Cafes in Algeria, places of meeting and recreation
« It seems that Saadane will fire out Chaouchi. » « A strong coffee please. » « The Egyptians have no more gas, they will surely starve »
- Marriage, the dismissal of goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouch, the Halal and Haram, soaring prices and even the price of foreign currency exchange are one of the most important subjetcs of discussions in the popular cafes in Algeria, the only places for relaxing for much of the population.
Cafes are everywhere, in every town, every village, we find them even in the remotest Dechra. In town, every neighborhood has its café or cafes. People meet there to talk and sip tea or "strong coffee". They discuss everything from politics, social issues, food prices, Harga and visa, but mostly sport.
In cafés, there are people from all social
- strata. There are also specialists in all fields, sports, politics, human development, psychology and other sciences. The subjects and characters are peeled and analyzed and solutions are provided by these specialists in everything.
- The first cafe I went to was the « cafe of the mosque » in Bir Mourad Rais in the capital. It is an ancient cafe situated in the plot near the mosque. It was ten o'clock in the morning, the café was packed with people and the server running out from one table to another, serving a coffee here, a lemonade there.
Fatwa, herbal tea and Fatiha of the Quran
There were five around a table drinking tea. They all were listening to an old man wearing a Kachabia made of camel hair. The journalist's curiosity leads me then to open wide my ears and try to know what the old man said amid the uproar and cries of the server "a coffee, a warm milk and a tea" etc..
"God knows and you do not know" are the words that reached my ears. The old man was delivering a religious talk. His companions were listening very carefully. At first I thought he was speaking of morality in Islam but it turned out that he spoke of marriage when he asked about the identity of tutors and the names of the man and the woman who are going to marry. The bride's name was Cheherazad and the Imam found it difficult to pronounce. The bride reminded me of Cheherazad in « Thousand and One Nights » story, except that the first had married the king Cheherayar in one of the largest palaces of India while our Cheherazad entered marriage in a
- Moorish cafe!
I paid for my coffee and headed to another café which seemed calmer. Inside, all customers were reading sport newspapers. This scene also reminded me of the reading room at the university. There are rarely two people talking and when it happens it is about the content of an article. Some read El Heddaf (the Scorer), other Echibak (the Nets). Some even worry about the future of the national team after the dismissal of the goalkeeper Chaouchi.
I approached a young man and asked him the news of the « Greens, » he replied that nothing was going well. He asked me whether I was looking for a job. I learned then that all these young people were unemployed waiting for prospective leaders of sites or recruiters.
Ennahar / Sami Siyoucef