The title means "welcome to Algeria" in Chinese, according to my mac widget...forgive me if it really says something totally unrelated...
China’s presence is everywhere in Algeria, as the ties between the two countries are strengthened and trade between the two countries is expected to have exceeded two billion dollars for 2006. It’s estimated that if China maintains the momentum it showed at the end of 2006 it will surpass Italy to become the second largest supplier to Algeria. President Bouteflika attended the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November followed by a state visit, and the tv was full of images of him addresses large groups of Chinese businessmen and diplomats. There are agreements involving everything from satellites, to security to cultural interchanges.
What does this mean to the average Algerian?
•the market is jam packed with Chinese products, from clothing to vegetable peelers
•I’ve even seen a Chinese restaurant, although it didn’t seem open. The rumors on the street about Chinese restaurants remind me of those that circulated in the U.S. for years about the Polynesian restaurants, with rumors of street cats disappearing etc. Nasty rumors fueled by ignorance...It may take some time before Algerians embrace dim sum.
• Chinese visitors have been spotted walking around Constantine, which in a city not known for tourists is quite an event.
•The Chinese store here sells cute little kimonos for children, dresses and bags for the ladies, and lots of slippers and shoes. Everyone talks with amazement how the owners speak Arabic, and I must admit that hearing them speaking Algerian slang is quite adorable.