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. This post’s title is a Kabyle proverb. And as Bouteflika is no less than a monarch, he too loves and deserves presents. I wrote a lot about the present he received last year, a sort of ultimate present which would make any other present look worthless. So selecting this year’s present was a challenge for many guests (most of the guests never bothered and came in only to eat, drink, make connections and secure presents for themselves). Our source told us that some of these guests had been thinking for a long time, some since last year, about it and couldn’t find anything that could compete with last year’s present. This is probably why a secret side meeting had been held during the Fikra event two weeks ago. This year’s Fikra conference was about being successful or “Réussir” as they say in French. And it was only natural that the side meeting was called “Réussir son idée de cadeau“. Many personalities, politicians and businessmen, debated during two days and finally reached the conclusion that their present should be an idea (Fikra in
French Arabic) they would submit to the president. They wanted to stay within the “Fikra” concept and also knew that nothing material would beat last year’s present. Each guest would then come up with an idea written on the back of the president’s official poster and titled “تعاهدنا مع بوتفليقة”. Before our source felt really dizzy and, as I suspect, lost consciousness, they could share a few presents/ideas given by the major guests:
- Issad Rebrab suggested to acquire the Val-de-Grace hospital and open a smaller Tell-Smina hospital in Algiers. Bouteflika would of course be welcome any time in any of the two.
- Ali Haddad refused to show his present since Rebrab gave his before him. Too bad, I was curious to know what it was.
- Joseph Ged’s present was his idea about denying his company’s ads money to any media that would criticize Algeria or Qatar. The idea was a few days old but Bouteflika hadn’t heard about it since he only watches French TV and they didn’t mention it.
- General Hamel came in with idea of containing all the shale gas related protests in In Salah (and elsewhere). A former Army officer, Hamel had already acted but he chose to hide the results from the president. Don’t forget how Bouteflika got his ischemic attach.
- Louisa Hanoune wasn’t at the Fikra event and came with some flowers. She wanted to apologise for her recent statements and also suggest to use those flowers as a replacement of the ones we see on TV. I guess Bouteflika wasn’t in a forgiving mood as the PT leader hadn’t been allowed.
- Amar Saidani suggested to produce a song with Cheb Khaled chanting the National Anthem over Saidani’s derbouka beat.
- Chakib Khelil couldn’t be there but made sure to send his present to his old friend. Our source says it was a proposal to sell 51% of Sonatrach’s total shares to some obscure American group though a small company called CKDeals.
- Ramtane Lamamra came in with the draft piece agreement signed in Algiers by the Malian government and some Malian rebel groups.
- Abdelmalek Sellal’s present was a set of jokes he wanted the president to approve before saying them in public.
- General Toufik’s present was….. Here our source passed out. I wonder if it was a coincidence.
I am not good at singing and I am no fan of Marilyn Monroe so all I can do is share the famous song’s lyrics
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday Mr President
Happy birthday to you
Thanks, Mr President
For all the things you’ve done
The battles that you’ve won
The way you deal with D.Z. Oil
And our problems by the ton
We thank you so much