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Algerian Youth

Youth of Algeria

Because of the population boom in the previous two decades, the youth of Algeria became Algeria’s majority in the 1980s. At the same time, the economic crisis and various structural developments led to a shortage of jobs, housing, and entertainment. It was no surprise, then, that the October 1988 uprising was conducted mainly by the young. A small but significant number later joined Islamist armed groups. For the most part, though, young people have seemed doomed to wait and see or take the risky step of illegal migration to Europe. Surveys of youth regularly show that many young people desperately want to move abroad in search of a better life and all the things that are not available at home, but only a small minority succeeds in that endeavour. Contrasted with the image of the h arraga (those who burn their immigration papers upon capture) is that of the hittiste (one who hangs to the wall, hit ).