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Algeria

Algeria Marks 50 Years Of Independence - France Stays Home

LE MONDE (France), EL ATWAN (Algeria), REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS (France)

Worldcrunch

Algeria marked the 50th anniversary of independence Thursday, an event with significance in both Algeria and France, its former colonial ruler.

As part of its coverage of the anniversary, French daily Le Monde published a commentary by Raphaëlle Branche, a historian at Université de Paris I: "During these celebrations, we mustn't ignore the difficult struggle that was involved in snatching liberty from the French colonial power, present on Algerian soil for more than 130 years. We must pay homage to those who lost their life for their homeland."

El Watan, the Algerian independent daily, examined young people and their response to the 50th anniversary . A young student, Anis Saïdoune tells El Watan: "History has been tailored by the government. Each young Algerian must do their own "private investigation" to understand our country's true history... It's depressing to see our country's history written by foreigners. It's absurd that we have to watch a documentary on (French-German cable network) Arte made by French or American people to even know our own history."

"We are independent, but not free," another young woman tells El Watan. "Fifty years later, where are women's rights?"

Reporters Without Borders published a report Tuesday on the state of Algeria's media freedom.

The report states: "It is not easy to be an independent journalist now in Algeria, a country marked by corruption and nepotism, a country where the military and the Intelligence and Security Department (DRS) occupy a privileged position."

Although life in Algeria is relatively less dangerous than during the civil war from 1991 to 2002, journalists still face financial, judicial or physical harassment from authorities and Islamist groups.

Drawing on a report commissioned by the United Nations, the study also concludes that despite Algeria having more than 80 newspapers, most are linked to businessmen with vested interests in support of the government and therefore no more than six of these newspapers are entirely free.

Although France was not officially invited to participate in the anniversary celebrations, French President François Hollande is set to visit Algeria in the coming weeks where he will no doubt address the shared history.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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