Algerian Journalist and TV Host Zaki Alilat said that France was the enemy of Algeria in the past, and is still its enemy today. He made his remarks during an El Hayat TV (Algeria) debate about relations between Algeria and France that aired on January 29, 2021. Alilat stated that even if France apologized to Algeria and sold the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, its factories, and all its economy, "which were built by Algerian hands," it still would not be able to compensate the Algerians for killing millions, sowing ignorance, and exterminating generations. He continued to say that "France will not apologize, and Algeria does not need France's apologies." However, he said that if Algeria really wants to rehabilitate its image, it must cut the umbilical cord that ties it to the "most horrible colonialism known to mankind." He said that Algeria must be proud and it should not fulfill the requests of the French ambassador.
In response, Algerian sociology professor Ahmed Rouadjia said that Algeria cannot do without France and France cannot do without Algeria. He said that despite Algerian claims against France, Algerians have been vying for a visa to France for sixty years. Professor Rouadjia said that he loves France, its people, its language and its culture, but he hates French colonialism, hegemony, disrespect, arrogance, and violence.
Zaki Alilat: "Let us talk about ourselves and about those [Algerians] who were waiting for the French President to appear on official French TV channels to say to the Algerians, with a broken voice and a sad face: 'We are sorry for breaking and destroying your nation. We are sorry for killing millions of Algerians and sowing ignorance among them. We are sorry for exterminating entire generations [of Algerians] and for a civilization that was the icon of the Mediterranean back to the Stone Age.'
"Algerians must understand that we do not need a French apology. Even if France apologized and sold the Louvre museum, the Eiffel Tower, its factories, and all its economy which were built by Algerian...
"Even if France sold its past, its present, and its future, and sold NATO, which helped France in its efforts to exterminate [our] nation, France would not be able to compensate us for one drop of a martyr's blood, or for one orphan or widow's teardrop. Only the greats apologize, France is too little. Even if France apologized and the whole world thought it was great, it would stay little. France will not apologize, and Algeria does not need apologies. If we really want to rehabilitate our image, we must cut the umbilical cord that ties us to the most horrible colonialism known to mankind. We must be masters of our language, our policies, and our economy. We must stay proud and not fulfill the requests of France's ambassador – whether it is to meet with him, or to attend his country's ceremonies. It would suffice to educate the generations and to convince ourselves that France was our enemy in the past, and it still is our enemy today."
Ahmed Rouadjia: By means of force and politics we managed to restore our independence and our sovereignty. So why do we always repeat [the same complaints]? I'll say it again: We cannot do without France and France cannot do without us. That is inconceivable. Enough of these mutual accusations between our two countries. There is... According to the report..."
Alilat: "Professor Rouadjia, Algerians look at France as the country that robbed their [natural] resources, displaced them, and tried to wipe out their identity. That is how Algerians perceive France. "
Rouadjia: "For 60 years..."
Alilat: "They have taken human skills and refuse to give them back..."
Rouadjia: "We have been repeating the same story for 60 years. Nevertheless, for 60 years the Algerians have been trying, in every way possible, to get a visa in order to go to France.
"I love France, that's true. Honestly, I love the French people and the French language. I have no complex..."
Alilat: "Do you love France or the French language?"
Rouadjia: "Please, do not try to confuse what I'm saying..."
Alilat: "You said that you love France..."
Rouadjia: "I love the French people, and I love the French country, culture, and language. I have no complex with regard to it. However, I resent French colonialism, and France's hegemony, disrespect, arrogance, and violence... I love France, I love America, I love Britain, and I have no complex. I am..."
Alilat: "This Is loyalty..."
Rouadjia: "I love [learning] foreign languages. It benefits me and my children. I speak with my children in French, and I teach them French and English."