘Nif’ myth is crippling our men and even women, our sense of patriotism has backfired, Algerians are being tagged, the bloody French won’t apologize, etc. etc. etc.

    *runs away and jumps off a cliff but lands on a huge pile of imported rotten potatoes. Damn! Another missed opportunity*

    • algerianna my friend, such a concentration of negative points in a few lines is frightening; but it makes me feel better because it proves you too seldom post about positive points! (اذا عمت خفت)
      Hope the rotten potatoes didn’t hurt you.

  3. Well said, but still, good things are all surrounded by suspicious transactions etc… for example I’m wondering where will go the money made by the exportations you mentioned in your post?

  4. It’s funny to notice that many Algerians actually are well aware of their unfair negativism!
    I would gladly accept perpetual whining from someone who is actually contributing positively to the society by active work that is.. and not by an idle useless individual whose only contribution is to be alive.

    The key word here is that those who just whine beleive that they can do better if only they had a chance!

    This is a real example, last time I was in Algiers, I overheard a comment made by someone pointing to the fact how dirty the street is, at that same moment a cistern truck from the counsel was passing by and was washing the street with water.
    The guy then said look what a waste of water!

    Nice Article, Best regards
    indeed we ought to focus on positive things and work on the negative ones

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