The year 2015 draws to an end. It was a year full of surprising events. And it will be remembered in Algeria, as the year of the fall…The fall of the Dinar’s value, of the sweet crude oil’s price and most of all…the fall of the general Toufik. The end of the myth that tormented Algeria for 25 years. Sadly, in this year too, masks have fallen from the face of the too many followers, or should I say worshipers, of Toufik. People, I used to respect. Now I realise how naïve I was…and how dirty and deceitful, politics in Algeria, is.
My last post for this year would be dedicated to the leading figures who played a significant role in Algeria this year. So here is my list of the most influential Algerian “personalities” of 2015.
The president Bouteflika
Being elected after a decade of terrorism that ruined Algeria, the president managed to safely navigate the dangerous and murky waters of Algerian politics. As a wise and skilful politician, he helped restoring peace in Algeria and survived the so-called Arab spring…and two strokes (CVA). And despite his illness, he lately, succeeded to defeat the 1990s military junta by finally ousting its last general “toufik” from power. After 15 years of patient power struggle, with no blood on his hands, he finally reached his goal and proved he was not a half president but indeed THE only powerful ruler of Algeria…and a very good chess player.
The National Popular Army
Terrorism has destroyed many things in Algeria, it has even altered the strong bonds that used to unite the people to its army. Surprisingly and fortunately I should say, this year people regained confidence in this institution showing solidarity with soldiers fighting local ISIS subsidiaries. The population welcomed with relief the successful involvement of the army to restore peace in the region of Mzab, after the deadly troubles that cast scary shadows on the country’s civil stability. Most importantly, the national army achieved major internal reforms restructuring the intelligence services after the removal of its powerful chief. Lastly and thanks God the national army is still standing by the constitution’s principles in declining any solicitation to be involved in coalitions for war against a foreign country, be it in Africa or in the Arab region.
His excellency M. Lamara is the only minister of Sellal’s government who deserves to be called a minister, including Sellal himself, not only for his obvious skills in diplomacy but also because he speaks english and arabic fluently…compared to other monolingual francophone ministers. Lamamra is doing his best in promoting peaceful means to resolve conflicts in Africa especially in Libya and Mali while preserving the interests of Algeria. We would certainly remember, for a long time, his “decolonized” reply to Sarkozy:
“…hence it is legitimate indeed to ask the question of whether the colonial thinking that history has completely discredited would not be in the process of regeneration through sterile attempts to manipulate geography.”
“Il est tout à fait légitime de poser, à cet égard, la question de savoir si la pensée coloniale que l’histoire a complètement disqualifiée ne serait pas en train de tenter de se régénérer à travers des exercices stériles de manipulation de la géographie”
Despite being a very controversial political figure, constantly mocked and deride by the press, especially the francophone one, Saidani would be remembered as the only political leader who challenged openly the general Toufik, questioning his 25 years in office and asking him to resign. Ironically, the leader of the FLN is the first politician to call for a civil state in opposition to a military state, not to say a “Mokhabarate’s” dictatorship, and called openly for the end of “the deep state” secretive power in Algeria. Ironically, Saidani have said and done what the so-called political opposition never did…Strange is the game of politics in Algeria…
Away from politics to literature, the first female influential personality for this year is, without any doubt, Ahlem Mosteghanemi. Our famous writer was nominated as one of the 100 most powerful Arab women. She is a renowned writer equally famous in Algeria as in the Arab world. She is well known for standing in defence of the Arab language and for resisting the francophone lobby controlling the publishing industry in Algeria.
The Algerian people
Many things can be said about my people: nervous, violent, even uncivilized sometimes but, one thing is sure, we are a brave and proud people…And if we are not answering the many calls for an Arab spring in Algeria, it is because we have already been through the hardship of change and terrorism ; and we are still struggling to recover, with dignity, from that collective trauma, doing our best not to fall in the same trap…once again.
The fellowship of the ring…
Strange how this year, Algeria looked like Middle-earth from Tolkiene’s legend. The ring of power has finally been stolen from the dreadful Lord of Mordor depriving him from invisibility and absolute power. Suddenly, he became visible on newspapers and TV channels…while his Nazguls and Orcs are roaming the land searching, desperately, for the lost preciousssss…
For those asking : Where is the ring and who got it? …The legend says : Frodo and the fellowship of the ring …
May Allah bless and protect the land of Algeria from friends and neighbours…and…from foes and traitors.