THE CASBAH AREA OF ALGIERS, ONE OF THE MOST DAZZLING, COLOURFUL AND ROMANTIC AREAS OF THE AFRICAN MEDITERRANEAN, IS DUE FOR A CLEAN-UP.
LS rooftops of Casbah (2 shots)
MLS PAN from rooftop down into courtyard
LS The ancient Medersa (The school to teach the Koran).
MS doorway to Medersa
LS view of the Martyrs' Square and Grand Mosque
MS exterior Ketchaoua Mosque
MS interior Ketchaoua Mosque (3 shots)
LS stairways inside Casbah (2 shots)
LS street scene
MS narrow streets with walls of houses almost touching
MS narrow streets with Arab women walking through
MS children playing in streets (2 shots)
MS narrow street with criss-crossed wood holding first floor walls apart
MS women walking through alleyway
MS little girl getting water from tap.
MS Woman walks through market area (4 shots)
MS Fish market (2 shots)
LS Market area with mosque in background
Initials BB/1431 PS/BB/1635
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: THE CASBAH AREA OF ALGIERS, ONE OF THE MOST DAZZLING, COLOURFUL AND ROMANTIC AREAS OF THE AFRICAN MEDITERRANEAN, IS DUE FOR A CLEAN-UP. THE ALGIERS MUNICIPALITY IS TO UNDERTAKE THE OPERATION, IN ORDER TO RESTORE WHAT IS LEFT OF THE AREA'S HISTORICAL MONUMENTS. THE CASBAH--AN ANCIENT FORTIFIED CITY RICH IN HISTORICAL TURKISH, ARAB AND BERBER ART, AND LONG ROMANTICISED BY NOVELISTS--IS NOW, HOWEVER, A SLUM....AS VISNEWS CAMERAMAN LOUIS GIMINEZ FOUND OUT WHEN HE VISITED IT THIS WEEK.
SYNOPSIS: The historical Casbah area of Algiers, one of the most colourful dazzling and romantic sports on the African Mediterranean, is to be cleaned up.
The massive operation is planned by the Algiers municipality, in order to save some of the ancient city's historic monuments. The Casbah, a dazzling white triangle of terraces and houses cascading down to the sea, has been romanticised and immortalised by novelists and film directors. The ancient fortified city, around which present day Algiers is built is said to have the finest collection of Turkish, Arab and Berber art and building along the entire coast.
But now the Casbah, with its famous staircase alleyways, is rapidly turning into a slum. Many of the streets are too narrow to accommodate any sort of vehicles, so such basic services as refuse collection have to be done by the centuries-old method of donkeys. It is also hopelessly overcrowded, with hoards of children roaming the streets, and its hundred-thousand population live in conditions of poverty.
As a first step in the planned clean-up, it has been decided to evacuate and re-house 76 of the families who live in the Casbah's most famous monuments--occupied in 1962, during Algeria's independence, by people who flocked in from the countryside. A special committee of experts and architects will set up office in the Casbah itself--hoping to restore the romantic glory of ages gone by.