Following the Algerian war for independence and the defeat of France in 1962, Algiers became the liberation capital of the Third World. Here, Elaine Mokhtefi, who as a young American woman had become involved in the struggle and worked with leaders of the Algerian Revolution, including Frantz Fanon, found a home. As a journalist and translator, she lived among guerrillas, revolutionaries, exiles and visionaries and was even present in the making of the groundbreaking film The Battle of Algiers.
Mokhtefi crossed paths with some of the era’s brightest stars: Stokely Carmichael, Timothy Leary, Ahmed Ben Bella, Jomo Kenyatta and Eldridge Cleaver. She was instrumental in the establishment of the International Section of the Black Panther Party in Algiers and was close at hand as the group became involved in intrigue, murder and international hijackings. She traveled for and with the Panthers and organised Cleaver’s clandestine departure for France. Algiers, Third World Capital is an unforgettable story of an era of passion and promise.
“Algiers, Third World Capital is a return to a time when Algiers was Mecca and the Vatican for revolutionaries. Indeed, at the time Amilcar Cabral said: 'Muslims go on pilgrimage to Mecca, Christians in the Vatican and national liberation movements in Algiers.'”
“Elaine Mokhtefi has written a fascinating insider’s account of the Black Panthers’ exile in Algiers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Legendary figures take to the stage in the world capital of the national liberation movements: Ahmed Ben Bella, Frantz Fanon, Eldridge Cleaver. Mokhtefi was a key intermediary between the Panthers and the FLN during her own time in Algiers, and a militant anti-imperialist. This is a clear-eyed, first-hand recollection of the way things fall apart.”