News / Africa

Pain and Joy as Algerians Celebrate Independence

Fireworks explode above Sidi Fredj beach during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence from France, which occupied Algeria for 132 years, in Algiers, July 5, 2012.
Fireworks explode above Sidi Fredj beach during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence from France, which occupied Algeria for 132 years, in Algiers, July 5, 2012.
Lisa Bryant
PARIS, France — Algeria is kicking off its 50th anniversary of independence from France Thursday with a series of year-long celebrations.  But many Algerians and French are marking the event with mixed emotions.

Algeria's 50th independence anniversary began on a sober note, as President Abdelaziz Bouteflika laid a wreath before a monument dedicated to Algerians who died in the war.  Things lighten up later with a huge evening concert.

But Paris-based Algerian journalist Atman Tazaghart says the celebrations are edged with bitterness.

Tazaghart says that while Algerians are very proud of their independence from France, they also are disappointed. Their dreams of building a modern, democratic and prosperous society have not been realized. Despite the country's vast oil wealth, unemployment is high and many are angry at what they believe is a dictatorial state.

French feel equally conflicted about the anniversary - but for different reasons. The war of independence uprooted hundreds of thousands of pieds noir, of French settlers in Algeria.  Many Harkis - Algerians who fought on France's side during the war- faced bloody reprisals. Thousands were resettled to France to live in poverty.

French and Algerians both committed atrocities during the war. They are still trading accusations.

In a recent French television report, the children of Algerian fighters offered grim memories of the war. One women said she waited 42 years to get news of her father's death.

Journalist Tazaghart says there are also second- and third-generation French Algerians who feel rejected in France. They idealize Algeria, but they don't realize all of its problems.

Algerians are still waiting for France to apologize for its colonial rule and the brutalities it committed during the war of independence. Some hope that will happen under French President Francois Hollande. But Tazaghart is among those who believe it will take time - and possibly a new generation of French and Algerians - to be able to bury the past.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Me
July 05, 2012 3:14 PM
The 'apologies' have long been issued, bizarrely the 50 years old National Liberation Front dictatorship and military/police state officials claim they haven't, surfing that never tired anti-colonial charade since decades to hide its brutal rule and mess.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid