Algerians see hope for their future in glory of the pastBreaking News
In a country where more than a million people died in the fight that ended 132 years of French rule in 1962, and more than 150,000 were slaughtered in a brutal decadelong campaign by Islamist extremists, shifting rubble and restoring old buildings is not simply an exercise in archaeology. It's an effort to educate and reconcile future generations with their tortured past, in the hope they may steer this oil-rich North African nation out of its troubled present.
"Our young people do not receive an Algerian education. In school they learn about Arab history. On television they watch Western films," said Kamel Bereksi, head of Sante Sidi el Houri, a nongovernmental organization that is working to restore heritage sites in the western port city of Oran. "We work in the poorest suburbs, where the Islamists think they can have their way. We aim to give young people a sense of national pride, to ground them in this country so they can see a future in Algeria."...
"Algeria has oil and gas, so the government has traditionally not been very interested in developing tourism, but we are working to change that," said Abdeslem Abdelhak, a former journalist who is now one of Algeria's first tour guides. "We want to develop cultural tourism to oppose the narrow view of history being pushed by the Islamists."
Youssef Boualassel is a tour guide at Bastion 23, a military fort on the edge of Algiers' Kasbah, the Old City founded in medieval times by Spanish invaders. He says many tourists, including Algerians themselves, share that narrow view.
"Security was a problem in the early '90s, but now it is more under control," said Boualassel. "There is a huge potential here, but mentalities about Algeria have to change. Foreigners believe they should never set foot in the Kasbah, but now the only reason you need a guide for the Kasbah is so you don't get lost, not for security."
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges