Invited to Algeria for a trip of memory of 3 weeks, end of February-beginning of March, here are some images and thinkings. Without a direct link to current events. This trip takes place more than 40 years after a 9-year stay in Algeria: 9 months in Mostaganem for military service (1963-64), 2 years in Constantine (1964-66) and 6 years in Algiers (1966-72 ) as cooperant.
Coming back after such a long absence, it is, of course, to find familiar places buried in memory but also to discover another country, by the huge investments that oil revenues have made possible, mainly in education (1.7%). million students), housing construction, infrastructure.
Shock upon arrival: diving into the unknown, from the airport to the city, interlacing roads, and still without traffic jam at this late hour, where there was only the Moutonnière, traveled, morning and evening, for 6 years from Algiers to El Harrach … And the smell of the wadi … now gone.
It is also a people who went from 11 million inhabitants at the time of Independence in 1962 to 15 million in 1972 and 43 today: a population half of which is under 30, of which two thirds are born since 1972 !!!
Some photographs of 2019 are grouped into 4 articles: first Algiers and surroundings, then Oranais, Constantine and finally Tamanrasset.
Photos taken from 1964 to 1972, can be found on the blog in french language (1).
Algiers and around
Algiers-center: la Grande Poste that everyone has seen on television in recent days during the protests, the beginning of the street Didouche Mourad, blocked by the police, young people with the banner of support of the MCA, club of football, (the stadiums were the first places used by the youth to attack the system), the railway station, the port, the beginning of the street Larbi Ben Mihdi which became a flowered square, the street Larbi Ben Mihdi, the place from Emir Abd el Kader, the Cinematheque, Port Said Square.
At the top of Didouche Mourad street, the church of the Sacré-Coeur, cathedral, and, finally, some frescoes at the top of the Avenue Mohamed V where we lived.
Square de Port Saïd is a large garden in front of the Algiers theater, with busts accompanied by a text in Arabic, paying homage to artists: Oum Kalthoum, Mohamed Boudia, Abdelkader Alloula (assassinated by the FIS in 1994), Azzedine Medjoubi (murdered in 1995) … during la Décennie noire.
The Port-Saïd square is also an informal exchange where can be traded, buying and selling, dinars and foreign currencies, in full view of everyone.
By the chemin des Crêtes, way of the ridges, sight on Algiers and the Jardin d’essai, always as frequented, in couple or family and by the children of the schools… From there, you can see the imposing Monument du Moudjahid.
The Musée national du Moudjahid (National Museum of Moudjahid) is located near the city of Diar El Mahçoul, built in 1954 by the liberal mayor of Algiers and the architect and urbanist Fernand Pouillon. Today, the city is bristling with a real field of mushrooms-satellite dishes .. the photo testifies to it.
El Harrach,to find the anti-tuberculosis clinic attended for 6 years: the waiting room has become an office of administration for two very welcoming officials. The activity of the dispensary was transferred to Beaulieu.
In El Harrach Square, we went to a restaurant. Usually we go to the family section because there are three of us, one woman and two men. There, surprise, there were ten female clients, not a man.
A quick jump to Bordj El Kiffan that we did not recognize …
Algiers-West: view of ND d’Afrique, the bottom of the Casbah which is deteriorating but for which there are renovation projects, Sidi Aberrahmane At-Thaâlibi, patron saint of Algiers, Ketchaoua, mosque of Turkish origin, transformed into church in 1832 and cathedral, restored mosque in 1962, renovated by the Turkish government …, place des Martyrs, stele in tribute to the Porteurs de valise (2002), visit Sidi Fredj (architect Fernand Pouillon), murals and rocks paintings, poster in tifinagh.
Since 2016, Arabic and Tamazight (Berber) are official languages in Algeria. One can see, rarely, official posters in tifinagh, like this one, or titles in tifinagh on some official establishments (Cinémathèque for exemple) next to the inscription in Arabic and in French.
Tipaza and the Royal Tomb (formerly Tombeau de la chrétienne) who would be the tomb of Cleopatra, wife of Juba II ….