Algerians families will celebrate Monday night the birth of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), by preparing traditional food amidst joyous ceremonies of authentic Algerian customs.
Algerians who have held to their past and social values pay the greatest attention in celebrating this religious occasion of “Al-Mawlid Al-Nnabawi,” the birth of the Prophet PBUH, by preparing a number of traditional meals such as couscous and chakchouka, as well as other traditional desserts.
One Algerian lady told KUNA that the occasion of Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi is that of compassion and joy among people and families.
Some of the families see in this occasion a blessed opportunity to circumcise their young boys.
Rich families also take advantage of this event to give out food to the unprivileged and the poor as well as decorating mosques and holding religious seminars, where they pray to Allah Almighty and hand out donations and gifts to children who memorized the Holy Koran.
On his part, Algerian history researcher Mohammad Al-Bashir Slami considered Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi as one of Algeria’s key religious celebrations, since every generation has been passing it on to the next even during colonialism.
During French Colonialism, commemorating the Prophet’s birth was considered a defense mechanism of the Algerian identity, values, and religion against the French colonial cultural and religious tide which aimed at dominating the local cultural scene and obscuring the Algerian identity.
Salmi noted that as defiance to the colonial authorities, the first soccer team was incepted under the name of “Almoulidia” on the same day of Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi in 1921 and is still active till this day.
A government minister said on Sunday there should be an international approach to dealing with the overseas assets of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his family.
A spokesman for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said the financial crime agency was looking for assets in Britain linked to Mubarak in case there was any request to seize them.
So far only Switzerland has announced a freeze on assets that might belong to Mubarak, who stood down on Friday after 30 years in power.
Business minister Vince Cable said countries need to work together on Mubarak’s assets, reported to be worth many millions of dollars and held secretly around the world.
Asked if Britain would follow Switzerland’s lead, Cable told BBC television: “I was not aware that he had enormous assets here, but there clearly needs to be a concerted international action on this.
“There is no point one government acting in isolation, but certainly we need to look at it. It depends also whether his funds are illegally or improperly obtained,” Cable added.
Britain has to await a request from Egypt, or from the European Union or the United Nations, before freezing any of Mubarak’s assets, the SFO spokesman said.
“We are identifying where such assets might be in the event that we are asked to take action,” he said.
Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said Britain had not yet been asked to move against Mubarak’s assets. “There are things that can be done, but so far there has not been a request,” he told BBC radio.
Egypt’s ambassador to London, Hatem Seif el Nasr, said he had no information about any of Mubarak’s assets. “Truly, about the money I have absolutely no knowledge,” he told BBC TV.
Switzerland has also frozen assets belonging to Tunisia’s former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted by a popular uprising last month.
Freezing Mubarak’s assets should motivate Egyptian authorities to ask for legal assistance and help prevent the withdrawal of funds, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey told the SonntagsZeitung in an interview on Sunday.
Switzerland has worked hard to improve its image as a refuge for allegedly ill-gotten money. It has also locked down assets of Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo.
In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, Calmy-Rey said Switzerland had to ensure it did denied a haven for “dirty money … It cannot be that right at our door some people embezzle state funds and put them into their own pocket.” SFO head Richard Alderman, asked about reports that assets were secretly held in London by Mubarak and Ben Ali’s families, told the Sunday Times: “The public would expect us to be looking for some of this money if we became aware of it, and to try to repatriate it for the benefit of the people of these countries.”