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Algeria

La question du patrimoine en Algérie

[Le Cardo maximus de la ville romaine à Tipaza, Algérie. Image par Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr]

Dès les débuts de la décennie 2000, le patrimoine s’impose dans le débat public. Il fait l’objet d’une rencontre annuelle organisée généralement le 16 avril ; une date qui correspond à la fête du savoir, Aïd el Ilm en arabe, que les autorités locales organisent généralement dans les grands hôtels[1], selon des dispositions particulières, comme l’inaccessibilité au grand public[2]. Le mystère pèse autour de ses rencontres qui n’ont pas l’air d’enrichir le débat sur le patrimoine. Pour les pouvoirs publics comme pour les architectes, les ingénieurs et les universitaires invités de la manière la plus énigmatique qui puisse être, ces rencontres sont l’occasion ...

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Women in the Men’s House: The Road to Equality in the Algerian Military

[Popular National Army Official sign of the Algerian army. Image from Wikimedia Commons]

In developed countries, the recruitment of women into the military has been the subject of intense debate for over thirty years. Supporters assert the equal right of women to serve alongside men in the army, even in combat roles, while opponents fear that the very presence of women in what they see as a male institution undermines its esprit de corps and combat efficacy. [1] Some argue that women cannot bear physical harm, although the integration of women into Western armies in increasing numbers suggests otherwise. [2] By way of contrast, the recruitment of women into Arab armies, even in noncombat roles, is rare and remains socially and politically contentious. So ...

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Kabylia: Between Colonial Myths and Algerian Realities

[Image of a village in Kabylia. Image by Yves Jalabert/Flickr]

[La genèse de la Kabylie. Aux origines de l’affirmation berbère en Algérie (1830-1962), by researcher and journalist Yassine Temlali was published by Barzakh (Alger). The excerpt we are publishing below is an extract from the chapter entitled “La politique berbère (kabyle) de la France en Algérie : mythes et réalités.”]  [...] The image that French colonizers had of the indigenous Algerians was determined, first, by the pseudoscientific and racialist dogma that professed the existence of essential differences between ‘races’ in their behavior and ability to develop. On the other hand, it was determined by a profound ignorance of the Muslim world, seen through the ...

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Tunisia: The Counter Demographic Transition

[Screenshot from video footage of the interview below, with Youssef Courbage]

[The following is an interview conducted with Youssef Courbage. This video (in French) is published in cooperation with OrientXXI] Youssef Courbage is research director at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED). For many years, he aimed to analyze the evolution of Arab and Muslim societies through demographic variables. In this interview, he explains that after the Arab uprisings, the countries in the Middle East and North African region have experienced a marked increase in the birth rate, including in Tunisia, a country that had been praised for its demographic transition. Indeed, until the mid-2000s, demographers considered Tunisia s a model for ...

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Daoud’s Camus Fanfiction Is More of the Same

Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation. Translated by John Cullen. New York: Other Press 2015. Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud’s debut novel The Meursault Investigation, recently translated into English, retells the story of Albert Camus’s The Stranger from the point of view of Harun, the brother of the unnamed Arab that Camus's hero, Meursault, murders. The Meursault Investigation has garnered great praise in American media, sparking multiple articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and New Yorker. The portrait we are left with in all of these profiles is the same: Daoud is a brave writer, taking Camus to task for his blind spots (while still paying ...

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Breaking the Myths of Power: The Struggles of the Haitians, Algerians, and Greeks

[

What do the struggles of the Greek people have in common with those of the Haitian slaves at the end of the eighteenth century or those of the Algerians in the middle of the twentieth century? Of course, these struggles are incomparable in many ways, but there is one important parallel that can be drawn. Both moments of anticolonial resistance compelled ruling power to show its true face and managed to shatter the myths informing that power’s universal claims and its so-called humane intentions. The Greek people are now doing the same thing with the myth of the “European Compromise.” The clear-cut rejection of European austerity policies in the recent referendum is yet ...

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Un dualisme pernicieux ou le mythe des deux Algéries

[Image d'une place à Oran. Image par Maya-Anaïs Yataghène/Flickr]

Dans sa dernière chronique pour le magazine Rupture qu'il dirige, l'écrivain et journaliste Tahar Djaout introduit sa dichotomie partageant l'Algérie entre « la famille qui avance et la famille qui recule ». Nous sommes en mai 1993, juste avant son assassinat. La représentation dualiste qui s’exprime dans cette formule oppose porteurs de la modernité et défenseurs de l'authenticité. Dans l'Algérie de 2015, cette dichotomie particulièrement problématique reste toujours d’actualité sous une forme ou une autre, malgré la fin de la guerre civile et la considérable fragmentation sociale héritée de l’histoire. On la retrouve par exemple dans l'opposition fallacieuse ...

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الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية

الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية حمزة حموشان وميكا مينيو-بالويللو بلاتفورم لندن، مؤسّسة روزا لوكسمبورغ وعدالة بيئيّة شمال أفريقيا. مارس 2015 يمكنكم قراءة الكتاب وتحميله هنا.   1- ماهو غرضكم من تأليف هذا الكتاب؟ هدفنا هو إلقاء الضّوء على عنف تغيّر المناخ في شمال أفريقيا والتّأكيد على الحاجة إلى استجابة محليّة. أردنا الإشارة إلى أنّ بقاء الإنسانيّة على قيد الحياة مرهون بالتغيير الهيكلي وعلى مواجهة تحدّي الحديث عن العدالة المناخيّة بالّلغة العربيّة. تغيّر المناخ هو حقيقة موثقة في شمال أفريقيا. عدة أشخاص يلاقون حتفهم والكثيرون يجدون أنفسهم مجبرين على ترك أراضيهم بسبب موجات الجفاف والعواصف الّتي أصبحت أكثر حدة ومتكرّرة ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kamran Rastegar, Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East

[Cover of Kamran Rastegar,

Kamran Rastegar, Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kamran Rastegar (KR): I tend to agree with the adage that all (or perhaps, the best) scholarship is in one sense or another autobiographical, and my own childhood experiences in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war certainly set a backdrop for a long interest I have had in war and post-war themes in cinema and literature. Cinema has been central to my passions for some time: I recall how, as an undergraduate studying abroad in Cairo in the early 1990s, I attended a film festival of old ...

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A New Secularism?

[Cover of Mayanthi L. Fernando,

[This is the third of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here; for Naomi Davidson’s response, “The Vagaries of Laïcité,” click here.] In bringing the work of Joan Scott and Naomi Davidson together with mine, Muriam Haleh Davis demonstrates the importance of undertaking a history of the present. This history enables us to identify some of the structuring logics of French republicanism and French secularism, as well as to track both continuities and discontinuities between past and present, something that ...

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The Vagaries of Laïcité

[Detail from the cover of Naomi Davidson,

[This is the second of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here.] A cartoon by the French cartoonist Gil from 10 January, titled “Communion nationale,” shows a white policeman frisking an ambiguously raced man standing against the wall with his hands in the air. “Je suis Charlie,” says the man, and the policeman replies, “Yeah, yeah, me too.” In the past month, many of us have seen an explosion of items in the French press about Muslims (be they radical/homegrown/foreign/prisoners/mentally ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism

[Cover of Mayanthi L. Fernando,

Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mayanthi Fernando (MF): When I first went to the field, I imagined a more conventional ethnography of the Islamic revival in France. I was interested in how a French (and more broadly European) context, in which Muslims are a minority, transforms the ritual and hermeneutical practices of the Islamic tradition. I was asking, essentially, what effect does the fact that Muslims born and raised in France are, quite literally, schooled in French republican epistemologies and values have on their ...

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الأنثروبولوجيا والتراث الشعبي في الجزائر: تاريخ ومسارات

اقترن الحديث عن الأنثروبولوجيا والتراث الشعبي في الجزائر في بداية الاستقلال، وبصورة رهيبة، بأسئلة جريحة وصعبة وخطيرة، كادت أن تعصف بالكيان العلمي والمعرفي للأنثروبولوجيا نفسها كعلم أصيل وعريق، وبالتراث الشعبي الذي ظل موضوع مراهنات غير مسؤولة وغير علمية ظلت تلاحقه مدة من الزمن... فإن نحن سمحنا لأنفسنا بالاختصار نقول إن الأنثروبولوجيا قد ارتبطت في المخيال المعرفي الرسمي الجزائري ما بعد الاستقلال بأنها علم استعماري بامتياز، سخّرته المنظومة الكولونيالية الفرنسية منذ أول عهدها بالجزائر، وما قبل هذه المرحلة ...

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A Moveable Feast? Reflections on the French Coverage of the Paris Attacks

Writing on the relationship between acts of terror and the mystification of liberalism in 1947, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that, “cunning, violence, propaganda, and realpolitik” appeared “in the guise of liberal principles” and were “the substance of foreign or colonial politics, and even of domestic politics.” [1] He was not writing about religious fanatics, but he was rather concerned with another specter that once faced Europe: Communism. Unlike the Cold War, if France is indeed “at war,” one is at a ...

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De-dramatizing Algerian Politics

Three weeks ago, Algeria’s long term Military Intelligence Agency (DRS) Chief, known as, “The God of Algeria,” was removed from his position. Coverage in the Western press has been emblematic of broader media trends. When it comes to reporting on Algeria, analysis is often superficial or framed by dominant narratives. These narratives, while originating from Algerian elites, find resonance with Western stereotypes of Arab politics as defined by a Manichean struggle between authoritarianism and democracy. ...

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The Changing Nature of the Algerian Political System and the Illusion of a Civilian Regime

Since 2011 Algeria has recorded a series of important political changes, despite its reputation as one of the most immobile countries in a region marked by instability and turmoil. This evolution in the nature of Algeria's regime has gone largely unnoticed on the international media, while domestically the authorities have been able to craft a narrative centered around the idea of a transition from a military-backed system to a civilian regime. In this powerful narrative (all the more powerful due ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 22)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Tuesday night of every week] Algeria  A (Silicon) Valley Grows in Algeria Elizabeth Nicholas interviews several entrepreneurs on the difficulties of startups and the tech industry in ...

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A Dangerous Dualism: The Myth of Two Algerias

In his last column for the magazine Rupture, the writer and journalist Tahar Djaout introduced his dichotomy of an Algeria divided between “the family that advances and the family that regresses” (“la famille qui avance et la famille qui recule”). This was in May 1993, just before his assassination. The dualist representation expressed in this phrase puts those who advance modernity in opposition to those who defend authenticity. In the Algeria of 2015, this problematic dichotomy is still relevant and is ...

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Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy

Marlène Ghorayeb, Beyrouth sous mandat français, construction d’une ville moderne. Paris: Karthala, 2014.   This is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of Beirut’s early days of modern planning, during the transition from Late Ottoman to French Mandate, and later. In the lineage of Jens Hanssen’s Fin de Siècle Beirut, Eric Verdeil’s Beyrouth et ses urbanistes, Carla Eddé’s Naissance d’une capitale, and Robert Saliba’s Beyrouth architectures: Aux sources de la modernité, the book is a must-read ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice

Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, editors, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice. Platform (London), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (North Africa), and Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA), 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello (HH & MM-P): The idea was both to highlight the violence of climate change in North Africa, and the need for an indigenous response. We wanted to point out that survival ...

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Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria: An Interview with Aurelie Perrier

The association of the Arab world with Western sexual fantasy figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. Yet beyond the fantasies embedded in Delacroix’s paintings of odalisques, what did sex actually mean in nineteenth-century Algeria? In Ottoman History Podcast #188, Aurelie Perrier begins to answer this question. Building on the groundbreaking work of scholars like Malek Alloula and Christelle Taraud, her research explores the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written by the editor, Andrea Khalil, in May 2014.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a ...

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Workshop: Carbon Democracy and Revolution: Perspectives from the Middle East and the Mediterranean

Social revolutions, civil war and crippling economic crises: What is going on in the Middle East and South Eastern Mediterranean? Are the revolutions and wars in Egypt, Syria or Libya connected to the economic crises in Greece, Italy or Cyprus? How do carbon resources and energy competition affect these tense social, economic and environmental inter-relations? What is the future of 'carbon democracy' and what are its geographic and political ramifications? Inspired by Timothy Mitchell's work Carbon ...

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More on Laïcité in Historical Context

[This is the first of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Naomi Davidson's response, "The Vagaries of Laïcité," click here.] I find Muriam Haleh Davis’ commentary on Charlie Hebdo and French secularism (by way of a review of three books, one of which is mine) to be clear and to the point. Davis insists on the importance of placing in historical context the paradoxical claim that laïcité is a universal ...

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