This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is a submissions editor at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Discovering Diwane: ancestral African ritual music

The history of Algerian Diwane is as rich as the musical tradition itself. Gaâda Diwane de Béchar are playing at Rich Mix in London, Thursday, May 28, 8pm.

The wretched of the sea: an Algerian perspective

The securitisation of immigration control has failed to solve the migrant crisis because it ignores the root cause: a global system that puts profits before people.

Algeria: diplomacy and regional security

Algeria's efforts to resolve crises in Libya and Mali are informed by its longstanding experience of regional diplomacy.

A question of sovereignty, justice and dignity: the people vs. the government on fracking in Algeria

The call for national mobilisation to oppose shale-gas exploitation in Algeria has been a success. But despite uninterrupted, growing protests and recent clashes, the Algerian government is pressing ahead with its shale-gas development plans.

Libya, containing the danger

The chaos in Libya will not be stopped by lazy rhetoric or easy options. The country's neighbours, Tunisia and Algeria, can teach the west a lesson. 

Rest in power, Assia Djebar

Why is it that the homeland always rejects its most erudite children? Latefa Guemar pays tribute to the feminist writer remembered for her intellectual honesty and unflinching stance against Algerian patriarchy, even from beyond its borders.

Protests in Algeria intensify as shale-gas drilling continues

The ongoing anti-shale gas protests in southern Algeria look increasingly like a head-to-head confrontation between the Algerian government and a well-organised, conscious population.

Shale gas in Algeria: anger mounts as the government lies by omission

Protests break out across Algeria against the shale drilling ambitions of the government and European multinationals.

France's identity crisis: seeds of change

The traumatic attacks in Paris provoked agonised public debate. But to be productive this needs to range more deeply through France's colonial history and modern society. 

"Truth needs witnesses"

The column Saïd Mekbel published the day before he was assassinated in 1994 remains sadly topical today - recalling murdered journalists everywhere. Republished in tribute to the people killed today at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo

Redefining the poor as “terrorists”

Most so-called “terrorist” activity is a by-product of neoliberalism’s on-going crisis and its marginalisation of a growing proportion of the world’s population. 

The refutation of the Djerejian doctrine

When, rarely, Middle East elections take place, the Djerejian doctrine seems confirmed. But it is the west who only endorse one vote at one time, when the results serve its interests.

IS in Algeria: serious threat or publicity stunt?

The latest act of violence may be part of a pattern of opportunist 'career advancement' for the leader of Jund El Khalifa, rather than an indication of real IS presence in Algeria.

Your fatwa does not apply here

Karima Bennoune has won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction with her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. She spoke to Deniz Kandiyoti last year about the path that led her to collect these stories. 

Women and jihad

Much has been made in the media of the women jihadists of IS, but this kind of violence by women is not unprecedented and is comparable to the Algerian experience of the 1990s.

Compromise with political Islam is impossible

On the 20th anniversary of the fundamentalist assassination of Algerian educator Salah Chouaki, Karima Bennoune translates his warning - so relevant today - about the need to be uncompromising in the battle against the very ideology that motivated his murder.

From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad

What is the ideology motivating alleged “warriors of God” to “trample Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad”?  Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune explored this question in 1994, offering an analysis of the political beliefs motivating “throat-slitting emirs” still much-needed today.

From 1990s Algeria to 9/11 and ISIS: understanding the history of "Homo islamicus fundamentalensis"

Today’s brutal jihadists like “Islamic State” follow in the footsteps of fundamentalists who have afflicted Muslim majority societies since the 12th century. Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune revisited that history in order to strategize against jihadists - a task which remains essential.

Algeria, football, and France's "black box"

The political misuse and misreading of events involving Algerians in France are an obstacle to true understanding.

One, two, three viva l'Algérie!

The match between Algeria and Germany was not solely the sporting equivalent of David and Goliath. The Algerian national team has a political history: from its creation by the FLN to its current outspoken support for the Palestinians,the Fennecs have brought revolt, internationalism and solidarity to the heart of the beautiful game.

Feeble captain in troubled waters: Algeria’s foreign relations after Bouteflika’s re-election

The current triple crisis also constitutes a chance for Algeria. More than ever it becomes clear that the country is indispensable for a solution of the security problems in the region.

The Arab millennials will be back

Like much of the rest of the Arab Spring, the urge of the millennial generation across North Africa and the Middle East for a more multicultural world seems far from realization, but they have put it on a future Arab agenda. Its moment will return.

Seeking safety in Algeria: Syrian refugee women’s resilience

For many Syrian women in Algeria, the gendered experience of violence and displacement has been compounded by the discrimination they now face as women refugees, says Latefa Guemar.

Algeria post-election: The democratic struggle continues

Steadfast in the face of a witch-hunt and physical attacks against their members, the Barakat citizen's movement will not give up the call for peaceful democratic transition, Karima Bennoune reports on the post-election challenges that lie ahead.

Why these Algerian elections are essential

Caught between the dynamic of the Arab Springs and that of the destabilization of the Sahel, the Algerian trajectory remains profoundly uncertain. Since its stability is essential for Europe, the stakes of the April presidential elections are high. 

Algeria’s presidential elections: a litany of failures by the political class has wasted a golden opportunity for change

Taking place sixty years since the Algerian revolution, today’s presidential elections presented the perfect occasion for the country to turn a new leaf after decades of mismanagement and stagnation. Instead, a litany of political and moral failures by the political class has turned a golden opportunity into a wasted one.

North African diversities: Algeria in flux

Algeria’s circles of power and their relationship to a complex society and history are hard to grasp. Francis Ghilès describes his own route to understanding the country in the post-independence era, when the heavy legacy of the past mixed with the confident idealism of the present.

Algeria: voices for democratic transition cannot be silenced

In the six weeks since the citizens Barakat movement for a free and democratic Algeria was founded it has moved from cyberspace onto the streets. The voices calling for democratic transition are being heard. Pro-democracy activist Louiza Chennoub spoke to Karima Bennoune

The birth of the Barakat movement in Algeria: Every generation needs hope

"The government did not expect there would be such a vigilant civil society. They thought we were dead, but we were in convalescence".  Ahead of next week's elections, Amira Bouraoui co-founder of the Barakat (Enough!) movement, told Karima Bennoune about the new citizens' movement to establish democracy in Algeria

Algerian elections and the Barakat movement: "We are saying no to submission"

President Bouteflika and his team broke the people as a whole and Algerians as citizens. Mustapha Benfodil, founding member of the new Barakat ( Enough!) Movement, spoke to Karima Bennoune about the awakening of the tradition of activism and the search for consensual politics.

“We have managed to draw the Algerian regime into a confrontation with its own people”

Sidali Kouidri FilaliSidali Kouidri Filali is a 35 year old civil servant and blogger who has chosen to campaign with Barakat to « defend his country ». He estimates that this time, the Algerian regime, trapped in its own “cocoon”, will not survive the contestation:  an interview.

For Aziz Smati on Valentine's Day

In honour of the determination of people like Algerian TV producer, Aziz Smati, who was shot exactly twenty years ago today, we must support all those who wield song against suicide belt, and wage art against fundamentalism, writes Karima Bennoune

Pour Aziz Smati, pour la Saint Valentin

Pour rendre hommage à la détermination de gens comme le producteur Algérien Aziz Smati, qui était victime d’un attentat il y a exactement 20 ans, il nous faut soutenir tous ceux qui opposent des chansons aux ceinture d’explosifs et luttent par l’art contre l’intégrisme, écrit Karima Bennoune

Bring it on! Russell Brand and revolution

The revolutionary left denounces Russell Brand, but the poor know he is right. His lack of a proper alternative doesn't hurt his analysis of what is wrong. People must realise how many skills are available on the street that should be used to replace the old, corrupt system.

This week's window on the Middle East - November 5, 2013

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Orientalism and decentralized repression: the case of Egypt.

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