Elaine Mokhtefi was born in New York. After the Second World War, she joined the youth movement for world peace and justice becoming director of a militant student organisation. In 1951 she settled in France and became a world of international organisations translator and interpreter in the new postwar. In 1960 she joined the small team in New York of the Algerian National Liberation Front and government in exile lobbying the United Nations to support the independence of Algeria. Once victorious, she made Algeria her home, working as a journalist and translator. She was married to the Algerian writer and liberation war veteran, Mokhtar Mokhtefi, who died in 2014. She lives in New York where she is a writer and painter.
"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." - Kader Bakou, Le Soir d'Algerie (French) "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." - Jeremy Harding, author of Border Vigils "A memoir of international radical activism, from helping Algeria and Africa shake the yoke of colonialism to helping the Black Panthers establish a revolutionary outpost in exile....A firsthand account of a time when so much seemed up for grabs." - Kirkus Reviews "The behind-the-scenes work of post-WWII liberation movements comes to the fore in this gripping memoir from Mokhtefi...she makes palpable the turmoil and fervor of her experience there while sharing unbelievable stories previously known only to their participants." - Publishers Weekly "The story she tells in her book is one of intrigue, political and otherwise. It is also about a revolution trying to create a government equal to its ideals in the face of very powerful enemies. Mokhtefi writes as a believer in the revolution, but does not hesitate to critique some of the twists and turns it took over the years she was part of the government." - Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch "Extraordinary...written with great humility and with love." - Ben Ehrenreich, Guardian "A beautifully written account full of fascinating anecdotes of a life totally given to revolutionary causes" - Percy Zvomuya, New Frame