It is so hard to look South!


Click to visit his Twitter account

I mentioned in my previous post the accounts followed by Algeria’s minister of communication on Twitter and noted that they were telling on where his interests lie. This time I am going to dedicate the whole post to this topic using a newcomer on Twitter, our Minister of Maghrebi affairs, the African Union and the Arab League, Mr. Abdelkader Messahel.

The minister joined Twitter three days ago, and as I write this text he tweeted six times and follows 43 accounts. I expect (and hope) the situation to change in the near future but this post will still be valid as the 43 accounts are the first that he followed.

Continue reading

Links: Week22’16

algerian_nuthatchA study day dedicated to the Algerian nuthatch (or Sitta ledanti or Sitelle kabyle) was organized a week ago by the AREA-ED. This news gives me the opportunity to mention this association and also to speak of this species which was discovered in October 1975 and is Algeria’s only endemic bird species. The Algerian nuthatch is unfortunately endangered with less than 2000 (1000 according to other sources) pairs. You may want to watch this related communication from the university of Bejaia (part 1, part 2, part 3). Continue reading

Links: Week20’16

You may have read an old post I wrote during the last presidential elections. It was after I watched a video with one of Bouteflika’s supporters comparing him to a prophet. The video has unfortunately been deleted but I just watched a newly posted video from that period. Here, another man invents new verses of Quran and explains that he’d vote for Bouteflika, dead or alive. Continue reading

PoF Leak: Kamel Daoud, contre-enquête

Faisant suite à une demande pas si massive de pas grand monde, je vous propose une traduction en langue française du billet PoF Leak: The Kamel Daoud Investigation. Vous pourrez ensuite consulter les commentaires déjà publiés sur les deux billets précédents.
J’ai cherché un traducteur en vain et je dois donc le faire moi-même. J’essaie de faire attention mais je vous prierais de pardonner les éventuelles absences d’accent et les mauvaises concordances des temps. J’ai depuis longtemps perdu l’habitude d’écrire la France à moins que je ne sois un précurseur de la nouvelle langue française. Voici donc l’article.

Vous avez été nombreux à avoir entendu parler des articles écrits par le journaliste et écrivain algérien Kamel Daoud et ayant lien avec ce qui est désormais appelé “les agressions de Cologne”. Les habitués du blog devinent mon désaccord avec le chroniqueur. Je me suis en effet satisfait de quelques commentaires sur Twitter et je n’ai pas senti la nécessité de leur dédier un billet. Beaucoup de monde l’a fait avec des articles plus ou moins intelligents. Celui-ci fait partie des meilleurs, à mon avis, et le reste peut aisément être trouvé grâce à Google. Continue reading

PoF Leak: The Kamel Daoud Investigation

Version française ici

Many among you have probably heard of or read the articles written by Algerian journalist and writer Kamel Daoud as a comment/analysis of last year’s “Cologne attacks”. The regular readers of Patriots on Fire probably know that I disagree with Daoud. I made some short comments on Twitter but didn’t have enough will to blog about the whole issue. Add that many have reacted with more or less sensible articles. This one being among the best I’ve read and Google will help you find many more.
The story could have ended with the letters exchanged between Daoud and Adam Shatz and Daoud’s announcement that he would quit journalism to dedicate himself to literature. But it didn’t. Other letters are indeed being sent and Daoud’s supporters are writing to defend him, etc. Have fun people!

Then you probably wonder why I am writing. Continue reading

Learn English and Sing Oh I love America

Al Huffington Post published yesterday an article about the Algerians living in the USA. I didn’t find the article particularly interesting (I don’t seem to find anything really interesting in the Huff Post) and I believed this article should have been in the online aggregator’s French version rather than in the Algerian (yet in French) one. But at least this article pushed me to write this post which I wanted to start a few weeks ago after I’d watched the interview given by Joan A. Polaschik, US ambassador to Algeria, to APS.

In the video above, Mrs. Polaschik says that her focus will be on three areas: promoting security and stability in our region, strengthening economic and commercial ties between the two countries, and strengthening the bonds between our two peoples. APS journalists were more interested in the former two and this is why I am dedicating this post to the latter item. Continue reading

The most influential Algerians in 2014

The last time I posted about influential Algerians was in 2010. Back then I thought I’d make a special post every year but I… simply forgot about it. So here I am back with the 2014 list.

So I checked the 2014/2015 report from the same organization and here are the important only stuff which are related to Algeria: Continue reading

PoF Leak: Mubarak’s memoirs

Algeria’s Fennec foxes will face the Burkina tomorrow in a qualification game for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Algeria has lost in the first leg but still holds all its chances to qualify in Blida’s Tchaker stadium.

And it is exactly four years since the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and the game held between Algeria and Egypt in Um Darman. Algeria won that game and qualified for the World Cup.
It is also four years since we started this blog and I am surprised we kept it alive that long. The blog wasn’t the only thing that began with the Algeria/Egypt game. Algerian people suddenly reunited and patriotism took them over, the regime proved it was capable of achieving unusual stuff and some dreamers thought both the government and the population would raise and develop the country. They realised they were wrong soon enough and nothing really changed in the country.

But things did change.. in  Egypt. Continue reading

Book Review: The Algerians of Bilad al-Sham

BouchamaSeveral Syrians came to Algeria these past years fleeing the war in their country. The few Syrians I used to meet were either teachers who came after Algeria’s independence and stayed or traders selling Syrian textile products. It was therefore unusual to see these men, women and children refugees begging at mosques’ gates. War has very sad and ugly consequences.

I wondered what happened to the Algerian community in Syria. Tourists and businessmen stopped going there but what about those living there, or even those Syrians of Algerian descent? How involved are they in the conflict? Did they take sides?
These are some questions I have and to which I found no answers. The press has reported about Khaldoun Mekki Elhassani, one of the Emir Abdelkader’s great sons, jailed by the Assad regime. And unlike what happened in Iraq, Bosnia or Chechnya, we didn’t hear of many Algerians who would be gone to fight in Syria.

Kamel Bouchama’s book attempts to answer other questions as to who these Syrians of Algerian descent were. Continue reading

A chicken and egg dilemma…

Indeed it is: which should come first a constitution or elections? Should the writers of the constitutions be elected? Or nominated? Or should they contain an elected component and a nominated one? What if elections are conducted and then the resulting parliament has a majority which is considered ‘undemocratic’ or not mindful of the rights of some minorities?

It is a headache. On a related note, I was surprized to discover today Continue reading