Thursday 9 August 2012

It's a Ramadan Miracle everybody!‏

The excitement is palpable and the wait is over, four years of waiting for the prestigious games to hit our screens again, to hit our streets and our neighbourhoods, London is buzzy and excited and we are all united in that.
Largest and multiple small flags acquired, jerseys stolen purchased and betting tables started, as for tickets they’re an investment in their own right, and we’re celebrating our modest delegation with high hopes of glory and sporting miracles.

Just 48 hours ago, Algerian fans were plunged into despair after their last hope for a medal was taken away following Makhoufi being thrown out of the games, we thought the only way we can get our hands on a medal was if we casted the bronze ourselves. In fact it was so bad, we thought about claiming the Egyptian medal as our own– “droit de sol” was it?

But today, today is a different story, Algeria celebrates its First and probably only Gold medal won yesterday by Makhoufi after he was reinstated in the games, in what was labelled a very controversial affair. And Algerians everywhere, across the world celebrated proudly and loudly the victory of this young man who worked so hard and came so far to become an Algerian Olympian Champion.

The Algerian celebration and pride of the one medal was more important than that of the Brits with their 48 medals. It makes you think, what one medal, one victory could achieve, the tingling feeling inside, the pride, the tears, the inspiration and the joy.
So great big congratulations to our Champion and to the Algerians. It’s all a nice story.


Let’s not give the credit to the government, this is a self made athlete who applied himself and committed to his sport in the same way Morceli, Mere and Boulmerka did the first time they astonished the world, and he followed suit in that too. 

And let’s try not to forget please, that our Olympic delegation is made up of 39 athletes and  some good elements,volleuses volleyeuses African Champions and 4th world ranked Boxer etc…the rest remain relatively unknown, or frustratingly irrelevant, but amongst this group, Makhloufi has managed to shine, supersede and excel, whilst the others were too busy getting disqualified.

After watching with immense frustration, loss after disqualification after “too unfit to finish”, carrying on watching and supporting Team DZ, will take a bigger person or a more patriotic one than I am.

Our athletes are sent to the slaughter, some unprepared, some unfit and completely unmotivated and some seem to suffer from a syndrome I call “al mouhim al moucharaka” (1), where it seems the only achievement celebrated is coming to the Games itself and visiting Big Ben, so they do an act of presence and take it easy, rely on others to land the medals, maybe the Boxing team will get a couple and we’ll be off the hook!

But that’s the thing though, there’s no hook, if you win a medal you’ll get a car or some other insignificant reward, if you don’t manage a win, you still took part and represented your country “proudly” and that’s enough!

And besides, there’s always another breed of Algerians across the pond, who can take the relay and play for Algeria, it seems the standards are lower south of the Med.

Watching inspiring athletes like Phelps and Sir Chris Hoy, Ussain Bolt and Bradley Wiggings makes you wonder what makes them champions, hard work, dedication, support, funding, commitment, we all know this, we apply the same principles to anything we undertake in life, a 10k run, a triathlon or our day to day job which is what these guys do, they apply themselves to their jobs. 

If you play spot the differences, from a platform a mile away, in the dark, with smudgy glasses, you can see the contrast with our athletes, physically and performance-wise, apart from a few who make us proud and make their opponent tremble. let me not start on the laughing volleyeuses who giggled their way through to disqualification and gettting their asses kicked by the novice Brits.

Algerian Sport has been in the dark for years, a huge shortfall in infrastructure, of large scale sports politics, of talent-spotting competitions, funding and scholarships is to blame for the degradation of the sporting spirit and the aspirations to go beyond qualifiers.

Makhloufi’s near miss is a true testament to the Algerian federation disorganisation and incompetence, he might have been reinstated but this win is tarnished by controversy and polemics though this will eventually be forgotten, his gold will forever remain in the annals of Olympic history, and hopefully overshadow the controversy of how he got reinstated (deservedly) into the race. 

Where the Olympic Games inspire generations, make you cry with pride and tingle with excitement; our home athletes make us cry out of angst and frustration and disappointment, but last night here in London, the Algerian National Anthem resonated in the Olympic Stadium and made every Arab (allegedly) and Algerian out there proud, maybe even made some people over at the Daily Telegraph* tremble with fear at the tempestuous** tune.

Dz-Chick…..always going for bronze! 
(1) it’s the taking part that counts

* the Daily Telegraph listed the 10 worst National Anthems at the Olympics, Algeria is 5th

**Big word init



  1. I only hope I live long enough to see Algeria organise the Olympics!


  2. my dear husband says the olympics has made him realise that Algeria is truly third world and he doesn't know what he was thinking wanting to move back there, when there are so many amazing opportunities here,,, Maybe he has a point.

  3. Soraya Yeah yeah sure why not, one day in the upcoming ice age when Africa is all that is left.

    Anonymous ha ha ha @,,,,

  4. It's important to point out that if Algeria remains a third world country it's mainly due to the modern world control. ALGERIA HAS BEEN DESTROYED IN THE 90's and therefore it will take some serious time to re-build the mentalities, my only hope is that when this happens (if it will) people will be wise enough not to fall into the same mistake.

  5. what bothered me most were the shallow comments made by the BBC TV journalists and former sportsman live on TV right after Makhloufi's sharp win over his opponents in the 1500m race.
    The disqualification of Makhloufi and other athletes on the base of not giving their best during competition, is only a attempt to hide the reality of that the Olympics are not anymore what used to be i.e. a world event which brought nations together. It is all about the show, overly-priced tickets, medias and revenue. where is the sportsman on all this?

  6. DZ Chick, thank you for the pleasant and interesting read :))

    Indeed the BBC tried to tarnish Makhloufi's extraordinary VICTORY on the night...any real athlete, sportsman and person with any common sense will see that his performance, ability and skill is one that will go on record and will be spoken about again and again… bbc comments actually were so irrelevant, it highlighted his achievement even more.
    The other athlete we shouldn’t fail to recognise during these Olympics is Souad Ait Salem whom I went to see and cheered on at the women's marathon, was so focused and worked very hard so well done to her :)
    The boxers tried their best but they just didn’t have the finishing touch, just like the other participants.
    With the right teams of mentors, coaches, support funds- we could have done much better but apparently we can’t afford the investment.
    Sadly it looks like for Algeria, the only way results can be achieved is the Makhloufi way, self investment and self believe and boy did he deserve it :)

  7. Thanks Anonymous and Zombretto
    Cheers. I too followed Ait Salem closely, with her 6th position in the London Marathon 2008, I did expect more from her, but sadly she came in 37th! I was gutted for her. The Boxing team have very promising prospects and did enjoy the commentator’s full support and admiration for a change. As for the comments from the Track & Field AND from Seb Coe were simply flabbergasting! They literally begrudged him his win and were it up to them, they would have stripped him of it. Truly poor sportsmanship.

  8. salam alikoum,

    Well done to Makhloufi,he deserves the win ,which has come due to his efforts and great love and passion
    towards Algeria ,I could see the love of Algeria running through his blood, unlike other athletes ( volleyball )palyers ,who sadly showed no enthusiasm or pride when representing Algeria ,probably showed enthusiam for taking photos comments

  9. Algeria a third country ? what does it mean ? who is first and who is second ? Civilization rises and falls. We live in the west and many of us enjoy the confort that we have worked for and not given to us by the so called civilized world. Do remember that the west has build its civilization and welfare on the bones and skulls of all these previous colonies that you dare calling them thirld world.

    Amine DownUnder

  10. Hurray!Thanks to Makhloufi, المغزّلين from the Daily Telegraph had the plesure to listen to 9assaman despite their deep dislike of our anthem. They can suck it up. Anyhow, i had to explain to a french friend the whole controversy and how the algerian IOC showed the world its dazzling incompetence. I felt weary saying the same complaints and trashing once again on the people in charge in Dzair. Bleh.


  11. Was given the link to your blog by a friend, and it is the best blog put there by a mile, I am in love with your writing Dz-Chick and your crazy ideas.
    Cannot wait to read more and I certainly am learning a lot about Algerians and Algeria and find it fascinating.
    Thank you so very much

  12. Anonymous Yes he really loves his Algeria, and he’s such a character already setting his own signature with the slingshot move that was mistaken for the Usain Bolt archer pose. But please don’t get me started on those tourists who giggled their way through 4 matches/beatings.

    Amine Down under First of all, how’s life down under mate?
    Algeria is not third world ok. It’s developing world which essentially a more PC way of saying the first one.

    How’s the coffee in Australia? Is it good and strong? Well wake up and smell it ;)

    El7arrag Have they listened to “la Marseillese” what do they think it talks about? Roses and peaches? What about the Italian archaic anthem? And don’t get me started on the Great Britain De facto “Anthem” which isn’t an actual anthem. Word. I have done my research.

    Catherine Thank you very much that is very sweet and thank your friend for me :)

  13. Hi Dz Chick,

    If we talk sport in Algerian and in general, to be fair, I believe it has to be put into context and involve the environment that is lived by Algerians in Algeria which is not adequate, or more rightly became less welcome to sports and in particular women sports, and without hinting as we usually do, I'd say religion has and still play a huge negative role within our society without mentioning the role of and "expired" tradition based on false and superficial values, where the honour of the family is still guarded by the behaviour of women ( I don't want to be more explicit).

    In a span of let say 50 years since the independence, including about 10 years of financial hardship, and 15 years of Islamic terrorism, it is a miracle indeed to produce a single medal.

    On the ground and in reality you know as much as I do that it is more welcome to build a mosque than plant a trees and have a park , this has nothing to do with the will of government or local authorities.
    And I would add if you were playing any part of the process, you'll hear things that were never mentioned even in the bible !!

    As a real example, I saw many newly build, handball and basketball public grounds, turned to football playgrounds by testosteronesurus..where girls are not welcome.

    A friend of mine, a sport teacher in a Lycée was frustrated during the 90's by the refusal of many parents as well as other teachers mainly with beards and hidjab, to have the girls practising sports..!

    What kind of sport would you be able to do while wearing a hijab? horse riding? or scuba diving?

    Let us be realistic, you know as much as I do, that it's not about money or government.. it's simply a matter of attitude.

    Best regards

  14. It surely was a MIRACLE!!!!
    Algeria, for whatever reasons, has performed very poorly.
    Makhloufi's gold medal just about enabled us to save face.
    Algeria was my weakest link so I turned towards all other North African and Muslims nations in hope. France & the UK were next on my list, now that's quite messed up considering I was born & bred in France and have lived all my adult life in the UK.
    Our representation in the Olympics was despicable and let's hope a new breed of British-Algerians and of course the French-Algerians can hold the flag for us, of course there is no way that the Algerian national anthem will be played (thank God by the sound of it) but the ethnicity will be represented!
    On a more positive note, our paralympics representants were outstanding hence you can conclude that our least able are actually more able than the able. Interesting!
    One, two, three....kheshma l'Algerie!!!

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