The Kasbah of Algiers

Over the bay of Algiers

Panoramic view of the bay of Algiers from the heights of the Kasbah

On a sunny day with my friend Mestiich¬†we went to the Kasbah of Algiers to take some¬†pictures. Accompanied by other friends Walid, Nabil … We started¬†at the square port said next to the National Theater of Algiers where we took a cab direction Bab Edjdid the south gate of the Kasbah of Algiers. We met people from the Kasbah who gave us a really warm welcome. Like this young rapper, son of the Kasbah, who told us that if we need anything we can come back to him or tell people that he sent us. After having eaten a sandwich “Garantita” (Calentita) and drank a fresh “Gazouz“. We went to the workshop of Khaled Mahiout, famous carpenter (√©b√©niste) of Algiers, world known for his work and his way of welcoming. Mestiich asked him if we could get to the terrace, Khaled nodded with a friendly smile.

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View over the bay of Algiers Bab Edjdid РThe Kasbah of Algiers

The Kasbah of Algiers

I entered the patio and I was dazzled¬†by the light coming from the “squifa” (Sas) The time was suspended for a while, remembering childhood memories of when I was going to visit my aunt in Tangier street in the lower Kasbah … it goes back more than twenty years. Once the nostalgia moment passed, I took the wooden stairs which brought me to the terrace “Stah”. A breathtaking view! The bay of Algiers offered itself to me. Beneath a blue sky dotted with white clouds, the sea breeze cut me off. Coming from the sea, drawing an itinerary. Passing through the narrow streets of the kasbah impregnated with whispers and stories. Caressing the walls, changing their trajectory. Strolling, charged with the smells and scents of the old Algiers, the sea breeze rising nose made me feel light and free

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Houbel, Botanical garden, Algiers Harbor …

Picture from the Kasbah of Algiers

The bay of Algiers

As I recovered my senses, I took my camera to immortalize the bay of Algiers. She was there just under my look, like an open mouth, smiling, going from La Pérouse to the Admiralty from east to west. El Bahdja is set in a mixture of ancient and modern architectural style. The  Jemma Al Djazair stands far to the east while Houbel watches over Algiers the white from the heights of El Madania. The Kasbah, a symbol of the Algerian culture, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for two decades. The roofs of this Medina are dotted with antennas and parabolic heads for reception of foreign oriental or western channels, offering an alternative to local TV programs. These antennas meant for me younger, an opening towards the foreign world. Today, I see them as the symbol of a society that turns its head to see elsewhere, to mind the mind with other things. Planted there on the terraces like sails taking the wind coming from the east or sometimes from the west influencing a society that seeks itself.

A sunset in the Kasbah of Algiers

From the terrace where I was, I noticed the streets and the close constructions testifying to the high density of the dwellings. The descending terraces on the hill built like a staircase descending towards the sea, offering a view to all those who live there. From our location in height, we unloaded our camera batteries and loaded our minds with images and good moments, photos of the Kasbah of Algiers and its bay below. Until we got caught up by the night.

Khaled Mahiout in his workshop

We went downstairs to friend Khaled, who almost locked us up because we did not see the time pass. We spent a few minutes with this world-renowned carpenter, we talked about his work and also his “Association of Friends of the¬†Kasbah – Save the Kasbah of Algiers”. I took the opportunity to sign his guestbook, filled with signatures of famous personalities. Khaled watches over the Kasbah of Algiers as well as his craft as an √©b√©niste and promises to train future generations.

We left in the dark with memories illuminating our eyes. The Kasbah of Algiers offered herself to us on this unforgettable day.