In the shoes of others

I don't really look Algerian to other people

- I am Algerian, my whole family is Algerian, but people obviously can't tell because I don't really look Algerian to them. And I grew up in a very racist neighborhood. My mom wears the headscarf, we're a Muslim family and people wouldn't really understand where we come from and our culture and constantly make fun of us and bully my little brothers... I was sticking up for my siblings when people would say all these racist things like « You're not from here, go back to your country! » or stuff like that. That's something that I've experienced, and I don't think anyone should experience them, it isn't really a nice thing to go through.

- How is the feeling for you when someone tells you something as violent as « Go back to your country! » ?

- My feeling is more like anger. I don't just get upset by it, I get angry. I'll either deal with it in a calm way, or just lash out. It just really depends. I'll give them the same energy that they give me. So if they are angry at me, I'll get angry at them, if they say it in a calm way, I'll say it in a calm way... so it just really depends on the type of person and how they say it.

- When did you start to get these comments and feel this way?

- Since I was younger, but not as much anymore. When I grew up, it's gone down a lot so it was mostly when I was younger. it wasn't a nice feeling and I felt even more bad for my family than I did for myself.

- And you grew up in Scotland?

- Yeah, me and my brothers were born here.

- Do you visit Algeria sometimes?

- Yeah, so we go every year. I haven't been in a while because I've been studying, but I'm going this year hopefully, which will be lovely. Getting to see my family, which will be nice, I'm very excited about it. And maybe going to Canada as well because I've got family in Canada as well.

- Okay. I was wondering, because to reuse your words, you don't look Algerian, so how are you treated in Algeria?

- Kind of like an outsider because obviously I've got kind of an accent when I speak Arabic. With my family it's fine, but like other people, they make little jokes like « Oh, be quiet, you're from Scotland! » or like « Oh, you're so whitewashed! ». (laughing)

- Whitewashed!? Okay!! How do you take that?

- I take it as a joke, I don't really take it to heart, I can brush it off, I don't really care about it...

- So things are more difficult here, actually?

- Yeah. Hopefully it's okay now, I'm over it...

#algeria #algerian #headscarf #muslim #muslimfamily #bullying #racism #racist #racistthings #racistjokes #scotland #feeling #whitewashed #angry #treatment #arabic #arab #accent

Read another contribution

What is this about?

These are the contributions to a social project to promote empathy and fight discrimination.

Read about the project

Want to contribute?

Feeling like sharing something too? You are more than welcome to!

Let's write something!

How to follow the project?

You can follow the project on Instagram and read the contributions while I'm gathering them and be informed when/if the book will be out. 😊

Instagram Facebook