Most of them have known Paris and the Marais [Paris’ LGBT district Tr.]. Looking relaxed, young people spend their evenings laughing and getting to know each other. “Although gays have no freedom, everything’s fine at the Cappuccino,” is how Lotfi, a Commerce student, sums it up. Thirty or so people squatting at the bar are not capable of representing a significant part of the LGBT community living in Algeria.
After the bar closes at 3 a.m., the party continues.
To date, two thousand people with HIV have been reported in Algeria.
The Pacha nightclub adjoining the prestigious El Djazair hotel (the former Saint-Georges) becomes the second headquarters of Cappucino’s aficionados. On top of that, people are open and welcoming,” says Lotfi. But, of course, cover charges remain a luxury for many young people across the country.
Although he smiles for his customers, he doesn’t hide his despair.
“I wonder why I’m not like the others,” says the hairdresser. To escape the judgment of others, the only solution is discretion.” To confront his day-to-day worries, Salim devotes himself to his one and only joy, bodybuilding.
Unlike some Arab-Muslim countries, in Algeria, gay sites are hardly ever blocked by the government.
Many are the Internet users who surf the web to meet their Prince Charming.