Wednesday 21 December 2011

Algerian vs. Algerian

A few Algerian congregations I partook in recently led me to notice a pattern I felt compelled to explore and write about, I even received a few requests to write on the subject but I fear I cannot pretend to offer any solutions only the findings of my very modest research and personal opinion …Here goes!

The Algerian men who have lived abroad for long periods of time exceeding seven years, and particularly those who immigrated early on, in their late teens or early twenties, it seems find it hard to look at Algerian girls any other way than their sisters…

Samir says: “I don’t know, I guess I just seem them all as my sisters”, whilst Rayan declares “I would feel guilty if I was to go out with an Algerian girl and then it didn’t work out, or if there was anything physical than I feel I used her
When questioned, if they’d felt guilt or this feeling of fraternity towards females of other nationalities i.e. English or Moroccan, answers were as predicted;
They seem to regard European girls as more able to accept that a relationship may or may not work, it is part of the culture and way of life, being and Arab or a Muslim however does not always affect the decision, “a girl is a girl” one of them said, "but the fact that she is Algerian changes things, it brings it close to home, I think of my sister and if someone would do anything to her".
Another one said “I would feel bad if I had to leave an Algerian girl after dating her, because if she’s heart broken and alone abroad, I am not supposed to be the one to break her heart….”, Kamel who is 40 says “I would consider an Algerian girl but only for marriage or a serious relationship not for a casual thing”, Ali says “If we don’t marry our own girls, who’s going to marry them”.

To cite only a few, and so far; a mixed set of opinions here, leading me to believe that these men grow to love and respect their female counterpart and revere them like sisters and mothers, they haven’t been able to make the jump over to the more romantic or sexual side of their feelings for these women who are somewhat baffled...see next

When Algerian girls living abroad (mostly in London) were questioned on the topic, reactions were divided between “I would rather be with an Algerian guy, only he would understand me”, ”I wouldn’t mind being with an Algerian, but other nationalities are also considered, namely from the Middle East and Europe” another one was indignant as to what these Algerian men are doing dating and marrying non-Algerians, when there is a huge number of single Algerian girls available and looking.
Another NON-Algerian girl said the following: “I haven’t met any Algerian guys or girls who are not single, you guys are all single” quite the statement coming from an objective outsider.

My research on the subject is not extensive and mainly targeted Algerian professionals between the ages of 28 - 40 who are living in London over the last few years since London has been identified as the common denominator for the imposed singeldom Londoners have been suffering.

Arguably, Algerian men who grew up in Algeria up to a certain age, that is to say over 22, have had some kind of dating experience with Algerian girls (back in Algeria) and have managed to cross the line from fraternal love and respect to opposite sex attraction and romantic feelings; the former seem to be able to look at fellow Algerian girls as suitable life, sexual or dating partners and girlfriends, whereas the consensus dictates that the Algerian young men who left Algeria very early on, having encountered only their mothers, sisters and cousins in their lives post-Algeria, tend to view all Algerian ladies as such (family) and thus are not naturally attracted to Algerian women and will not look to them for romantic relationships, however, some would consider forming serious relationships akin or leading to marriage with them as they (Algerian men) would see their mothers or sisters who represent the prime example of a life partner, in these candidates.

Algerian women living abroad, on the other hand, regardless of their living situation or length of life abroad, would seemingly consider Algerian men as suitable candidates for a serious and non- serious relationship.
One of the people questioned on the topic suggested an answer for this “these women look for their fathers in other Algerian men and prefer them to be authoritarian, old fashioned perhaps, even jealous”, but one cannot slap ones research candidates so I lets move on, the same slapable individual mentioned the following “these girls date European boys for ages, snob us for years, then upon reaching their 30s they want a nice Algerian man to marry”.

Perhaps the case is that Algerian girls who moved away from home at an early age, found a very small Algerian community (in the UK), had to date and marry men form other nationalities, the ones who remain single now look to Algerian men but are met with “ah now you want an Algerian man”, the judgmental stance some of these men have towards the Algerian girls is to respond to their own feelings of rejection by these very same girls.

Certainly what springs into mind is that Algerians grew apart here in London and the UK, with advancing careers, financial stability, has their mind set shifted so much that they can no longer recognise each other as potential life partners? 
And with advancing in life, do they feel their choice needs to advance accordingly?  Implying that opting for an Algerian partner will set them back a step? 

Perhaps it's worth mentioning that none of the people who participated in this modest "research" have any issues with Algerians of both gender dating or marrying other nationalities, they're merely wondering what the non-taken ones are thinking!

One more thought, when these men meet Algerian girls out there, before realising they're Algerian, they could easily be attracted to them, would they change their minds when they realise they're Algerian and feel guilty of being attracted to their so called "sisters"? 

This is certainly a new dilemma of mine and of every single and sometimes married Algerian out there, and as you have guessed, I offer no solutions, only more questions…jolly good!

Dz-chick….enough said this time around!

Names have been changed for anonymity reasons.
A similar post albeit from a different angle here  - from Dz-Chick

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Caravan to…..London!

“If you haven’t seen the Sahara, you haven’t lived” if I count how many times I heard this, I would be sipping Kahwa(1) with Bill Gates, God rest his soul…oh sorry that was Steve Jobs!

Everybody’s panicking about New Years Eve plans, because we all know, if you don’t have cool plans that involve Taghit, Tamnraset (aka Tam – shoot me now), then you’re going to be crossed off the TchiTchi (2) list which the TchiTchi committee keeps updating but rumours are they are overwhelmed, the list is rumoured to be ever growing and the standards ever dropping…

There are reports of panic amongst Algerians, Tunisia is out of the parté plan, unless for a Mas’haf (3) convention, the French consulate has taken its leave and Libya is just not as fun as it used to be…La TchiTchi committee had to convene an urgent meeting to discuss - Le Reveillon 2011– Taghit is deemed mainstream now as more TchiTchi imposters have embarked the caravan to Taghit and everyone listens to Gnawi music now… Convention deemed it “like so last year and like totally unsuitable”, Tam is still vogue though, it’s extortionate, exotic and superior, but a new destination has to be found, the vodka is not going to drink itself, the gendarmerie would be bored, think of the police! Traditions must be upheld.
Caravan diverted to ….London baby!

Meanwhile, in London, Algerian Londoners are hating the cold December and the shopping frenzy, they shop online and all are partied out, they want to go home to Algeria and stay indoors with the family and the dog, eat couscous and sleep before midnight
So not TchiTchi….

Dz-chick….excommunicated TchiTchi

(1) Coffee
(2) La TchiTchni = posh Algerian posse
(3) Holly Qu'ran

Thursday 15 December 2011

I just called to say....NO!

Ahhh friends, friends, plenty of friends…

Good friends, shit friends, needy friends, childhood friends, coffee friends, cinema friends, travel friends, work friends, sex friends, drinking friends and finally forced friends.
One day you wake up, after having spent a whole evening with a friend, a substantial amount of money matching what the "friend" wanted to do, you sit there; laugh and talk, all the while feeling a twitch at the back of your mind, but you discount it and continue having a "nice" time.

You continue with this, laughing at unfunny jokes, swallowing and nodding the condescending comments, humouring the know-it-all attitude, the emotional blackmail, the neediness, the blatant use of your time and kindness, but do you say anything? nope....

You continue being a good friend, by good friend I mean a push over, until one day you feel angry and resentful as to why you have to spend a minute more with this so called friend.

How many of you out there, find yourselves badgered into friendships with people who target you because you represent something they aspire to be, or you have something they need, like attention, help, time, love or simply financial gain and popularity.
You know how the saying goes; you can’t choose your family,
Well then I am well bloody going to choose my friends, and since I am not 15, friendships don’t tend to form overnight and despite you having my phone number or address, knowing my birthday or my favourite meal doesn’t make you my friend unless I allow access…FROM NOW ON I mean.

I now know, all it takes is to say NO.

Yallah – al abarani barra as my dad says

Dz-Chick ….in a cleaning mood!
Yallah = come on
Al barani barra = The outsiders, out

Wednesday 14 December 2011

If I could turn back time…

If I could turn back time, what would I do differently?
I often declare proudly NOTHING, NAFINK I TELL YOU
But gloomy hormonal days like these make me rethink the answer and ….seriously, how many days a month do you suffer from hormonal imbalances? Because with me, it seems to be 25 out of 30. Hormones will be the death of me.
If I could turn back time, I would do just that;
If I could turn back time; I would wind back the clock to when I was 12 and developed a sweet tooth, I would have taken more pictures since my parents seem to have been busy making more children, I would have learnt to say NO, I would have prayed to be like Peter Pan and remain forever young and forever happy.
I would have known better and bought yahoo shares, I would have created facebook myself, I would have told Boudiaf he was about to be assassinated, I would have cheated on many a one exam, I would have told my dad I hated physics, let me play my damn Guitar, I would never have taken the first razor to my legs and made a mess of myself, I would have opened my eyes and avoided colliding with the lamppost that marked me for the rest of my life (mentally apparently – I’d gone a bit mad since), I probably would not have moved to London or have moved back after my studies had ended…so many regrets and so many things to do….but hey so much time still, I am only 34 right? Gold help us next year.
Unsurprisingly I never regretted starting this blog, this post I might reconsider however, when the cloud of hormones has dissipated and I’ve gone back to my “normal” self.
Dz-chick…in a probing mood

Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Algerian dream - Altered

Dreams like plans are often altered; yesterday I dreamt I was swimming in a beautiful calm blue sea, when a singing dwarf appeared and started howling the national anthem, I told him to shut up so he transformed into a shark and chased me then I woke up….

My Algerian dream was of moving back to Algeria, farm broccoli and Brussels’ sprouts and import Salmon which lets face it, sounds like hard work and I am Algerian, I like to know where my next income is coming from, I am not the one to take risks, I like to get paid at the end of each month whether I showed up or not, and I stash my money in the mattress bank.

Nowadays I dream of working in Algeria, get a job in Algiers at one of those big Banks in Hydra or some major Oil company that pays double my fucking London salary…seriously! I work my butt off; I pay exorbitant rent to live a poxy flat that I have to share with someone and their needy cat.

I am not done – I have to pay bills on top of that, water, electivity, gas and then come a series of taxes; Council tax, Road Tax, VAT on nearly EVERYTHING, TV Licence because you own a TV then you have to pay Virgin or Sky to rip you off with lousy Internet connection and a bunch of encoded channels that scramble on a windy day!

My little cousin, who has the IQ of a garden pest and who is about 10 years younger than me, has a job that pays almost the same as me after tax!! And I know this because in Algeria everybody discusses salaries in cafés, restaurants, buses, doctor’s waiting rooms, everybody knows everybody’s salary, your mum will boast about it when her friends come around, your brother will inform his friends as a reference and your friend will tell her other friend your salary not to sell you short. Good catch!

My little cousin who’s name is Celia - since when do we have names like Celia? -  I make a point of calling her Sellia to bring out the Arabic in her,

She lives with her parents – rent free - no bills, utilities or taxes are imposed on her, her boyfriend pays for her phone bill (flexi) because she’s only supposed to be calling him! - Chuckles - she drives a brand new Seat Leon and doesn’t have to pay for petrol because the company gives her coupons to pay for her “commuting” – honey, 15 minutes drive to work isn’t commuting!

Sellia is getting married this winter to the young man by the name of Massinissa who sends flexis to her phone, he drives a black Audi Q7, lives in a Villa in Hydra (with a pool), his mother is a gynaecologist and his father is a high ranking government official, naturally, Massi has a great job, his job title is “Superintendant des operations internes et chargé de synthese techniques” (What??) and he makes around £7000 a month. Good catch!

Sellia tells me I ought to move back to Algeria, she’d introduce me to some “interesting” guys (by interesting she means rich and speak good French) and have me married by next year, all I have to do is bring my booty, my charisma, IQ, fun and my fur coat she wants, another inflicted tax…roouuuh

I tell her I am angry, cynical, mostly moody, and lunatic
I don’t even own my own flat and I am 34 going on 35. The jig is up! NOT a Good catch

Dz-Chick…Chief Operating of interactions and data Guerilla!

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