Father, why are these people disturbing our sleep?!

5th october 1988,


Awaken by the shouts of “Beb El Oued echouhada”, the 6 year-old boy rubbing his eyes knocks on the door of his parents room: dad, I cannot sleep, why are these people disturbing us? Why don’t they go to sleep?

Father: go to bed son, count to 100 and tomorrow they will be gone forever, you’ll see, it is dad who’s telling you so.

2:30 in the morning,

The little boy: dad, they are still shouting. I counted to 10000000… but they are still out there making noise, dad, dad, daaaad… Surprised that his father could sleep with all the noise outside, the little boy removes the curtains and looks through the window, he is astonished, he has never seen such a scene; burning tires, rocks everywhere, hundreds of young men being chased by policemen. He recognised some of the young men; he saw Rachid whom they call Careca because he is a gifted footballer, the best in the neighbourhood. He also saw Mohammed; the guy who sometimes helps him cross the road to go to school. There was Houssine, too. Houssine is a 25 year-old mechanic who is loved by all children in the neighbourhood; he buys candy and chocolate to everyone of them. There were other young men on the streets, they were masked and the little boy didn’t know if they are residents of the same neighbourhood or strangers to it. The only thing he was sure about is that he will never become what he alwyas dreamed he will become: a policeman.

4:30 in the morniong,

The little boy lays back on his bed and starts thinking about what he just saw..finally he managed to sleep.. the noise outside no longer a problem..

07th january 2011,


awaken by the noise, the 29 year-old single, unemployed man steps off his bed, puts his clothes on in a fraction of a second and runs to the door. “Beb El Oued echouhada”.. Algiers is burning.. again.. His mother in tears tries to stop him from going out: Mourad, come back  son, you are all I have left in this world, listen to me.. Mourad, Mourad, Mouraaaaad. Mourad closes the door, runs dowstairs and out of the building, on his way down he puts his “chech” around his face covering his mouth and nose and quickly he joins the hundreds of young men throwing stones at policemen and burning tires.


Mourad is brought home by his friends Mustapha and Omar..nothing will ever disturb his sleep now..he lost his life fighting his old dream. He is gone forever!!

8th january 2011,

The front page of the most read newspaper in Algeria reads “A bandit killed by the forces of security in Beb El Oued”. 



About hicmet
I'm alien everywhere I go

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