Algerians are proud of their independence and there are many symbols in the city which honour the country’s struggle for freedom.
In central Algiers, Nardjes stands in front of a statue of Amir Abdelkader. He was a famous political leader and warrior who created a large Muslim state in the 1830s. He is often called the leader of the revolution against the French.
At this time, the French were looking to control the region and deployed a large army. Abdelkader was captured and imprisoned in France. He was eventually freed by Napoleon who sent him to Damascus in Syria. There, Abdelkader saved around 12,000 Christians from the Ottoman Turks, including the French consul, earning this former enemy of France the Legion of Honour.
Nardjes travels with Yanis to an outer suburb of Algiers. At the top of a hill overlooking the city, a special plaza has been constructed in the shape of Algeria.
At one end of the plaza stands the Martyrs monument (the Makham Ech Chaid) which honours all those who have died fighting for Algeria’s freedom. As Nardjes explains, each of its three standing palm leaves and the soldier below commemorate a stage of Algeria’s struggle for independence.
The monument shelters an eternal flame which is guarded by soldiers. The plaza also has museums which look at the military history of Algeria. Altogether, it’s an important and impressive place to visit.