I was stuck in traffic the other day and I saw this on the back of a truck:
And I thought of the type of questions they used to ask us in high school in philosophy:
“حلل و ناقش“
Many of us have never known the war of independence, but we are constantly being told that colonialism was awful, unjust, degrading, that the Algerian people rose for ‘freedom‘, ‘dignity‘, ‘honor‘, the ‘right to self-determination‘. All this is very well indeed, but what happened afterwards? Does our story as a people begin and end with the war for independence? It cannot be, we have surely been around for much longer than this brief time-span. But let us concern ourselves with the present, the here and now! What I ask myself is: what measures have been taken by post-independence Algeria which prove effectively, that we are no longer l’Algérie française of the colonial past? There are many, sure. If we count mere slogans as ‘measures’ or ‘intentions of measures’, we’ll end up with an even longer list (couldn’t resist that as the elections are approaching, oops!). But I am thinking of this hybrid flag image above and it evokes many things which have occurred in the recent history of post-independent Algeria and which show that l’Algérie is indeed still française, in many ways – perhaps irrevocably so.
Algerians are split over this issue: some resent it and want to eradicate any frenchness (lots of such zealous policies have failed, not because they were necessarily defective, but precisely because they were based more on ‘zeal’ than cold-headed thought), some do call for a national acceptance of our ‘French heritage’, even insisting that we’re more french than we’re arab and some just want to get the French nationality and go and live in France.
The idea of this post is to invite our commentators to list in their comments, what in their view have been the iconic policies, measures, decisions which post-independence Algeria has taken to demarkate itself from the French rule (cultural, political, economic, administrative – you name it)? Do you not think that France still makes (at least some of) the decisions which matter? How can we break free and be truly independent? Should we? Could we?
حلل و ناقش