[DZBlogDay] Agir pour l’Algérie


[I did not know about this, so I didn’t prepare anything to post. I found out about it accidentally when I visited the blog of Chatnoir. I am going to cheat a little bit and set the publication date to the 14th of January. Yes, even cheating is permissible when it comes to acting for Algeria – which is the theme of this year’s DZBlogDay.]

There are many ways an Algerian could decide to act for Algeria: burning tyres, blocking roads, brandishing the Algerian flag in musical concerts, following the national football team all over the world to offer emotional support whilst also buying some stuff in order to contribute to the national economy by selling it, once back home, in the black market, chanting “One, Two, Three. Viva l’Algerie” whenever they feel the need to reassert the universally obvious fact that Algeria is the greatest country on Earth, smuggling thousands of liters of oil through the borders with Tunisia and Lybia in order to supprot our brothers in these times of hardship, hence proving the Algerian sense of “redjla” whilst making a few bob and contributing to the national economy, going on very long strikes in order to improve the lives of their fellow citizens by demanding a substantial pay rise from the government, starting a blog to post interminable rants and appraisals about the situation on the ground and concluding that it is irremediable…and the list goes on and on. Algerians are bursting full of ideas about things they could do for their beloved country. There’s no end to things one could do for Algeria really. Like Freddy Mercury said: “The show must go on!“.

I think that the key to acting for Algeria is in believing that it is possible to do something for it. Being convinced of it even. Unfortunately, I think far too many Algerians just know it is impossible. The origin of this ‘knowledge’ is a mystery. It seems that every Algerian is now born with this conviction embedded in their brains. Before they even become self-aware, they are Algeria-aware. Abandon-sinking-ship-mode. I quote Mark Twain: “They didn’t know it was impossible, so they went ahead and did it.” A major brain reformatting is needed I think – on the national scale. So acting for Algeria, ultimately, is to think hard and find a formula which will result in a major cultural overhaul. A self-sustaining one. A formula which’ll wipe out this crippling conviction of the futility of it all from the minds of all Algerians. Acting for Algeria is to pray for a truly visionary leader to emerge in the near future, an exceptionally begnin Algerian person…A lucky fluke in our DNA, a mutant, even an accidental change in our trajectory, a lucky escape..anything damn it! Oops, sorry! I let myself get carried away there, not that there is any urgency or anything (plenty of oil still left thank God!). There might however be some lessons to learn from our distant cousins the “depressed crabs“:

And what better way to end this than: “One, Two, Three. Viva l’Algerie!”

Here is a transcript of the video in English:

In the murky waters of the Gironde estuary, between the tar-ridden rocks and the muddy sand that harbors the best oysters, no one is aware of the tragedy which has befallen our kind. We are the Pachygrapsus marmoratus, commonly known as the “chancroids” or “depressed crabs”. You know, the ugly square ones, the poor blighters kids love pulling the legs of, the ones that make you ill. In short, a species which never asked to be put on Earth.

Our tragic fate is much worse than all that. If nature has allowed us to walk sideways, like velvets, it hasn’t given us the right to turn. That genetic defect condemns us to walk, all our lives, following the same straight line. Our fate is mapped out from birth, depending on where we hatch. Some are lucky. Others are not. Some have an exciting life, others don’t. In spite of all these disparities, we all end up civil servants. Where do we get this handicap from? I don’t even know where to find us on the evolution scale.

One day, a kid pulled off the leg of one of us. The poor devil was turning round and round for months. But bad can do good and as he was turning, the crab started to think and he turned into a philosopher, well, let’s say less stupid than the others. He worked out a lot of things about our situation. Once his legs had grown back, he climbed onto a rock and we listened to him. And he said: “Other crabs know how to turn, but they don’t go anywhere. Our kind walks in a straight line, but at least, we’re going somewhere!”. So what has changed? OK, so we still can’t turn, but now, we’re proud of being Pachygrapsus marmoratus!

But let me tell you what happened to me, a few years later, after a catastrophe that only you humans can cause. I was about to be flattened by a ferry, I was done for. What did I do? I turned of course! And I realised it had nothing to do with our shells; we weren’t turning simply because we were too stupid to do so! But everyone was looking at me strangely. “He must be crazy!”, they said, “He changed direction!”, “Has he no dignity?!!”. Oh yes, in our crab world, we don’t mess around with customs. So I got myself back on track, and followed my fate. But one day, someone might remember that, on this exact spot, a Pachygrapsus marmoratus deliberately changed direction.

This entry was posted in Algeria, Algerian media and tagged by algerianna. Bookmark the permalink.

About algerianna

I enjoy writing, well communicating to be more precise as writing is somewhat a solitary activity. I tend to think that life is beautiful and interesting but people tend to over-complicate it. I like thinking about people and societies (netfelssaf like we say in Algerian). Apart from that, am relatively begnin.

16 thoughts on “[DZBlogDay] Agir pour l’Algérie

  1. great post good job
    right now I think with the debt crisis/european crisis emerging markets have a reason to shine
    you forgot we also help tunisia by being Tourists I don’t think the Europeans will go back to Tunisia en masse like before.

    Also after oil algeria will ride on solar power

    I think algerian companies have a hard time promoting their products and I think that is the key in the growth of the non oil sectors.

    • Thanks ilfdinar. I hope the economy will take off, but the oil problem is not just about our own consumption patterns, which will indeed shoot up in the future and will mean that we will have less oil to export. It has to do with the fact that the West too, our principal client, is actively seeking alternative sources of energy and making good progress in that. This does not leave much time to build a strong less oil-independent economy. The huge parallel market (black market) which exists in Algeria is also a huge problem in this respect. Our absolutely terrible financial measures and lack of efficient tools to manage finances adds to the gravity of the situation.

      These are urgent aspects to be resolved, like NOW. No not now, YESTERDAY!

  2. What a beatiful tribute you pay to the algerian popular spirit by cheating about the date.
    The story of the crabs is really funny and philosophical… the voice and the humourus style reminds me of the Shadocks…

    Well h’na forts… hna les algériens forts… it is very well known that hna forts… we are convinced, h’na très très forts… what else do you want?

    • Yes I couldn’t resist cheating!!! All the exam-related mechanisms in my Algerian brain started flashing when I read about this ‘concours’!!

      Yes the story is very funny. I particularly love this quote:

      “In spite of all these disparities, we all end up civil servants.”

  3. Fahmouna, are we Algeria-aware of the impossibility of changing things or are we tres tres forts?
    We suffer from too many contraditions, between actions and words, and on many other aspects. And the best is we seem to handle them pretty well… not.

    And since we’re speaking about things to change, I was watching Algeria vs. Egypt handball game, and guess what the commentator said when our team won? He said “this is the 1.5 million martyrs speaking”. I wish we could change this and stop bringing the martyrs up in every (silly) topic… I cannot bear the nonsense anymore.

    • We are très très forts in being Algeria-aware of the impossibility of changing things.

      And since we’re speaking about things to change, I was watching Algeria vs. Egypt handball game, and guess what the commentator said when our team won? He said “this is the 1.5 million martyrs speaking”. I wish we could change this and stop bringing the martyrs up in every (silly) topic… I cannot bear the nonsense anymore.

      Please make a petition and I will personally sign it a 1.5 million times.

    • Fahmouna

      Nafahmouk kho… Hadouk les egypchiens hachak, saboulna chouhada, kho. Rak chayef kifach? Sabou Mourad Ben Mhidi ou Larbi Didouche ou hadok lokhrine kho… Hna les aljiriens hakda, liysabna yendam 3liha kho…. Ghannaha Reda Taliani : les aljiriens donji khawa fi litronji…
      hakda kho? Fhamt?

  4. I suspect (I fear even lol) that when the Lam in Qatkhal nickname will grow back, he will step on the podium and deliver a profoundly philosophical statement on our condition. Like tht crab in the video😀 I wonder what he will say to us!!!!

  5. Maybe what is needed is to stop trying to figure out how to fix the whole, and instead trying to work on the individual level!

    If I ever become the someday-next Algerian (dictator) leader, I would ban existing news papers (as every good leader) and imply the study of philosophy in every university specialty, the brain cells of the “Algerian” must work again.

    • This is all good, trying to work on the individual level, so this hasn’t been the case so far right? How would you do to make everyone work on the individual level? I mean I believe I am doing well at this and I guess you too, and so do algerianna and Qatkhal and many others. But not everyone obviously. So how to do it?

      PS: Congratulations for posting the 1000th comment on this blog🙂

    • Well it’s because everyone seems to think they’re the enlightened leader that we’re in this mess. Messali, Boumediene, Bouteflika are but a few examples…
      I’ll accept this solution only if I am this enlighted dictator🙂

      • I hope you realize that you sound just like these people you blame for the mess we’re in right now MnarviDz🙂

        Seriously though, how come we have failed even in dictatorships? I mean, it’s crazy really how unlucky we’ve been. Some countries have had worse dictatorships but they benefitted them at some levels whether in education or stimulating creative talents (eg. look at the great authors of Latin America and Eastern Europe). I just don’t get it. Take Turkey even, which seems to be a popular example right now in all Arab media channels and constantly used by aspiring and ancient (but still hopeful) political parties – why has Attaturk succeeded where all of the ‘enlightened’ Arab dictators failed?! The answers or even attempts at finding them could be interesting…

  6. Good question. I guess it’s because we are not concentrated/careful enough to do the job correctly. Just like the guy at el baladiya who doesn’t bother writing your name correctly, our dictators do not put the effort to be proper dictators… Or, our enlightened dicatators were not that enlightened after all!

    Back to your post, your Algeria-aware idea reminded me of La Boetie‘s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude. He talks of all those people who are born in servitude and do therefore never fight to get their freedom… Forgot what I wanted to say but el fikra el3amma is there (an illustration of my point above😉 )

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