If I believe my feelings and the way people talk and react, there is still something going on between France and Algeria.  A sense of fraternity or animosity is frequently encountered but what is often lacking is simple plain indifference.  For good or for worse, people care; love and anger are flowing.  Love, friendship very often.  The feeling can really be fantastic.  You talk to an Algerian guy you’ve never met before and you end up calling each other “brother’ and having the most fantastic discussions.  It’s a really pleasant feeling and then you start thinking about the bloody mess that we (as a nation) made in Algeria and you muse about Camus and his last unfinished novel…

beautiful but not quite it.  Algeria was already Algeria when it got invaded and the civilising mission was a demented joke, but it seems that we failed doubly.  Not only didn’t we manage to make Algeria part of France but we may also have lost part of our soul and heart in the process.

What I recognise and love when I talk to an Algerian (forgive the gross generalisation, I am talking from the limited number of conversations that are part of my personal experience), is the warmth, immediacy and way of communicating that could have been part of us had we put into practice the legacy and spirit of the French revolution in Algeria.

Hopefully a new era has dawned and things can be mended.

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