In early July, Yasmina Khadra shared some comments on JDD: referring to the search for benchmarks for Algeria, it ” boomerang people“, he traveled sixty years since the coup of June 19, 1965. “We suffered everything, the lack of nonsense slogans, tyranny at times, liberation of places, terrorism, we hit the bottom, experienced humiliation, injustice, spoliation, hooligan governments, murderous demagogy, one of the most confusing which is a form of corruption, created. like second nature at all levels, from doorman to director, from teller to minister. »
But he also praised the strength of a country, its resistance like the pride that prevents it from giving up or resigning itself, in the face of what seems to be a territorial shipwreck.
REPORT: Yasmina Khadra: the taste of freedom
And to conclude:Today, we are talking about a new era, of an Algeria that has been cured of its old demons. I just ask to believe it, despite the apparent lack of a social project, a disaster that all management, arrests as arbitrary as they are stupidity attacking simple facebookers full of dreams for a country that leads everywhere and stubbornly refuses to flow.»
From this point of view, without any concession, the writer faces the criticisms that have been made – those of a minority, in the face of enthusiasm and enthusiasm that accompanies his interventions. In question: an invitation issued by the French ambassador in Algiers.
Many media reported it: the anger and resentment against everything that symbolizes France remains strong. Perhaps because the supporters of an Arabised (Arabic?) Algeria are trying to destroy everything that reminds of the French presence in the past, as well as the traces that remain of it. Speaking or studying French amounts, as the Observer l’Algérie says, to “an act of loyalty to the former colonizer“.
The three meetings scheduled in the territory of Algeria gathered thousands of readers. “What a tour! It was a wonderful reunion. You are surprised. In Oran. In Algiers. In Tizi Ouzou. Happy meetings. Real celebrations where each of you is a summer song. Not me, you are the one who proves that Algeria is not menopause, that it continues to produce beautiful children, attentive to the beauties of the world despite many failures.“, Khadra launched at the end of his trip.
But the detractors were not lacking: on July 20, Yasmina Khadra had lunch with the French ambassador in Algiers. A meeting made official by the institution, accompanied by a photograph, with François Gouyette. “A pleasant exchange opportunity around Algeria and French-speaking literature», signed the embassy.
Hate or love: who can help survive?
The other side of the coin, popularity and success provide material to rekindle the embers. Treated as a partisan, even a collaborator in the service of France, the comments were sometimes hateful. All this led to heated exchanges, not really peaceful – some criticized the fact that foreign writers were put forward, to the detriment of “real” Algerian authors.
“I’m sorry for some journalists who twisted my words or greatly exaggerated my statements, sorry for the misleading screenshots, sorry for causing so much pain to the detractors for no serious reason. I’m just a novelist trying to make people read without being megalomaniac or insolent, a man of truth in a world full of uncertainty and growing mistrust.“, answered Yasmina Khadra for her part.
And more, remembering that no minister in the country took the time to receive him. “May God forgive them, all my stock of extravagance has been used up. There are beings who, if we offer them the moon on a plate, only see scratches on the plate.“, he assured.
He continued: “People make fun of me for writing in French (a language that I love and that makes me happy in it; a language that allows me to speak and that fills me with its benefits) and people forget that I sacrificed my childhood , my youth and best years of my life for my country. How will they remember it? Hotheads have no memory. »
So its manifesto suggests a completely different approach:For me, hate is not part of my sensitive fibers. I can’t even handle hating those who make fun of me. I was made of love and old songs. I am an unrepentant dreamer. I love to love. All this world needs is love. Also love as much as you can.»
The novelist will be a member of the Jury at the Deauville American Film Festival that will take place from September 2 to 11, 2022.
photo credits: Yasmina Khadra, Reading Pocket 2021 (Gradignan); ActuaLitté, CC BY SA 2.0