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


The ChatNoir @GnChNr Compass

MycompassSome Algerian tweeples took the political compass test to find out where they would be on a (left/right, authoritarian/libertarian) plane. I did take that test several years ago and took it again some days ago with fellow tweeples. To my surprise (or not), my position didn’t change much in all these years. No conclusion implied but note how Gandhi is the closest to me.

This is a way for me to introduce a new compass which I named “The ChatNoir Compass”. I hope fellow Algeria blogger ChatNoir won’t mind and won’t sue me for intellectual property. Continue reading

Language, ideology and belonging, the Algerian paradigm V

This post is part of the series I started some time ago; and the idea is, as usual, to lay down some points to trigger a discussion in the comments section. I’ll also add a poll at the end of the post in order to have our readers’ opinion, including those who do not comment 🙂

The topic this time is Algerian dardja (or Algerian Arabic) and how we should regard it. To be more accurate, the question that is asked is “should we or not make dardja an official language in Algeria?Continue reading

Language, ideology and belonging, the Algerian paradigm IV

The purpose of this series of posts, when I started it, was to discuss the francophone/arabophone divide within our élite and how it translated into a belonging ideology. I decided to extend the scope and tackle other aspects.

A few weeks ago, a Tunisian friend of mine told me that politicians in his country were busy discussing whether they were too much or not enough Arab/Berber/Muslim. He said, “we already know who we are so why are they talking of identity, religion and language when the population thinks unemployment, economic crisis and security?” Apparently, Tunisia’s political élite is like ours, but the fact there is an election in one year will perhaps force them (and Ennahdha particularly as they are in charge) to deal with the people’s real concerns and stop with the distractions.

So as useless as this topic may look, I will talk about our origins 🙂 Continue reading

Language, ideology and belonging, the Algerian paradigm III

This post comes a relatively long time after parts one (I) and two (II) of this series, but it is not going to be the last. So before I conclude on the topic in a fourth and perhaps last part, I thought it would be useful to share here a paragraph from Noureddine Boukrouh’s “Algeria between the bad (for the Pouvoir) and the worse (for the FIS)” book.

Boukrouh was the leader of the tiny Algerian renewal party (PRA), and I had some affinities with him, politically speaking. But then he joined the crowd and became the minister of small and medium enterprises under Ahmed Benbitour and the minister of trade under Ahmed Ouyahia. I don’t know if it was because, like many Algerians, he had hope in the newly elected 1999-Bouteflika, or because he became a “realist” like many of our politicians (“realist” here is opposed to “idealist” with the definitions Malek Bennabi gave to these two words in his “Mémoires d’un témoin du siècle” memoirs). I heard Boukrouh became an ambassador and then I don’t know what happened to him. If someone has some information, please do let me know.

Back to the topic. Continue reading

Language, ideology and belonging, the Algerian paradigm II

I talked in part I about how the francophone “intellectuals” viewed the arabophones. I could write more paragraphs on this point, but I guess the examples I gave were more than enough to grasp the general idea. So let me now tell you about the francophones and how they are depicted by the arabophones. I will not mention the francarabophones here as they are francophone-wannabes and their opinion on the francophones is therefore not important for obvious reasons.

The first thing is obviously Continue reading

Language, ideology and belonging, the Algerian paradigm I

I am going to make some blatant generalisations in this post and I will therefore neglect most of the special cases which have little statistical representativity. I will also misuse the “intellectuals” word as I am going to use it every time I will refer to people whose voices are, or could be, heard in Algeria. So the “intellectuals” in this post would be the journalists, teachers, thinkers, politicians (I exclude the beggara here), novelists, poets, researchers, etc. And this means the “intellectuals” will be either genuine ones, intellectomans (as they were called by Malek Bennabi) or some other people who don’t have a clue. Finally, I will probably use some (many?) examples for illustration purpose.

I remember my Arabic language teacher (who obviously studied in Arabic and was what we call an arabophone) during my secondary school years who spent all his free time chatting to female pupils who didn’t wear hidjab and trying to convince them to put it on. On the other hand, Continue reading