On Virility

How tragic of a sign it is that a woman feels like she can overpower a man in a verbal joust Not that she is losing to a bad temper, For that deserves no admiration, But that she is winning to a man of little confidence in himself. Slowly, and anticlimactically, respect erodes. To strike the balance between command and softness Is without a doubt … Continue reading On Virility

The Interview

It is only befitting of my character to ask questions This time one aimed at the mirror before me: How long will you continue to humiliate yourself? The good journalist I am, I listened carefully. “My name deceives me, For I am far too impatient That I chase quarry Before first allowing myself to be prey And so I have no other choice But to … Continue reading The Interview

The Polemics of the Berber Flag

I am going to be talking about my more or less unpopular point of view regarding the Berber flag. Many critics of Berberism, of whom I join in their opposition, are sometimes unwilling to “read the room.” Few people are aware of the history of Berberism, and while there are many cases where its modern branches are just as deeply flawed as its aged trunk, … Continue reading The Polemics of the Berber Flag

Nomenclature as Social Currency: Lineage and Status

Genealogy in Islamicate societies was not only a means of identification but it also cushioned moral and material objectives. Nisba chains always trace back to an ancestor, real or legendary. In between the serious practice of accurately recording the names of descendants after each passing generation, and the lofty accounts of family history, is a tradition that not only concerns the caliph but also the … Continue reading Nomenclature as Social Currency: Lineage and Status

Bechar’s Hagia Sophia

Bechar’s famous mosque in the city center used to be Notre Dame du Sahara (alternatively Notre Dame de la Saoura), a church under French rule that was designed by architect Pierre Clevenot. Its first stone was laid on March 8, 1953, about 20 months before the outbreak of the November revolution. Today, it is Masjid Malik ibn al-Huwayrith (may Allah be pleased with him), named … Continue reading Bechar’s Hagia Sophia


In the mutest of horrors, sometimes it is enough for a man to belt out a similar song, perhaps the bass of his voice will distract the intellectual impasse from melting the wax in these unsophisticated minds. The highest note is met and there remains a piercing silence. At dawn the alleys and footpaths are usually deserted, it was in this barren land the villages … Continue reading Bismillah

Orientalism and the Nayli Woman

The Nayli woman in history has been seen as nothing more than a prostitute and dancer. Bou Saada has been imagined as a world for courtesans and concubines, that of “free women.” The tourism market is key in analyzing the exotification and even exploitation of these women. “From the Moorish cafe to Bayt El Kbira” In 1845, when the city of Bou Saada had been … Continue reading Orientalism and the Nayli Woman

Demystification of the ‘Azariya in the Awras

At nightfall, ‘azariyat entered a circle of men, greeted by “you-yous” from women who admired them from terraces. Musicians set the rhythm and the ‘azariyat began to dance, clinking their anklets, while spectators clapped their hands. During intermissions, the ‘azariyat sang in turn or in choir. In certain tribes, that of the Wlad Abdi in particular, young girls accompanied them and even joined the dance. … Continue reading Demystification of the ‘Azariya in the Awras