The autocratic regimes in Algeria and Libya are making concessions
in the hope of resisting the democracy movement that started in
For now, Algiers is what locals call 'normal', a condition
in which roadblocks and tight security prevail, mixed with spiralling
living costs, massive overcrowding and poor public services. Algerians
may wish to redefine 'normal' after recent events in neighbouring
Tunisia and their old rival, Egypt. Like their North
African neighbours, a majority of Algerians are alienated
from their government and angry about high prices and unemployment.
So far, the hogra (contempt) that Algerians feel for their
rulers has stopped short of revolution because they are still
traumatised by the bloody conflict of the 1990s between the state
and Islamists (AC Vol 40 No 24).
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