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.
As usual in this Noteworthy Algerian post series, I leave it to Wikipedia to give you the man’s biography. I just remembered him some days ago after watching this video of a wrong-way crash in Lakhdaria. Shocking as it is, this accident is not exceptional. Road accidents with grave casualties and high death tolls happen too often in Algeria. I don’t have the latest figures (partly available on the DGSN or Gendarmerie websites); all you need is to read the press and you’ll find daily accident reports. There is probably a big set of reasons behind this but the fact many Algerian drivers are reckless and the infringements to the highway code are two important factors.
And this just proves that Lazouni’s excellent programs on the radio and TV (“Safe Road” and “Shorti Makhfi”) haven’t been enough to educate the Algerian drivers.
I remember when I was still a kid and loved watching Lazouni. I enjoyed watching the cases he showed and the way he did it with his voice and style. Then add the curiosity his invisibility created. There was no internet back then and it was easy for him to hide his picture from the public without using the power of the DRS apparatus.
A few years ago I finally got to see the man’s face and I gladly watched his interview on KBC (video below). If you are also a fan of Shorti Makhfi and you understand Arabic then it is for you. Echourouk newspaper also published a series of articles dedicated to him.
I didn’t find nice videos of Lazouni’s programs. Here is the Taxi elmakhfi movie instead