Watching figures from the so-called opposition stand out of the crowd during the 12th of February pro-democracy march in Algiers was frankly off putting.
Poor Algeria and poor Algerians. Not only are we doomed with an old system and an old president running the country with the same old bureaucracy, but we also have to deal with these all too old “opposition” figures. And no, this is not me being ageist, not at all.
Anyone with an even passing knowledge of our culture would know how much respect we have for our elderly. But there is no wisdom to be learnt from these folks and there is no place for them in the future of Algeria, really. They both had their chance, and they simply blew it – ironically, while standing at opposite ends of a decade long civil war; One calling for the illegitimate interruption of the electoral process of 1991 by the armed forces, the other calling for armed struggle against the state. One with clear regionalist values dividing Algerians on a delusional basis of race, the other with extremist views dividing Algerians on the basis of religious orientation. And on the 12th of February they show their faces as united leaders for change.. It’s just very off putting and bleak.
Be not mistaken, the majority, if not all, Algerians want change that see their society prosper, but they either stayed home on the 12th, or left the protest for their homes when you showed up – surrounded by your bodyguards, standing on the closest thing to a podium you could find so as to make sure we – or history – can see that you’re there… well, we did see you..
Next time, do us all a big favour and *stay home*. Because we’re tired of all of you, the Algerian youth is tired of Algeria’s political scene from which they have been so marginalised; ruling system and its “opposition” altogether, all must change. Because the longer you postepone taking this little advice on board, the longer we’ll have to wait for the change we all so desperately seek.