Algerians push for change, but will it come?

February 17, 2011

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(Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)
Algeria's President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, pictured here in 2007, has faced anti-government protests during the last month.

Exactly one month after Tunisia ousted their long-time leader, neighboring Algeria attempted to do the same. Thousands of Algerians descended on the capital Algiers last Saturday calling for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down. More protests are expected this weekend. In many respects, Algeria looks a lot like Tunisia and Egypt. It has a young population, high unemployment and an autocrat with a rubberstamp parliament. But it’s also significantly more divided and spent most of the 1990s in a brutal civil war that pitted government forces against Islamist factions. We'll get a better sense of where Algeria is headed from Malika Zeghal, a professor of Islamic Thought and Life at Harvard University.