Singer-activist Ferhat Mehenni’s campaign for liberal self-government.
Posted Mon, 06/22/2009 - 21:35 by Jugurten
Democracy in Algeria
On the margins of the Arab world, the United States has some little noticed allies. These are ethnic or religious minorities who have never accepted the inevitability of strongman rule. Some of them have fallen on hard times-the Maronite Christians of Lebanon are scattered and defeated for now; the Copts, in Egypt, have been lying low for decades-but others see their fortunes rising. The Kurds of northern Iraq flourished under the protection of American jets in the last years of Saddam Hussein and are throwing themselves into the rebuilding of their country. Less familiar is the story of the Kabyles of Algeria and the bard-activist Ferhat Mehenni, who is one of their better-known leaders.