|Algiers, from the Place des Martyrs|
Turned out we were in and out of the same shops only because we were all looking at the European football kits. (Always on the lookout for discounted last-season ManC gear.) Given the opportunity of tight environs, the guys in fact were eager to strike up a conversation and find out who the pale foreigner was. They confirmed something I had seen repeatedly by that point in my travel in Algeria: More than their elders, young people's English is good, they are up to speed on global politics, and they want to know why they don't have the same social and economic security and opportunity that they see young people enjoying in Europe, just across the Mediterranean.
|A Bouteflika banner flies opposite Le Grande Post.|
When I came home and people asked about Algeria, I often said: it's teetering on the point of a major transition—which is going to happen one way or another, peacefully, or by popular uprising—because the young-adult cohort, now irreversibly integrated into the world by our globalized information technology, are not content with stalled development and socioeconomic marginalization.
|Downtown Algiers, Le Grande Poste at middle left|
I hope my fellows are OK, and Algeria can deliver the opportunity that they deserve. Maybe one day I'll see them in the stands at Santiago Bernabéu.
|Me on the street at the celebration of the Berber new year|