De polémiste à psalmiste, ou de la magie des médias

Algerian author Kamel Daoud has released a new book titled “Zabor”. The book, which I tried to read but gave up after a few pages, was released both in Algeria and France, and the author is currently marketing his book on French media after a book signing tour in some Algerian bookshops. And, as one may have anticipated, Daoud and his journalist hosts (whom I should call sparing partners) do not miss this opportunity to come back on those topics which seem to obsess them with a bias that is equally anticipated.

I mentioned Daoud in a few posts (links given above) but I was satisfied this time with my tweets and had no plan to write one this time. One of the blog’s readers decided otherwise so here I publish their post, unedited. I take this opportunity to remind you dear readers that PoF is open to any contribution that’s within the blog’s scope and editorial policy.


Kamel Daoud est chroniqueur, ça je le sais depuis une bonne dizaine d’années déjà. Je lisais ses chroniques, de façon irrégulière, sur Le Quotidien d’Oran. Je n’ai pas le souvenir d’une en particulier, mais elles étaient percutantes pour certaines… Quand ou comment est-il devenu cette étoile du Nord qui indique le chemin et guide l’égaré? ça par contre, je l’ignore…

Cette question m’a traversé l’esprit quand avant-hier, et à l’occasion d’un passage sur Europe1, la chaîne de radio française, le chroniqueur, devenu écrivain depuis, a encore une fois créé le buzz sur les réseaux sociaux. Un buzz provoqué par un tweet “orienté” d’un journaliste d’Echorouk. Et pour la énième fois, sur vos écrans tactiles, la polémique s’enflamme…
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Book Review: A world without Islam

Meeting with a book has sometimes to do with luck. Sometimes it is because you are at the airport with some foreign currency which you couldn’t spend even after you visited the restaurant, the café and the duty-free shops. And then you spot a book with a catchy title and the right price to empty your wallet. So you buy it and read it during the 12 hours-long flight. Then you decide to write a review because you have nothing more interesting to write about.
This is what happened to me and this book.

Well, not exactly. I decided to write this post because the book’s topic is essential in our present days where so many wars are said to be launched against Islam-ist groups and threat.

In “A world without Islam“, Graham Fueller tries to picture a world where Islam wouldn’t have existed and considers the current trends to find out whether they would have been different or not. Would there still be a war on terror, a clash of civilisations, hatred towards the US, etc. Continue reading

Nobel Peace Prize and the Dolphin

So the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union “for [having] over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Wikipedia says the prize is worth US$1.2 million. I wonder if EU will give the money to Greece or Spain or… Goldman Sachs. Perhaps this prize will revive rating agencies’ faith in the EU and encourage them to stop lowering their ratings. L’espoir fait vivreContinue reading

Book Review: I Saw Ramallah

Five days ago, Palestinians and those among us who are concerned about the Palestinian cause remembered Deir Yassin’s massacres. It was a good reminder to those, centred on what’s happening in Syria or Mali, who didn’t notice the recent escalation in Gaza. But what to do, it is not easy to keep the press’ interest in a 64 yo conflict which became the normality.

So, because I am not eager to write about Algeria’s upcoming elections, I take this opportunity to write about a book by Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti.

The author was studying in Cairo during the 1967 war and since that day Israel didn’t let him go back home. He had also to leave Egypt and his wife and little boy (poet Tamim Barghouti), expelled by Sadat in 1977 after the president’s visit to Israel which announced Camp David. Many Palestinians could go back live or visit Ramallah and Gaza after Oslo (probably the only positive outcome of these accords), and Barghouti relates his own “return” in 1997, 30 years after he had left his mother land. Continue reading

Israel-sympathizer makes it to “Arab Idol” finale

The title is a hoax. Lame I know. This title was inspired by an article I read here, which talks about an Israeli Palestinian-sympathizer (named Saar Szekely) who has made it to the Big Brother finale (Israeli version of the famous reality show).

This video shows a subtitled conversation between Saar and his housemates about the Palestinian issue. Watching the video has made me wonder whether Israelis are hopelessly brainwashed by Zionist fibs or they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong but they still believe they have an exclusive right to do it because they’re fated to be persecuted Jews. Either way, they are Continue reading

Gunman no longer on the loose in Toulouse

The recent shootings in Toulouse, which were perpetrated by French alleged former jihadi fighter Mohamed Merah, have been turned into a national tragedy in France. The Jews as usual have gone nuts over the incident (Merah had shot a rabbi and three Jewish children). The usual anti-Semitism brigade came out in force with the usual mission to persuade the world that Israel can do no wrong. EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, drew criticism in Israel over what Israeli leaders said was an attempt to make the massacre of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers engaged in Continue reading

Book review: Memoirs of an #Algerian II (2/2)

About Boumediene, Alistair Horne wrote in his “A savage war of peace: Algeria 1954-1962” book “in his secretiveness and retiring modesty [Boumediene] is most characteristically Algerian”. He added “in his rare interviews with writers and journalists [Boumediene] steadfastly declines to discuss the war, or his role in it”. We indeed do not know much about Algeria’s most important president’s role during the war. His real national appearance during the revolution was when he presided the jury that condemned the colonels (Lamouri and co.) who, encouraged by Nasser, had planned to kill the three Bs (Belkcem, Boussouf and Bentobal) and overthrow the GPRA. But we know little of Boumediene’s life when he was working with Boussouf.

Boumediene visiting Ifri

We do not know much either about Boumediene’s life after Algeria’s independence. Taleb‘s book helps shed some light on the 1965 to 1978 period. I’ve already written about the first two parts of Volume II. Today I write some words on the third part of this book. Continue reading

Man vs. Wild

“It’s like Man vs. Wild“. This is what I thought when I saw the second half of the below video, and I imagine it could have been Antoine de Maximy‘s thought too after he faced those Israelis’ hostility.
It’s very funny how many Israelis still think France is an enemy or at least not a friend country. Perhaps the corrective actions undertaken by Sarkozy’s state, such as Continue reading

The return of the Sultan?

The recent and tragic freedom flotilla massacre has been viewed by many analysts as a turning point both in Israeli-Turkish relations and Turkish-Arab ties. Although it cannot be denied that the Turks are furious at how Israel has treated their countrymen, talks of severing ties with Israel seem premature. The Arabs as usual have gone euphoric, chanting slogans of the return of former glory at the hands of the returning Ottoman Sultan Erdogan The Great who has now become an Arab hero (this young chap here likens Erdogan to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed Al Fatih), interestingly. This is an all-telling quote from the same article:

The Turkish President or the “Ottoman Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdogan is like the famous Turkish sweet, Turkish Delight. For the first time, the nations of the Islamic world tasted the special and unique taste of the Turkish confectionery and wished these kinds of sweets would spread all over the Islamic and Arab world.

So the Arab streets are Continue reading

Video: The crab revolution

The world has reacted in different ways after the Israeli raid on the Freedom Flotilla and the killing of nine Turkish activists. As expected, the USA have sided with Israel and did their best to block any strong condemnation of the pirate state by the Security Council. Europe reacted in the usual mild manner regretting the deaths and Continue reading