Below is dowloadable version in French
If in as difficult and unpredictable situation as the one currently lived in Kabylia, the State is not present, one might as well say there is no state and therefore one needs to establish one. We would be sadistic or accomplices to a State that has worked for half a century to destroy our country and all that makes us different, not to realize that Kabylia is a colony of a foreign state! Should we still remind the amnesiacs that this State's army came to Kabylia in 1963 to rape, murder, torture and humiliate us? Now that is a fact that many young Kabyls do not know, unfortunately.
It has been two weeks since the snow has isolated Kabylia from the world without the slightest reaction from the central government.
Entirely dependent on gas, electricity and commercial goods, the Kabyl people found themselves quickly out of everything including food (milk, semolina, etc..). The good thing was that the communication network (Internet and mobile phones in particular) worked intermittently, allowing a minimum of communication.
In the total absence of the State and its institutions, Kabyl citizens ventured out when they could, looking for gas tanks or fuel oil for heating. The snow reached two meters (over 6 feet) in some places. It is the case for instance in Iferḥunen, At Ziki, At Illilten, Ibudraren, Michelet, and villages such as Tirurda! In Tizi Umalu (At Bu Yusef), a youth was burried under an avalanche.
The incessant distress calls from the villagers have not been heard, despite the fact many families have seen their food supply exhausted and shops their shelves quickly emptied. In cities like Iazzugen, Tizi Wezzu or Mirabeau, the prices of basic necessities have tripled or even quadrupled to become unaffordable to certain pocketbooks. The problem was compounded by the lack of drinking water: the low temperatures caused many pipes to freeze. Citizens are thus forced to fetch drinking water from old fountains after a long trek in the snow. For the needs of the household, women melt snow.
On the sixth day of this bad weather, the regions of Michelet, Iferḥunen, Buzeggan, Larbaa Nat-Yiraten or Iakkuren and their surroundings are completely cut off. According to some accounts, the situation has only become worse. This has created an unprecedented and general panic.
Faced with the fury of nature and the indifference of the Algerian state, the villagers mobilized and ancestral solidarity was reestablished to get the cities and villages out of isolation and allow the flow of gas supplies, oil and food. Crisis centers were set up with the core of village committees and associations to assist particularly those most vulnerable.
The people are thus left to fend for themselves while the military and gendarmerie (military police) sat back in their barracks nearby (1). After this, no one can say that the military and the police are there for the benefit and safety of the citizens. In reality they are only there to watch them, terrorize them and repress them as needed. Moreover, aren't these barracks and police stations rallying points for AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) terrorists who roam freely in Kabylia!
The summum of absurdity is that as Kabylia is trying to come out from under this massive snow storm, the Algerian authorities enjoyed sending the Kabyls mobile phone owners text messages inviting them to sign up to vote in the upcoming legislative elections (2).
This new situation will allow the Kabyls to radically revise their relationship with the Algerian state. Is there still a reason that would justify this "forced marriage" between Kabylia and the Algerian state? On the contrary, it is a strong case for divorce, and for the benefit of everyone it had better be done peacefully.
It is time to draw conclusions on one half of one century of cohabitation where Kabylia has had to endure the worst humiliations and the worst repression from a rogue state with an ideology that is devastating cultures and freedoms.
It is therefore time that Kabylia revives its tradition of struggle to regain its dignity and finally get rid of these anti-Amazigh medieval and barbaric enemies.
Long Live a Free Kabylia!
translated from French by the editors of tamazgha.org
The following notes are from the translator
(1) Kabylia is the most heavily policed region of Algeria. It contains the largest contingents of specil riot police, gendarmerie (military police), military stations and special forces.
(2) The ALgerian government is perfectly aware that the vast majority of Kabyls will boycott the upcoming elections for the simple reason that they are going to be yet another mascarade.
To mark the anniversary of the birth of the "rebel", the Amazigh association "Taferka" of Montreuil, Paris, France has invited a large audience to attend the premiere of the documentary "Matoub Lounes: the eternal struggle" by Tahar Yami.
The film, which briefly traces Lounes's journey, begins with what is a
nightmare for the entire Kabylia region: the assassination of the singer on Thursday, June 25, 1998 on the road to At-Dwala. With poignant images, the director went over the circumstances of the tragedy and the pain it caused to thousands who have flocked to Tawrirt Musa for Lounes's funeral. With a clear commentary by Abderrazak Larbi Cherif, the images recall the anger expressed by the people of Kabylia, the international indignation and media coverage of the event. The film continues with footage on the singer's itinerary focusing on his childhood, his artistic career, his compositions and his inspirations.
To Yami Tahar, "Lounes was not a typical singer". He was a simple but complex individual, rough and affectionate, tender and firm at the same time. He was a generous man who was moulded by life's experiences. In artistic terms, undoubtedly, he was a virtuoso. He had a unique, gravelly and enchanting voice. His lyrics and his music are masterpieces. " In the second part of the film, the director made the connection between Matoub's fight and the events that shook Kabylia in 2001. The director explains that "April 80, the Black Spring, and between the two, the assassination of Lounes, are closely related events. The identity claim and the struggle for democratic freedoms are the foundation of this ongoing struggle shared by Berber activists."
The film leads us to see in Lounes Matoub an outstanding artist, who is now known and recognized. He is adored by his fans and honored beyond the borders of his country, as in France, where streets and squares in cities are given his name. "This recognition puts Matoub in the tradition of the great men of our world. His name is associated with courage and selflessness. Even dead, he is still living in the heart of his people, " says the director.
In the debate, members of the audience recalled the popularity of Matoub, his commitment, and of course his assassination, the findings of the investigation and numerous litigation. Malika Matoub, Lounes's sister, present in the room, spoke about the personality of the "rebel" and placed great emphasis on the protection of artistic work, especially with the urgency of preserving the many documentary records of the singer. An immediate response from Ms. Dominque Voynet, the mayor of Montreuil, who attended the screening with two deputies of the city: "I recognize in Matoub a great activist of the universal dimension, and I promise you, she said at Malika, to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Culture during his next visit to our town. "Although very short, the film has the merit to trace briefly the life and work of this exceptional singer."
Tahar Yami realizes that 26 minutes "is not enough to tell the life of this great person. My goal is not to be exhaustive, but to deliver a powerful message with a short film. I think I said what needed to be said and especially made a film that promotes Matoub Lounes's fight, hoping in the future to create a documentary that will cover in detail the life and journey of this artist."
Translated from French by HL
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