Algerian newspapers’ mottos

Algerian writer and current minister of communication, Hamid Grine, finally joined Twitter a few weeks ago. His first tweets announced the death of 86 yo Boualem Bessaih who had just been appointed personal representative of 79 yo Bouteflika. Bassaih was also a writer (I liked his “De l’émir Abdelkader à l’imam Chamyl” book) and a former minister of communication (1980 to 1984) hence Grine’s mention.
And exactly like most, not to say all, Algerian politicians (the few who use Twitter), Grine’s twitter account is not very active with so far only 23 tweets and following 21 twitter accounts. These accounts show that his world is restricted to Algeria (not all of it) and France.

dz_newspapersBut this low activity makes it easy to go through his tweets and this is how I found the one where he stated that only 21 Algerian daily newspapers had circulations of more than 10,000 copies per day.

The Algerian regime likes to boast  Continue reading


When is the right time to say things?

Yet again Algeria has been hit by another violent episode with nine soldiers (according to the Algerian military) ambushed by AQIM in Ain Defla province. It happened during Eid-ul-Fitr days and about 10 days after 22 citizens had been killed by God knows who and for God knows what reasons in Ghardaia. These two deadly events have raised many reactions and comments on social networks.

I will build this post by going through some of the comments I read today. Continue reading

Poll: I love the new TV channels!

A few weeks ago, during the In Amenas hostages crisis, audiences of foreign TV channels witnessed something very rare. These channels showed images provided by an Algerian TV channel, Ennahar TV. The private Algerian TV was the only to provide images of the gas plant, the Algerian military forces, etc.

The foreign public may not realise it but this is quite new to us Algerians.
Two years ago, the Algerian government agreed to let Algerian private operators create their TV channels. And like with many topics, the minister’s statement hasn’t been followed by the legislation, and the few private TV channels we have still transmit from outside the country. Continue reading

Poll: On new Algerian TV channels

Who still watches the Algerian television outside Ramadhan? Not many I am sure.

Depending on their supposed “ideology”, most Algerians do watch European French or Arab TV channels. So, if we consider news TV, the former would watch France24 and Euronews in French, and the latter would watch al Jazeera (not any more?), France24 or Euronews in Arabic (Algerians do not like al Arabiya, al Hurra, etc.). As to the generalist, movies and musical channels, you would have those watching French channels, and those watching their Arab competitors such as LBC, NBC, MBC, TBC, etc. (not sure all these channels do exist as I am not part of either groups). There is also another group which is probably a combination of the former ones and which watches some North-African channels, mainly Moroccan and Nesma TV.

The conclusion is nobody watches the Algerian channels, and they are so right about it. Forget the pre-90s period when everyone had to watch El yatima ENTV (I am a little nostalgic about this period which created a homogeneous Algerian mind with identical television souvenirs, but that’s another topic). Now we have Allah ibarek five state TV channels, but the quality has definitely degraded esp. if you compare with the late 80s and early 90s. Continue reading

El Watan newspaper, how serious is it?

In yesterday’s edition of El Watan, you can read an article titled “the shocking words of Bouguerra Soltani on Facebook“. In this article, the journalist reports some sentences allegedly written by the president of the MSP on his alleged Facebook page. The sentences written almost two months ago (on January 10) raise a question about the Algerian people and whether it is possible to rely on them or not. The unwritten but obvious author’s answer is apparently NO. I’ll post below Al Watan’s article in French, and the original text in Arabic from Facebook.

El Watan is probably one of the most serious newspapers in Algeria. It’s one of the three  francophone newspapers which I read, the other two being Le Quotidien d’Oran and Liberte. But this newspaper has changed some 5 to 6 years ago and its editorial line became more… radical. Its opposition to the system became systemic and it lost sight of the objectivity that used to characterize it. I of course have no problem with this esp. that I know this newspaper has to compete with not only the state-owned newspapers but also the mediocre pro-system francophone and arabophone newspapers (L’expression, Echourouk, Ennahar, etc.) Continue reading

Anouar Malek’s comment

I am no fan of A. Malek and disagree with him politically and also on the way he practices his opposition to the Algerian regime.

But since I posted Al-Aswany’s analysis of the Algeria/Egypt crisis I thought it’d be only fair if I posted a contribution by an Algerian intellectual. Those who read Arabic will understand it’s on a different level than Al-Aswany’s.

كنت أتوقع دوما باليقين أن الأقلام هي التي تبادر وتتحرك لتعري وتكشف الحقائق، لأن القلم له قداسته وله مكانته عبر تاريخ البشرية، ولكن ما توقعت يوما أن الأقدام هي التي ستلعب دورها حين ترتد الأقلام، وتكشف الكثير من الخبايا والخفايا التي تعمل جهات متعددة على إخفائها وطمسها، طبعا لحاجات تحلب في أقداح حماية مصالحها وكينونتها وترسي بها دعائمها التي بلا شك مهددة دوما بسبب الظلم والفساد.

كرة القدم تحولت هذه المرة للعالم العربي برغم ما آلت إليه الرياضة من بزنسة وتطفل، هي المدرسة الحقيقية التي أبانت وستبين الكثير من الخلل في منظومة الحكم العربية، وهذا الذي عجزت فيه المعارضات بمختلف ألوانها وأطيافها وإيديولوجياتها وتطلعاتها. أقدام اللاعبين الجزائريين كانت اليوم أكثر حجة من عقول الكثيرين ومن أقلامهم وقراطيسهم وحبرهم، حيث وقعت أساطير عديدة ومن المريخ، تبدأ بكشف زيف الأخوة العربية التي يتبجح بها رعاة الأنظمة وسدنتها، ويتغنى بها في مواسم الحصاد خاصة. وجعلت تلك الأقدام من الجلد المنفوخ معجزة تيمنا بقميص يوسف الذي به ثلاث براهين بقيت خالدة في التاريخ، حيث بدد كذب الإخوة الأسباط لما أعطوا الذئب لأول وآخر مرة قلادة البراءة، وأثبت طهارة يوسف من مكر نسوة آل فرعون على أرض مصر، ثم أعاد البصر للوالد يعقوب الذي ابيضت عيناه من كمد وأحزان الفراق.

Continue reading

Alaa Al-Aswany’s analysis of the ‘crisis’

I don’t agree on many of the points Al-Aswany makes, but at least he tries  and makes some very valid points while being reasonable and up to his rank as an intellectual. I like his patriotism and love for his country’s flag and people, but I repeat myself and say he and others fail to point at what the Egyptians (all or part of them) did to the Algerians; and things won’t work out so long as they don’t acknowledge it.

Then he bases his analysis on Egyptian TVs reports and we (more and more people) know now there’s little truth in them.

Third point, he is exactly like his nationals who still have a too big idea of the Egyptian role in the world. It’s like time has stopped somewhere in the sixties and they are stuck in there.

Fourth point, I must admit that I don’t like how Gulf countries behave with other Arab and Asian nationals (yes, it’s not only the Egyptians) and I would love to see their respective countries react. But the issue has many aspects to consider and it needs some realism when dealing with them.

Fifth point, he talks of Nasser’s support to the Algerian country and tells us that even our anthem’s music was composed by an Egyptian, wow! The latter point is just irrelevant here, and we need an objective analysis of how and why Nasser supported the FLN members who believed in him 🙂

Sixth point, let’s be serious, how could the Egyptian population pressure the Algerian government, and how could they expect to get an apology from the Algerian government or people?!

Defending Egypt’s flag is the title of his analysis.

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What are the Egyptian ‘independent’ media playing at?

This is an article by the same Dr El Fiqqi who spoke in the TV programme 10 pm (see here), writing for Al Hayet (a London-based Arabic newspaper). Dr El Fiqqi is member of the ruling political party in Egypt and specializes in foreign relations. The tone of the article is completely different to his bigoted rants in the TV programme. Makes you wonder what the Egyptian self-proclaimed ‘independent’ TV channels are playing at. They have been singing the same anti-Algerian tune for a week now, their viewing figures must have gone through the roof recently as well as their advertising revenues. But what gives it away as a politically orchestrated coup is that even the public, State-funded TV channels are singing the same tune. What does the Mubarak clan really hope to achieve from this? I mean, for a country where people have been beaten up following riots over bread shortages, to tolerate this nonsense which it dresses up as ‘venting-off’ for having lost a football match just seems ludicrous. Many Egyptian voices have been asking when Mubarak ever cared about the dignity of Egyptians inside Egypt, let alone their dignity outside Egypt which he has been fussing about ever since the aftermath of this unfortunate football match. Obviously, these voices are quickly hushed or smothered by outcries and denouncements of lack of patriotism or even treason. Mubarak does not tolerate any ‘venting-off’ unless it suits his political agenda. But what is it this time?

Whoever said that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’ was dead right I think. It is pittiful to see how the ordinary, simple masses are manipulated mercilessly by political tyrants via proxies like nationalism, religion and patriotism.

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Egyptians starting to wonder how to put out the fire they started

Video 1:  in this video, Dr. Mustapha El Fiqqi (the bald man, he is a ‘political analyst and thinker’ according to the presenter of the programme and has occupied the post of ‘Information Secretary’ to President Mubarak between 1985 and 1992 according to Wikipedia) openly accuses all Algerians of having a violent psychological make-up. His proof? Actually, he has two very solid pieces of evidence: the first is that he went to Algeria in 1966 and one Algerian told him that ‘all Egyptians are thieves’ and the second is that Algerians are not very good at providing tourism services as illustrated by his experience in an Algerian hotel where he asked one of the hotel employees to help him carry his suitcase, to which the Algerian replied: ‘Why? Are you sick Sir?’. Obviously, the mother of all proofs is that Algerians made a bloody revolution against the French colonizers. To hammer in his point of view, Dr El  Fiqqi contrasts this poor example of a civilized people that are the Algerians with the glowing example of the Egyptian people, including fanatic football supporters, who are just brilliant, civilized and pacific. Egypt is to the Arab world what America is to the Western world, he asserts. But, unlike the first two assertions, he didn’t have any proof (erm sorry, personal anecdotes) to back this last assertion.

Video 2: in this video, an Egyptian artist calls the programme from Saudi Arabia, where he was Continue reading

Algerian students injured in Cairo

Amr Adeeb and his likes in the Egyptian media can be happy. They performed wonderfully and achieved their goals. The Egyptian authorities and population can also be happy. All are taking part in the hunt of Algerians living in Egypt and taking revenge for the alleged attacks in Khartoum.

The above video shows two Algerian students who just left that dangerous country  of Egypt and came back to Algeria. Nobody can say they are faking it because it was the Egyptian police who handed them to the Algerian embassy in Egypt before being repatriated.

They tell the journalists how they lived in fear since November 14, and how they’ve been attacked by the Egyptians after the November 18 game. Nobody could save them because the assailants were so many. When the Egyptian police arrived, they took them to their police station, handcuffed. There, they treated them like animals, insulted them and didn’t even show them to a doctor.

Actually, Amr Adeeb and his likes, the Egyptian authorities and population, all should feel very ashamed.

This has to stop now. It’s been more than a week for God sake. Move on and get over it.

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