The politics of French language in Algeria

Published May 29th, 2016 - 04:53 GMT
Algerians vote at a polling station in France on April 12, 2014.  (AFP/Bertrand Langlois)
Algerians vote at a polling station in France on April 12, 2014. (AFP/Bertrand Langlois)

'French no longer a la mode' say Algerians 

Algerians have spoken out against the widespread use of the French language in public life, demanding that people take more pride in the country's official language: Arabic.

Algerians have taken to social media this week in an attempt to promote the use of Arabic and discourage speaking the "language of the colonisers".

French has been widely spoken and studied in schools and universities in Algeria since the French colonisation of the country in 1827, which lasted over 100 years.

Continue reading on The New Arab 


Longing for no return 

Handala (which literally means “bitterness” in Arabic) is the name of a 10-year-old boy: sad, barefooted and always with his face turned away. He is one of millions of children displaced from Palestine, and the signature of Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali, who was assassinated in London in 1987. At first, Handala was like any Palestinian child, writes Naji Al Ali, “but his consciousness developed to have a national and then global and human horizon”. When I was a kid, in the Palestinian camps in Syria we were taught that Handala will not turn and show his face unless Palestine is liberated, and that we will all be Handalas until the day we return.

Continue reading on Mashallah News


Tunisian activists are fighting for greater LGBT rights 

Abdelbraki Mezin asked me over coffee last week if homophobia was dead in the United States.

“I mean, you’ve had marriage equality for almost a year, surely that’s enough time,” the Tunisian human rights defender said. His partner, Bouhdid Belhedi, laughed, adding, “Yes, much like winning the Nobel Peace Prize solved all of Tunisia’s human rights issues.”

Mezin and Belhedi are LGBT rights defenders in Tunisia. As members of Tunisia’s first organization working openly for LGBT rights, they have suffered attacks, death threats, and lost family relationships.

Continue reading on Muftah





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