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					  EMBASSY OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA




  ALGERIA TODAY
JUNE 2010

 OFFICIALS’ ACTIVITIES                                    Page 3

 AMBASSADOR'S ACTIVITIES                                  Page 6

 COOPERATION                                              Page 7

 ECONOMY                                                  Page 10

 ENVIRONMENT                                              Page 12

 TOURISM                                                  Page 13

 HISTORY                                                  Page 16

 CULTURAL NEWS                                            Page 17




                           2118 KALORAMA ROAD NW
                             WASHINGTON DC 20008
                                TEL: 202-265-2800
                                FAX: 202-667-2174
                              Website: algeria-us.org
                             Email: mail@algeria-us.org
June 2010                             ALGERIA TODAY                                         Page 2


  THE DESERT FOXES EXIT THE WORLD CUP WITH THEIR HEADS HELD
  HIGH

  As the song goes, Algeria’s national soccer team members “The Desert Foxes” gave it their
  all, but their all was not good enough. On June 23, in Pretoria, the Algerian team was
  defeated by the U.S. Squad, suffering elimination from the rest of the competition by a
  single goal, scored at the 92nd minute of a game high in competition, physical endurance,
  and fair play.

  Coach Rabah Saâdane and his players may have lost a game but they have earned their spot
  at the 2010 World Cup and highly deserved to be the only Arab country to make it through
  the tough selection process leading to South Africa. Special kudos go to the revelation on
  the Algerian squad, the extraordinarily skilled Algerian goalkeeper, Raïs M’Bolhi, who did
  save the day on numerous occasions.

  Indeed, the Desert Foxes had rocks hurled at them, injuring several of them. They were
  surrounded by violent and hostile crowds in Cairo, Egypt. They were supported in
  Khartoum, Sudan, adored and criticized in Algeria, but they held their own and showed one
  of the world’s best teams, England, that they were no easy piece of cake – in fact, they were
  much tougher than Wayne Roonie and his teammates expected.

  In the end, Saâdane’s boys have exited the rest of the competition in South Africa, scoreless
  but certainly not soulless. They have made it to the court of the great ones. They competed
  with zeal but lacked the “oomph” that teams need to win. Maybe, the next time around.
  This team may have lost a game, but Algeria and Algerians everywhere have earned a new
  team that can win. Yes, they can!
June 2010                             ALGERIA TODAY                                         Page 3

officials’ acTiViTiEs

  PRESIDENT BOUTEFLIKA IN CANADA FOR THE G8 SUMMIT

                     The President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, is taking
                     part in the Africa segment proceedings of the G8 Summit meeting
                     convening in Muskoka, Canada.
                     Along with six of his African peers, the Head of the State will
                     participate in a dialogue with his counterparts from G8 member
                     countries over the ways and means to strengthen the Africa-G8
                     partnership, initiated on the occasion of the launching of the NEPAD in
  2001.
  In this respect, the Heads of State and Government will namely review the prospects of
  achieving the Millennium Development Objectives highlighting, in particular, the measures
  required at the national, regional, and global level, in order to efficiently reach the goals
  relating to the health of mothers, newborns, and infants, as set by the Millennium Summit
  Declaration held in 2000.
  They will examine as well the modalities for a more substantial support by the G8 to
  African efforts aimed at preserving stability, security, and peace on the continent.
  Finally, they will take part in an assessment of the enforcement of the commitments
  included in the partnership platforms adopted on the occasion of the successive G8 summit
  meetings.




  PRIME MINISTER OUYAHIA MEETS WITH THE IMF DIRECTOR FOR THE
  MIDDLE EAST-CENTRAL ASIA

                       Prime Minister Ahmed OUYAHIA met on June 15, 2010, with the
                       Director for the Middle East-Central Asia at the International
                       Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Masood Ahmed, who was visiting Algeria.
                       The governor of the Bank of Algeria, Mr. Mohamed Laksaci, attended
                       the meeting.
June 2010                               ALGERIA TODAY                                              Page 4



  ALGERIA AND THE EU AGREED ON A REVISION OF THE TIMETABLE OF THE
  DISMANTLING OF TARIFFS

  With a view towards assessing the implementation of the Association Agreement between Algeria
  and the European Union, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mourad Medelci co-chaired the 5th session of
  the Algeria-EU Association Council with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel
  Moratinos, whose country currently holds the EU Presidency.

  The meeting, which took place five years after the entry into force of the Association Agreement,
  enabled both sides to review the current state and prospects of cooperation between Algeria and the
  European Union in its multiple dimensions - political, economic, commercial, financial, cultural,
  and human.

  On this occasion, Algeria insisted on underlining the significance with which it views its relations
  with the European Union and its willingness to strengthen them further based on the reciprocal
  interest of the two parties.

  Mr. Medelci called on the European Union to reexamine its timetable of the dismantling of tariffs
  provided for by the Association Agreement concluded in 2002 and enforced in 2005. The European
  partners have responded positively to the revision request.

  (For more details see the web site: www.algeria-us.org)




  MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS MOURAD MEDELCI ADDRESSES “DIPLOMACY
  AND CHALLENGES FACING THE ALGERIAN ECONOMY” AT THE HIGHER WAR
  COLLEGE

                         Diplomacy and the strategic challenges raised by the diversification of the
                         Algerian economy required by globalization were the topic of an address
                         delivered on June 10 by Minister for Foreign Affairs Mourad Medelci at the
                         Higher War College in Tamentfoust, Algiers. Speaking before a large
                         audience of the College’s senior brass, Mr. Medelci reviewed diplomatic
                         action conducted by Algeria at various stages of the diversification process,
                         in the framework of its global strategy, and discussed the constraints, both
                         domestic and foreign, that emerged in that respect. Pursuing, he highlighted
                         the assets, mechanisms, and instruments used by the State to facilitate access
                         to technologies, lessen the vulnerability of national economy due to its
                         dependence on the energy sector and diversify its non-hydrocarbon supply
                         and export networks.
June 2010                                 ALGERIA TODAY                                               Page 5



  INCREASING THE INVOLVEMENT OF                             “PRACTICAL”         MEASURES
  THE ALGERIAN COMMUNITY LIVING                             PLANNED TO CREATE “BEST
  ABROAD       IN      NATIONAL                             CONDITIONS” FOR VISIT BY
  DEVELOPMENT                                               NATIONALS LIVING ABROAD

  The Secretary of State to the Minister for                The Secretary of State to the Minister for
  Foreign Affairs in charge of the National                 Foreign Affairs in charge of the Algerian
  Community Living Abroad, Mr. Halim                        Community Living Abroad, Mr. Halim
  Benatallah, said on June 7, that he will strive to        Benatallah, declared on June 10, that the
  strengthen the contribution of the members of             authorities have taken a series of “practical”
  that community to different projects of national          measures to create the best possible
  development.                                              conditions enabling nationals living
  Speaking at the transition ceremony with Mr.              overseas to enjoy their visit at home during
  Djamel Ould Abbès, who was designated                     the summer vacation. Speaking to the press,
  Minister of Health, Population, and Hospital              on the margins of a working session by the
  Reform, Mr. Benatallah said that “unification of          committee in charge of establishing
  the Algerian community living abroad” in order            favorable visiting conditions for the
  to strengthen its involvement in the national             community living overseas, Mr. Benatallah
  development process is one of “the strategic              announced “the enforcement of a special
  objectives” of his Secretariat. To that end, he           and urgent program” aimed at supporting
  said that he intended to be “listening” to the            Algerian nationals living abroad and
  concerns of the community living abroad,                  ensuring that “visiting nationals are given
  particularly in view of the “difficult” economic          the required attention at all times at all
  environment currently prevailing.                         entry ports.”



  AU COMMISSIONER FOR PEACE AND SECURITY RAMTANE LAMAMRA CALLS
  FOR CONTINENT-WIDE LAW PROHIBITING PAYMENT OF RANSOMS TO
  TERRORIST GROUPS

                       Existing African antiterrorist laws have been applied in a “dissimilar” manner
                       and their potential has not yet been “fully” achieved, declared the African Union
                       Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra, addressing the 4th
                       Meeting of the Focal Points convening at the African Centre for the Study and
                       Research on terrorism (CAERT) on June 13, in Algiers. Mr. Lamamra said that
                       because “Africa aspires to be a violence-free continent, it cannot resign itself to
                       be perceived as fertile ground for terrorism and as exporter of insecurity”, before
                       adding that “zero-tolerance policy regarding the phenomenon of terrorism and
  trans-border crime needs to be a policy applied at all times.” The African Union Commissioner for
  Peace and Security further warned that against the ability of terrorism to adapt and to gain strength
  from connections to other transnational crimes.
  For his part, the Acting Director General of CAERT, Dr. Lyès Boukra, said that the African Union
  is putting the final touch to “a model law against the payment of ransoms” to terrorist groups under
  any guise whatsoever. The legislation will be written in such a way as to enable AU countries “to
  incorporate its provisions into national law”, declared Dr. Boukra.
June 2010                    ALGERIA TODAY                                       Page 6


AMBASSADOR'S ACTIVITIES




             MEETING WITH ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE JOSE
             W. FERNANDEZ

             On June 1, 2010, Ambassador Baali met with Assistant Secretary of
             State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Fernandez to review
             the economic bilateral relations and to discuss aspects related to a
             meeting on Entrepreneurship in the Maghreb to take place in Algeria.




            PRESENTATION          AT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF
            SCIENCES ON           THE US-MUSLIM WORLD SCIENCE
            PARTNERSHIP

            Full text available on the Embassy's website: www.algeria-us.org



             AMBASSADOR          ABDALLAH        BAALI     ATTENDS        A    USIP
             WORKSHOP

             Ambassador Abdallah Baali, President of the sixth NPT Review
             Conference (2000) attended and spoke at a workshop hosted by the US
             Institute of Peace “Assessing the just-concluded 2010 NPT Review
             Conference”, on June 9, 2010.
June 2010                                  ALGERIA TODAY                                                 Page 7


COOPERATION

  U. A. M.

                                 UNION OF THE ARAB MAGHREB ADVISORY COUNCIL
                                 HOLDS 7TH ORDINARY SESSION IN ALGIERS

                                The 7th Ordinary Session of the Union of the Arab Maghreb (UAM)
                                was held on June 10 in Algiers, with the President of the Council of the
                                Nation, Mr. Abdelkader Bensalah, and the Speaker of the People’s
                                National Assembly, Mr. Abdelaziz Ziari, in attendance. The participants
  assessed the Council’s achievements so far and examined the ways and means of boosting future
  action by the Council and its organs. The proceedings included the adoption of the Periodic
  Transitional Program for the Council’s five committees as well as the review of UAM’s current
  performance and future prospects. The opening session was also attended by the ministers in charge
  of Relations with the Parliament in UAM’s member countries and by the leaders of similar bodies in
  the Arab, Islamic, and African countries.

  MAGHREB MINISTERS OF ENERGY MEET IN ALGIERS

  The first meeting of the ministers of Energy of the Maghreb countries concluded in Algiers on June
  19 with the adoption of a final declaration and a plan of action for the medium term for 2010-2015.
  The meeting examined a proposal calling for the progressive integration of the power markets of
  Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia into the European Union market and the ministers confirmed “their
  willingness to continue reforming their respective domestic energy sectors”, as stated in the final
  declaration. The participants also committed to use “the opportunities presented by the bilateral and
  multilateral cooperation between their respective countries and the European Union, with the goal of
  completing the reforms and developing their national energy sectors.”




  CLOSER COOPERATION AND TWINNING PROJECT FOR ALGERIAN AND TUNISIAN
  CUSTOMS

  The Algerian-Tunisian Cooperation Committee ended the 13th session of its proceedings last June 9 with
  the conclusion of a cooperation agreement and the signature of a twinning convention between the
  Higher Customs School at Oran and the Tunis National Customs School. Both the agreement and con-
  vention were signed in Oran by Mr. Mohamed Abdou Bouderbala, Director General of the Algerian
  Customs, and his Tunisian counterpart, Mr. Souleimane Ouarek. According to the customs cooperation
  agreement, Algeria and Tunisia agreed to join efforts to better fight contraband and to facilitate circula-
  tion by travelers from both countries.
  Moreover, the new agreement includes a training component which will help Algeria share its experi-
  ence with its eastern neighbor. Addressing the media on the topic at a press conference held in Oran, the
  head of Tunisian Customs, Mr. Ouarek, announced that Algeria will provide training in dry port to Tuni-
  sian customs officers. Mr. Ouarek, who had just ended a visit to the Oran Es-Senia Dry Port (an inland
  terminal directly linked to a maritime port), expressed his satisfaction to see his officers benefit from
  “the dry port experience of Algerian Customs” which, he added, “contributes to alleviate the pressure
  exerted on ports,” which are transit areas where not all goods can be declared.
June 2010                                ALGERIA TODAY                                              Page 8


  ALGERIA – EUROPEAN UNION                                 ALGERIA-RUSSIA: PROSPECTS FOR
                                                           INCREASED COOPERATION
  A Memorandum of Understanding relating to
  financial planning for 2011-2013 and a                   The Arabia-Expo 2010 economic forum,
  Financing Convention relating to the Support             held in Moscow on June 7-9, provided the
  Program for Higher Education between Algeria             ideal platform for participating Algerian
  and the European Union were signed on June 6,            trade officials met with their respective
  2010, in Algiers by Minister for Foreign Affairs         Russian counterparts and other officials to
  Mourad Medelci and Minister of Higher                    review the current state of the bilateral
  Education and Scientific Research Rachid                 cooperation between the two countries,
  Harraoubia and by European Commissioner in               examine its prospects, and review the ways
  charge of Expansion and European Policy of               and means of expanding it. Earlier, the
  Good-Neighborliness Stefan Füle.                         Algerian Ambassador to Russia, who also
                                                           attended the meeting, made a presentation
  On this occasion, Mr. Medelci indicated that the         on investment opportunities in Algeria.
  program has a financial allocation of 172 million
  Euros.

  Both sides expressed their shared willingness to
  expand their cooperation to areas outside of the
  hydrocarbon sector and to continue to strengthen
  their consultation and dialogue on issues of
  mutual interest.




  CZECH REPUBLIC EXPRESSES INTEREST IN GETTING ALGERIAN LNG

  The Czech Republic is highly interested in buying Algerian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), said
  Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Milan Hovorka. Speaking in Oran, before an
  audience of Algerian businessmen at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Oran Region,
  Mr. Hovorka explained that his country is eager to “diversify” its sources of LNG supply and that it
  would take an official decision in this regard, “after review of pertinent technical issues related to
  the shipping of Algerian LNG to the Czech Republic and the commercial aspect of the offer.” The
  Czech official also underlined his country’s “determination” to increase its efforts to expand its
  political and economic relations with Algeria, establish partnerships, promote investments and trade
  exchanges, which reached $160 million in 2009.
June 2010                               ALGERIA TODAY                                           Page 9


  ALGERIA AND VENEZUELA DISCUSS TRAINING OF ENERGY EXECUTIVES

  Welcoming the Venezuelan Ambassador to Algeria, who was on a courtesy visit to the Algerian
  Petroleum Institute (IAP) in Boumerdès, IAP Chief Executive Officer declared that Algeria and
  Venezuela are currently negotiating ways of expanding their significant cooperation in the area of
  oil and gas to provide training of executives in the sector. “The Algerian Petroleum Institute is
  already providing such training and we are currently discussing ways of providing this service to
  include training of (Venezuelan) petroleum and gas engineers,” added IAP CEO.




  ALGERIA-MEXICO FRIENDSHIP CAUCUS ESTABLISHED IN MEXICAN CONGRESS

  An official ceremony celebrated the creation in the Lower house of the Mexican Congress of the
  Algeria-Mexico Friendship Caucus. The caucus is composed of representatives from different
  Mexican political parties and will be chaired by Mr. José Manuel Aguerro, a Representative from
  the PRI, the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The Ambassador of Algeria to Mexico took the
  opportunity to underline the traditionally good political relations between Algeria and Mexico and
  expressed his willingness to work toward strengthening Algerian-Mexican bilateral cooperation in
  all areas.
June 2010                                 ALGERIA TODAY                                              Page 10

ECONOMY

  ALGERIA REGISTERED A $6 BILLION TRADE SURPLUS IN FIRST 5 MONTHS OF
  2010

  According to the Algerian Customs Directorate’s Office of Data Processing and Statistics, Algeria
  has registered $6.04 billion in trade surplus during January-May 2010, compared to a deficit
  totaling $572 million (rounded-up figure) during the same period, a year ago. During the first five
  months of 2010, exports amounted to $22.32 billion (compared to $16.64 billion during the same
  period, in 2009), representing a 34.10% increase. Imports, on the other hand, were valued at $16.28
  billion (They totaled $17.22 billion in January-May 2009), amounting to a 5.43% decrease.




  2010-2014 DEVELOPMENT PLAN SETS ASIDE ONE TRILLION ALGERIAN DINARS
  FOR AGRICULTURE

                                  The Algerian Government has set aside one trillion Algerian Dinars
                                  (DA) - equivalent to $13.5 billion - to stimulate and expand
                                  development in agriculture and rural areas over the next five years,
                                  through the 2010-2014 Economic Development Plan. The planned
                                  expenditures thus reinforce the policy implemented in this sector
                                  over the past twelve years. The main programs under consideration
                                  in this regard essentially include the modernization of agricultural
                                  techniques and means, price support for crops, forestry planting
                                  over 720,000 acres, range planting over 140,000 acres, and olive
                                  tree planting over 2 million acres.



  THE 2010-2014 FIVE-YEAR PLAN WILL STRENGTHEN THE NATION’S ECONOMIC
  BASE, SAYS MINISTER OF TRADE

  Minister of Trade Mustapha Benbada declared that implementation of the public investment program
  over the 2010-2014 economic development program “should contribute to the development of a new
  economic foundation resting on the enterprise as a source of wealth generation.” He added that the five-
  year plan is intended “to help Algerian enterprises produce but produce better products, in order to
  progressively increase their shares of the local market and, then, move on to exporting to foreign
  markets.”



  JIJEL-SÉTIF HIGHWAY: CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN BEFORE YEAR END

  Minister of Public Works Amar Ghoul said on June 10 that construction of the 100km-highway
  connecting Jijel to Sétif will begin before the end of 2010. The minister also announced that the
  project will now be handled by a South Korean design and construction contractor.
June 2010                                 ALGERIA TODAY                                               Page 11



  ANDI REGISTERED CLOSE TO 40,000 INVESTMENT PROPOSALS OVER 2 YEARS

  ANDI, the National Agency for Investment Development, registered 39,372 national and foreign
  investment projects between March 2008 and April 2010, declared the director in charge of Foreign
  Direct Investments at ANDI, Ms. Yasmina Benmayouf. Referring to internal survey, the official said that
  10,217 were endorsed. Out of that, 8,180 projects were implemented, 265 were FDI investments, 1,515
  are being implemented, and 522 were abandoned. Since its creation in 2002, ANDI has processed and
  endorsed 71,185 investment projects in several activity segments of the Small- and Medium-sized
  Enterprises, added Ms. Benmayouf.



  JORDANIAN ENTERPRISES SEEK PARTNERSHIP AND INVESTMENT OPPORTJUNITIES
  IN ALGERIA

  Numerous Jordanian firms and entrepreneurs exhibiting at the Algiers International Fair have expressed
  their great interest in prospecting partnership and investment opportunities in Algeria. At a media event
  held on the fair grounds to review the potentialities for expanded bilateral cooperation between Algeria
  and Jordan, and enhanced by the attendance of both the Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr.
  Amer El Hadidi, and the Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom to Algeria, H.E. Turki Al-Khraisha,
  numerous Jordanian investors have called the Algerian market “promising”. Participating firms represent
  a wide array of Jordan’s economic sectors, including agro-industries, the chemical industry, plastic
  manufacturers, household electronics, cosmetics, construction and building materials, furniture and
  clothing, as well as the banking and medical sectors.



  600,000 JOBS PER YEAR: OBJECTIVE OF THE 2010-2014 DEVELOPMENT PLAN

  Speaking to the press earlier this month, Minister of Labor, Employment, and Social Security Tayeb
  Louh declared that his office is hard at work to reach one of the goals of the 2010-2014 five-year
  plan: create 600,000 new jobs every year to meet the Plan’s objective of creating 3 million new jobs
  by the end of 2014. The ministry’s strategy will involve creating 300,000 new positions per year as
  provided for by the plan supporting professional reinsertion and 200,000 jobs to meet the
  requirements set by the National Authority for Youth Employment Support (ANSEJ).



  BLIDA’S “FRANTZ FANON” UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL CENTER (CHU): A GENUINE POLE
  OF EXCELLENCE

  The “Frantz Fanon” CHU “is a genuine pole of excellence which many other hospital centers around the
  country should do well to emulate”, said a visibly highly appreciative Minister of Health, Population,
  and Hospital Reform Djamel Ould Abbès, said earlier this month in Blida “The City of Roses”. Minister
  Ould Abbès had expressed his satisfaction with not only the management by city health authorities of the
  international conference on psychiatry, which Mr. Ould Abbès and a large audience of specialists had
  attended, but also with the way the CHU was run. The Minister of Health, Population, and Hospital
  Reform heaped serious praise on the CHU’s Cancer Treatment Ward, after inspecting different areas and
  equipment, and called the hospital “a model” to be generalized throughout the country.
June 2010                                   ALGERIA TODAY                                                  Page 12


ENVIRONMENT

  ACTIVATION OF NATIONAL MARINE SCIENCE RESEARCH NETWORK

                              RASMER, the national marine science research network, has been officially
                              launched earlier in June by officials from the General Directorate of Scientific
                              Research and Technological Development. The marine science research
                              community has “already made significant contributions and advances”, said the
                              officials, adding that such efforts “should be sustained and strengthened.”




  FAO-GLOBALLY IMPORTANT INGENIOUS AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE SYSTEMS: CLOSE
  TO 9,500 “GHAOUTS” PROTECTED IN THE CITY OF EL OUED

  Globally Important Ingenious Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and their associated landscapes have
  been created, shaped, maintained and passed on by generations of farmers, herders, forest dwellers and fisher
  folk. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s GIAHS project aims to establish the basis for
  the global recognition, dynamic conservation and sustainable management of these systems in the face of
  economic and cultural globalization, environmental variability and inappropriate policy, incentive and
  regulatory environments.
  In Algeria’s Great South and other arid and semi-arid zones, traditional agriculture has flourished in a
  constraining and harsh environment thanks to a millennia-old diversified and highly intensive and productive
  system. In the Sahara Desert, for instance, from time immemorial, oases have always been green islands
  where farmers, using sophisticated (ingenious, indeed) irrigation systems, ensured fair water distribution and
  managed to grow a surprising variety of fruit and vegetables, cereals, and numerous other plants. Dominated
  by palm groves, which provide shade and lower the ambient temperature, oases offer ancient production and
  irrigation systems.
  In Algeria’s great South region, the city of El Oued, among many others, offers a vivid and rich example of
  the beneficial impact of such ancient systems on modern life in an unforgiving environment. Local authorities
  point out that the FAO’s GIAHS program is helping to preserve and protect within the next 5 years close to
  9,500 natural funnel-like low-laying areas called “ghaout” used in the oasis’ ancient irrigation system.




  CONSTANTINE ARBORETUM EARNS “PROTECTED AREA” STATUS

                                        In an effort to protect local flora and fauna and the environment, the
                                        authorities of the Wilaya of Constantine have designated the 38-acre
                                        Djebel Ouahch Arboretum, located north-east of the city, “Protected
                                        Area”. The arboretum harbors a rich collection of fauna specimens
                                        from all over Algeria and a large selection of flora species, some of
                                        them exotic, from all continents, such as the dozen giant sequoias,
                                        whose “original species came over a hundred years ago from far away
                                        places in Asia and America”, said an official at the Wilaya’s Office of
                                        Environmental Affairs.
June 2010                                ALGERIA TODAY                                            Page 13


TOURISM

  “À LA DÉCOUVERTE D’ALGER”, A NEW GUIDEBOOK ABOUT WHAT TO DO
  AROUND ALGIERS

                                   Let’s say you are new in town and don’t know your way around
                                   the (ever expanding) Algerian capital, or that you are a local but
                                   are too busy to plan an outing, or you’re just curious about what to
                                   do in Algiers, then “À la découverte d’Alger”, a brand-new
                                   guidebook about Algiers published by “Les Pages
                                   Maghreb” (which also publishes economic information
                                   directories) should help you out.

                                     The guidebook invites the reader on a tour of Algiers’ “Crown
                                     Jewel” and oldest neighborhood, the Casbah, about which the
  world-famous Swiss-French architect, designer, urbanist, writer, and painter “Le Corbusier”
  commented that “Those who built the Casbah had achieved the architectural and urbanist epitome.”
  Visitors who chose to stay downtown or hang around other areas of the city can refer to the Algiers
  Guidebook to get all sorts of useful information about bookstores, hotels, restaurants, banks, clubs,
  embassies, markets, and so on.
  The book also has a chapter on the city’s “Must See” (Les Incontournables), which includes famous
  museums and monuments like the Ketchaoua Mosque, Dar Aziza, La Basilique de Notre Dame
  d’Afrique (the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa), or Le Jardin d’Essais (Research Center and
  Experimental Gardens) located in the Hamma area of the capital and whose “luxurious flora
  provided the background for a Tarzan movie starring Johnny Weismüller.”
  Furthermore, the guidebook provides information about various aspects of the Algerine culture and
  introduces the reader to the city’s musical styles, such as Chaabi and Andalus. Other chapters of the
  book include interesting information about “The Battle of Algiers” by the Italian director Gillo
  Pontecorvo or “Rachida” by the Algerian director (Ms.) Yamina Bachir-Chouikh, and about
  “Algerian Painting” or “Camus and Algeria”.
June 2010                                 ALGERIA TODAY                                             Page 14


  “AL QAL’A OF BENI HAMMAD”, FAVORITE DESTINATION OF THOSE SEEKING TO
  ESCAPE THE SUMMER HEAT IN M’SILA OR WANTING TO REVISIT HISTORY

  Starting in early June, when temperatures start rapidly creeping up the thermometer and hitting the
  upper 100s by mid-morning in the high plateaus areas of Algeria and when air-conditioning does
  not seem able to fight off the oppressive heat, and if you happen to live in the city of M’Sila, or any
  of the surrounding cities of that wilaya, then the logical thing to do is to pack up the entire family
  and seek refuge in the coolest place of all - an ancient fortress called “Al Qal’a of Béni-
  Hammad” (“Al Qal’a”, also spelled “Kalaâ”, is a transcription from the Arabic word meaning
  “Fortress”, while “Beni-Hammad”, meaning “Sons of Hammad” or the “Hammad Clan or Tribe”
  refers to the ruling dynasty at the time, 11th century).
  Inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, “Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad”, located in
  the municipality of Maâdid, in the Wilaya (province) of M’Sila, is an ensemble of preserved ruins
  situated on the southern flank of the Djebel Maâdid (Hodna mountain range) at 1,000 m above sea
  level in a mountainous setting of seizing beauty. Founded in 1007 on an ancient site by Hammad
  ibn Buluggin, the son of Buluggin ibn Ziri, the founder of Algiers, Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad is a
  ruined fortified city and the first capital of the Hammadid Emirs. It was abandoned in 1090 under
  the threat of the Banu Hilal and partly destroyed by the Almohads in 1152.
  UNESCO said the (present-day) ruins of Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad “provide an authentic picture of
  a fortified Muslim city”, adding that the fortress has “a mosque, whose prayer room has 13 aisles
  with eight bays, is one of the largest in Algeria.”
  Nowadays, visitors who head to “Al Qal’a of Béni-Hammad”, have the opportunity to combine
  business (so to say) with pleasure and admire (and probably teach the kids about their country’s
  history and) the architectural genius that built such a magnificent fortress and enjoy the scenery and
  the cooler temperatures all around. These days, it seems that the latter stands as the primary
  criterion motivating the crowds of visitors. Indeed, the prevailing cool temperatures at Al Qal’a of
  Beni Hammad contrast with the sweltering heat hanging over the cities further downhill, such as
  M’Sila, located 30 km away, or Ouled Mansour, which is at twice the distance.
June 2010                                   ALGERIA TODAY                                                  Page 15


  BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED, CONSTANTINE’S AHMED BEY PALACE IS A PLEASURE
  FOR THE EYES AND THE SENSES

                                             Fascinated by the palaces that he visited in the Orient, Ahmed
                                             Bey – then the beloved Turkish Governor of the Constantine
                                             Province - decided to have a sumptuous “Ksar” (castellated
                                             palace) built in Constantine, where he only lived for 2 years,
                                             between 1835 and 1837. Closed for restoration in 1985, Ahmed
                                             Bey Palace has reopened, presenting to the public an
                                             architectural gem that absolutely needs to be visited and
                                             admired.
                                             A massive green door studded with rounded brass wire nails
                                             opens up on the south side of the edifice, ushering in the visitor,
                                             who then crosses from a slightly noisy street and the area around
                                             “Si El Haouès” Square (formerly known as “Place Générale”) to
                                             step into the oblong square forming the Palace entrance court.
  The surroundings ooze with a sublime charm and serenity, blocking off the outside world. A few steps
  up from the ground floor and the visitor enters a fine white marble hall lined with alabaster colonnades
  and walls covered with Moorish blue and gold mosaics, leading on the left to “Dar Fatoom”, the
  apartments of the Dey’s favorite wife. The ceiling is incrusted with fret-work and decorated throughout
  with yellow-copper luminaires.
  To the right, the visitor steps into the Great Palm Tree Garden, distinct from the Great Orange Tree
  Garden, where French emperor Napoleon III is said to have had two Lebanon cedars planted and in the
  middle of which lays an oblong square with a deep marble basin containing a fountain from which water
  flows back into the basin.
  Along the walls, a series of panels decorated with a surprising fresco replicating the long trip made by
  Ahmed Bey on his way to Mecca for pilgrimage. The visitor can admire scenes from Tunis, La Goulette
  (Tunisia), Tripoli, the port of Alexandria full of frigates with their sails up, Cairo and its landscape of
  mosques and hustle and bustle. Like an open image book, the fresco continues down the hall on the
  inside of the walls. It was during that trip that the man who later took to the throne and became known as
  Ahmed Bey was fascinated with the residences and palaces of the Orient and decided to have a
  sumptuous Ksar built, one that would certainly rival the most beautiful and elaborate estates of the time.
  In 1826, he entrusted the palace construction to two illustrious Algerian artisans, including the famed El
  Hadj Youcef Barrar whom the vassal sovereign had brought from Egypt, who had apprenticed to the
  masters of the time and trained in Tunis and Alexandria, and commissioned Jewish craftsman from
  Tunis to do the tinwork and build leaded glass windows. Historical sources claim that the Bey, wanting
  to have original ornamental work done, called on a Genoese merchant to deliver the required building
  and decorating materials, including ornate Spanish and Italian faience embellishing the wainscoting of
  the walls in the ground floor area and the first floor galleria of the palace.
  The Bey’s apartments were connected to the harem and the Bathers Room, which are T-shaped Moorish
  lounges that included boudoirs called “Maksooras”. Further down, towards the southern part of the
  palace, was the Divan Hall, where the dignitary managed his city’s business. The underground part, used
  as stables during the Ottoman era, was later turned into a jail by the French.
  Nostalgia for the splendors of the Orient permeates the visit of a sumptuous, yet unostentatious, place,
  where the Sultan and his large entourage lived for only two years, from 1835 to 1837.
  After the fall of Constantine on 13 October 1837, Ahmed Bey Palace became the headquarters of the
  French Army’s General Staff. In 1935, it was listed as historic monument by the French colonial
  authorities.
June 2010                                      ALGERIA TODAY                                                 Page 16

HISTORY

  MAURICE AUDIN’S COMMITMENT                            MOVIE   DIRECTOR   AHMED   RACHEDI
  AND   SUPPORT   FOR  ALGERIA’S                        DRAFTING SCRIPT ON THE LIFE OF
  INDEPENDENCE WAS TOTAL AND                            REVOLUTION LEADER KRIM BELKACEM
  OUT OF CONVICTION, SAY FORMER
  FELLOW ACTIVISTS                                                             Algerian director Ahmed Rachedi
                                                                               considers himself more as a
                           Maurice Audin, a 25                                 cinematographer and chronicler of
                           year-old mathematics                                history than mere moviemaker.
                           teaching assistant at the                           Speaking to reporters recently, he
                           Science Faculty of the                              revealed that he is working on a
                           University of Algiers                               script for a movie on the life and
                           who was tortured and         ultimate sacrifice of great Revolution leader Krim
                           made to “disappear” by       Belkacem. Rachedi said that recounting such
                           French colonial forces       significant past historical events requires that he stick
  for siding with the Algerian people in their          as close as artistic license and historical considerations
  fight for independence, had been totally              would allow. To him, he said, historical accuracy is
  committed out of sheer conviction and belief in       everything because “the goal of a cinematographer is
  his support for the Algerian cause, former            to make movies inspired by history and not to (re)write
  companions said at a recent conference                history.” In this instance, Rachedi declared that he is
  organized in Algiers by the newspaper El              seeking inspiration from archives made available to
  Moudjahid, in observance of the 53rd                  him by Krim Belkacem family and other private
  anniversary of the militant’s kidnapping by the       sources,     including personal         documents      and
  French military on June 11, 1957.                     correspondence left behind by Krim Belkacem himself
  Speaker after speaker discussed various aspects       about specific events, such as the meeting that took
  of Audin’s life, his activism for a free Algeria,     place in the Casbah between Krim Belkacem, Abane
  the torture he was subjected to (along with his       Ramdane, and Rabah Bitat, all original leaders and
  companions, who included Henri Alleg, author          thinkers of the Algerian war for national independence.
  of “La Question”, a book denouncing torture),         Asked about future ventures, Rachedi said he has
  his “liquidation” by French paratroopers at the       several other projects in store, all devoted to heroes of
  torture center of “Villa Susini” in Algiers, his      the Revolution, including Mustapha Benboulaid and
  “disappearance”,      and      the    subsequent      Djamila Bouhired.
  involvement of his wife and others that led to
  what became known as the Affaire Audin and
  revealed the extensive use of torture of
  Algerian militants and their supporters, even
                                                        BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF THE WAR FOR
  European ones.
                                                        NATIONAL LIBERATION IN THE CITY OF
  Known for his hospitality and his humility,
                                                        SÉTIF JUST PUBLISHED
  Maurice Audin was a brilliant mathematician
  born into a family of French settlers and who
                                                        The Veterans Center of the Wilaya of Sétif has just
  devoted his body and soul to the Algerian
                                                        published an Arabic-language book titled “Sétif,
  Revolution,      said      several    conference
                                                        History and Glory” as a tribute to the contributions
  participants who knew him then, before adding
                                                        made by their city to the fight for freedom and the
  that “Maurice felt Algerian” through and
                                                        country’s independence. The book is intended as a
  through.
                                                        means of reconstituting the various timelines in the
  Today, in the heart of the capital of
                                                        war for independence as they occurred in the heart of
  independent Algeria, one the main circles near
                                                        this city and its surrounding areas. It is also meant to
  the University of Algiers bears his name. His
                                                        highlight the sacrifices and the suffering endured by
  memory lives on.
                                                        the Algerian people in their fight for independence.
June 2010                                 ALGERIA TODAY                                               Page 17


CULTURE

  ALGERIAN FORMER SOCCER GREAT RABAH MADJER DESIGNATED UNESCO
  GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE AND EDUCATION

                        Former soccer great Rabah Madjer was designated UNESCO Goodwill
                        Ambassador for Peace and Education and honored at a nomination ceremony
                        held at UNESCO headquarters in early June.
                        Prior to the ceremony, the Algerian soccer idol met with UNESCO’s director
                        General Mrs. Irina Bokova.
                        The man known for his historic heel kick during a 1982 World Cup
                        qualification game is the first Algerian citizen to be so honored and who
  committed to work for the promotion of sport and the UNESCO ideals of peace and education.
  Madjer, who served as Ambassador of Algerian Soccer throughout the world, is going to be now the
  (Algerian) Ambassador of UNESCO serving another noble mission: Taking care of youth all over
  the planet.



  “PETER PAN” AT THE ALGIERS NATIONAL THEATER

                                        Last June 12, the “Mahieddine Bachtarzi” National Theater in
                                        Algiers delighted a large audience with a creative rendition and
                                        magic choreography of “Peter Pan” or “The Boy Who
                                        Wouldn’t Grow Up”, by the Scottish novelist and playwright J.
                                        M. Barrie. Interpreted by the “El Haï-a” (meaning “walk”,
                                        “gait” or “bearing” in Arabic) Ballet Group of Algiers, the
                                        show revealed great talent among the dancers, including Driss
                                        Sofiane as Peter Pan, Samar Ben Daoued as Wendy Darling,
                                        Farès Fetane as Captain Hook, and Amal Derouk as Tinker
                                        Bell, as well great choreographic work by Nouara Adami.



  THE ACTRESS SONIA WINS “BEST DIRECTOR” AT PROFESSIONAL PLAYWRIGHT
  FESTIVAL

                      The actress Sonia was crowned “Best Director” at the 5th National Professional
                      Playwright Festival for her play “Amam Aswar Al Madina” (Facing the City
                      Walls). Already quite successful as a stage actress and familiar to theatergoers for
                      her roles in several plays, including “Fatma”, “Al Ayta” (The Scream), “Les
                      martyrs reviennent cette semaine” (Martyrs will return this week), and “Hatta El
                      Tem” (Until Then), Sonia has tried her hand at directing plays, among which,
                      “Nuit de divorce” (Divorce Night) and “Rasse El Khite”. Accepting her award,
                      Sonia remained true to her image, as she attributed her success, not to her talent as
  director, but “to the entire crew and actors.”
June 2010                                   ALGERIA TODAY                                                 Page 18


  NATIONAL ARTIST DAY CELEBRATED NATIONWIDE

                                          Numerous cultural events were held across the country to celebrate
                                          National Artist Day (June 8) and recognize the many contributions
                                          made by artists to advance and disseminate the Algerian culture and
                                          its rich and varied heritage. At each venue, a number of still-
                                          performing artists were awarded prizes, while long-gone
                                          performers were recognized for their talent and work and for
                                          having helped, inspired, and mentored younger artists.
                                          In Algiers, a gala held at Algerian National Theater and featuring
                                          the National Symphony Orchestra and its accompanying Choral
  paid a moving tribute to two great artists, the singer El-Hadi Radjeb and the multi-talented poet,
  songwriter and composer Mustapha Toumi. Later, Mohamed Lamari, the renowned Algerine pop singer,
  brought in a little levity and his typically “bright sunny day” music.
  Moreover, in the capital, the National Women’s Observatory paid tribute to women and men active in
  the world of culture and art. The event took place at the Higher College of Fine Arts in Algiers, where
  “we wanted to honor all those who strive to promote our culture”, said the Observatory’s President, Mrs.
  Chaia Djafri.
  Oran, the country’s second-largest city, also did its part to celebrate local as well as national artists. At
  the “Abdelkader Alloula” Regional Theather (named after a prolific and genial playwright), twenty-one
  artists, including Baroudi Benkhedda, Samia Bennabi, Houria Baba, and Bachir Bouyedjra, were
  honored. The head of the Wilaya cultural Office, Ms. Rabéa Moussaoui, said that observance of National
  Artist Day was more than a mere cultural event, “it is a way for us to remember all artists who have
  given something back to Algeria.”
  In Jijel, National Artist Day was observed as well with an enjoyable exhibit of work by local painters
  shown at the “Omar Oussedik” Cultural Center. While a number of artists celebrated the truly legendary
  beauty of the region and its unspoiled coastline, known as “La Corniche Djidjélienne”, others like a
  young visual artist named Kamel Mechirka used fine sand as a brush to paint landscapes and portraits.
  In Tipaza and Tizi Ouzou, the settings and local cultures may be different – the first is the renowned
  beautiful coastline city dating back to Roman times and the other is the epitome of the high peak city
  known in Berber as “The Brooms Pass” – but the celebration of National Artist Day was similar; both
  cities focused on women artists.
  At a ceremony organized at Tipaza’s new library, regional authorities and civic leaders honored the
  memory of local artists, such as Kaida Ahmed Esseghira, also known as “Sheikha Kaida”, a Medaha
  (name derived from the Arabic “Medh”, meaning panegyric or genre of poetry that was to become the
  primary mode of poetic expression during the Islamic period, used to refer to a poet singing the praise of
  the Prophet or the tribe and its elders) from the nearby coastal city of Cherchell (the “Cesarea” of Roman
  times) who died in Tipaza in 1947 and was buried at the Sidi Ahmed El Ghobrini Mausoleum.
  In Tizi Ouzou, observance of National Artist Day was decidedly dedicated to women artists and
  encompassed different styles and generations. The event organized by the cultural authorities of the
  Wilaya of Tizi Ouzou highlighted the achievements of women artists and the fight led over generations
  to impose female singers of national reputation, such as Chérifa, Djemila, Anissa, L’Didja, and many
  others who have definitely paved the way to acceptance of female performers in an area of the country
  known to cherish traditions and to uphold somewhat conservative customs. Yet, it is the region that gave
  birth – and rise – to Chérifa, the Diva of Kabyle singing now 84 years old, who started in 1952 with a
  song called “Abqaw Alakhir ya Akbou” (Goodbye Akbou).
June 2010                  ALGERIA TODAY                                           Page 19


  TWO EXHIBITS IN DJANET PAY POSTHUMOUS TRIBUTE TO STAR OF TARGUI
  MUSIC

                               Almost five years after his untimely death on June 17,
                               2005, in Oued Idjeriou, Djanet, Othmane M’barek, also
                               called Othmane Bali, who is still and rightly venerated
                               in these parts of the Great South of Algeria as “The
                               Greatest Ambassador of Targui Music”, was celebrated
                               throughout the Wilaya of Illizi for his numerous
                               contributions to the local culture. Two main cultural
                               venues – the central library and the main cultural center
                               in Djanet – in the wilaya were chosen to pay the Targui
                               music star a posthumous tribute on National Artist Day
                               (June 7) through exhibits displaying landmarks of his
                               career, his writings, his music, and his life’s many
                               passions. The exhibits will remain open to the public
                               until next June 19. “Othmane Bali was an artist of
                               immense talent who made invaluable contributions to
                               Targui music and helped disseminate it throughout the
                               world, showing its real value,” said a local artist
                               visiting one of the exhibits.




  IMOUHEG (TASSILI) TOUAREG CHERISH AND PRESERVE THEIR FOLKLORE

                                 Popular folklore constitutes one of the facets of the
                                 centuries-old heritage of the “Imouheg” Touareg
                                 community living in the vast region of the Tassili, in
                                 the Illizi Wilaya, in Algeria’s Deep South. Recent
                                 work conducted by Abdennebi Zendri, an
                                 anthropology researcher at the Tamanrasset
                                 University Center, showed that the artistic heritage is
                                 particularly important to the Targui population. It
                                 includes a wide array of genres conveying popular
                                 poetry through songs, dances, rites, musical
                                 melodies, using unique musical instruments.
June 2010                   ALGERIA TODAY                                           Page 20


  ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN 12TH CENTURY SICILY, THEME OF ALGIERS
  EXHIBIT

                         The Italian Cultural Center in Algiers hosted a photo exhibit
                         titled “Art and Architecture in Sicily in the Kingdom of Roger
                         II” at the Arts and Culture Center at the Palais des Raïs
                         (Bastion 23) in Algiers. Held over three weeks, the exhibit
                         showcased photographs of art and architecture in 12th century
                         Sicily, namely through ceramics and decorative arts as they
                         were practiced under the reign of Roger II, whose kingdom was
                         known as “The kingdom of the trilingual culture”, said the
                         exhibit organizers.




  PRINTS BY THE LATE VISUAL ARTIST MOHAMED KHADDA EXHIBITED IN
  ALGIERS

                    The “Mohamed Racim” Gallery in Algiers gave the Algerine general
                    public and art lovers the opportunity to admire some of the artwork
                    created by the visual artist and printmaker Mohamed Khadda. Called
                    “Khadda Affichiste” (Khadda, the printmaker) and organized by the
                    National Association for Cultural Arts (UNAC), the exhibit
                    presented 36 among the series of prints made by the artists between
                    1962 and 1988, in celebration of various economic, cultural, and
                    artistic events held over that period. Included in the exhibit were
                    prints about the Festival of Popular Music and Songs (1968), the
                    First Pan-African Cultural Festival (1969), the 15th Algiers
                    International Fair, the history conference on “Impact of the Algerian
                    Revolution” (1984), the International Symposium of the National
                    Center for Historical Studies of Oral Traditions (1988), as well as
                    other prints designed for various exhibits held in Algeria and
                    overseas.
June 2010                   ALGERIA TODAY                                               Page 21



  ESPARTO   GRASS   PRODUCTS, AN INCREASINGLY                  POPULAR         ITEM      AT
                           HANDICRAFT EXHIBIT

                           Visitors at the Handicraft Exhibit have been flocking to the
                           esparto grass stand, reflecting a growing trend in society for
                           products made out of esparto grass, such as shopping bags,
                           bread baskets, and other household items. In fact, the rise in
                           interest for this traditional and plentiful material has generated
                           interest among artisans for traditional handicrafts once
                           considered to be on the wane. Some people attribute this
                           interest to the fact that such products are now available in
                           emporiums or specialty stores, rather than sold by street
                           peddlers who used to travel from one neighborhood to the
                           next to sell their wares.



  DESCENDANTS OF SIDI KHALIFA CELEBRATE THEIR PATRON SAINT IN PURE
  TRADITION

                             The inhabitants of the municipality of El Kheither, located
                             115 km north of the Wilaya of El Bayadh in the south-
                             western area of High Plateaus of Djebel Amour, observed
                             the Festival of Sidi Khalifa, a holy man who is also the
                             region’s patron saint. Celebrated every year at the beginning
                             of summer, the holiday was quite festive and was well
                             attended, including people who came from the neighboring
                             regions of Naâma, Saïda, Tiaret, and Sidi Bel Abbès.




  ALGIERS HOSTS 2ND NATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL

                           Dance groups from several wilayas took part in the opening
                           ceremonies of the 2nd National Dance Festival presided by
                           Culture Minister Khalida Toumi at the Riadh El-Feth Mall in
                           Algiers earlier this month. Mrs.Toumi said that the festival
                           translated “the cultural diversity found in the wilayas of the
                           country.” Observers noted significant improvements in
                           organization, choreography, and the sound system at this
                           year’s festival. Mrs. Toumi added that efforts will be made to
                           involve all 48 wilayas in the country in coming festivals and
                           give young people the opportunity to participate, show their
                           creativity (which she called the main objective of the event),
                           and disseminate the individual culture and heritage of their
                           region.
June 2010                    ALGERIA TODAY                                           Page 22


  “MUSICAL SPRING” IN SKIKDA, THREE DAYS OF NON-STOP MALOOF

                         The audience attending the first edition of “Musical Spring” in
                         Skikda, enjoyed and delighted in the sounds and rhythms of
                         Maloof Arab-Andalusian traditional music, held in this beautiful
                         city in eastern Algeria in the closing days of last May. Indeed,
                         lovers of the musical style were treated to performances by the
                         Tlemcen Andalus Orchestra and the exceptional participation of
                         Nouri Koufi, the Annaba Maloof Orchestra, which included the
                         singers Dib Layachi and Mebarek Dekhla, as well as the
                         Constantine Maloof Regional Orchestra and the singers Larbi
                         Ghazal, Abbas Righi, and Fateh Rouana.




  TRADITIONAL FEMININE GARB CELEBRATED IN TIZI OUZOU

                             The city of Tizi Ouzou held an exhibit entirely devoted
                             to traditional dress worn by women over the centuries
                             in a region known for colorful and varied types of
                             dress. The exhibition displayed numerous kinds,
                             including centuries-old Kabyle dress, wedding dress
                             and accompanying accessories such as jewelry,
                             ceremonial belts, traditional trunk, which were used as
                             wardrobe in the olden days and hairstyling items. Some
                             of the items displayed date back more than a century
                             and were borrowed from women living in the area,
                             according to some organizers.

				
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