Algeria is a complex country. It is experiencing a far-reaching political and economic crisis, but also a constant tension to resolve it in favor of a peaceful coexistence based on dialogue. A president who didn’t want to give up his position even after several terms, oligarchies that are difficult to overthrow and a flow of protests against the ruling class which is practically continuous. Young people, however, take to the streets to claim the right to a more accomplished democracy, not simply to act as substitutes for those in power.

In recent years, the demonstrations have been portrayed as "anti Bouteflika", but in reality the discontent of citizens does not seem to be limited to the work of the former head of state, who left the political context at over eighty years of age in 2019 after two decades of domination. AbdelmadjidTebboune took office in December two years ago and the country is preparing for new parliamentary elections. The population, however, remains in the square.

Located at the crossroads of a myriad of traditions and languages, the African country promotes harmonious coexistence all over the world

The social and economic restraints from which the protest arose in February 2019 have not been loosened. And after a temporary suspension of the demonstrations, due to Covid, the marches have resumed.

In such a situation one would expect a tendency towards authoritarianism, with the myth of the "strong man" ruling but no, at least not entirely. In addition to being the largest country in Africa, Algeria is also a point of reference in the culture of dialogue, both on that continent and beyond. The International Day of Living Together in Peace, which for three years has been celebrated on May 16, represents the international community's recognition of the efforts made by Algiers to promote mutual respect and tolerance.

It all started on 8 December 2017, when the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution presented by SabriBoukadoum, who in the meantime had become foreign minister. The vision was clear: Algeria is located at the crossroads of a myriad of religions, traditions and languages and for this reason the goal of local institutions can only be to promote harmonious coexistence. Without distinguishing between nationality, gender, language or religion. The sub-text is even clearer: try it yourselves, those of you living in a less complicated situation.

In a historical moment in which the economic crisis almost naturally leads us to defend ourselves from the other, experienced as a threat rather than as a resource, it may be useful to refer to a country where coexistence with that which is different is constant, structural. The road has been mapped, the goal is to live together in Peace and May 16 is the date to remember this by. Every evening a reminder also comes from Maria Dolens at 9.30 pm. It is true that the premises are closed, but there is always streaming.

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