Wait, Where Are You From Again?

Algiers, Algeria

When asked where I’m from, I usually reply ‘Minneapolis’ but many times the asker is referring to where I’m ORIGINALLY from; and to that I answer: Algiers, Algeria. The asker might then nod their head knowingly although I’m pretty sure they have no clue where Algeria is located or even heard of the region before.

Born to two Algerian parents, I spent the first 4 years of my life in the hustle and bustle of Algiers. Surrounded by family, living in an area where my father had gone to college, my mother generally was familiar with and being the only child, life was handed to me on a silver platter (gold was pretty pricy then). Through the stories my parents have told throughout the years and watching home videos I know we lived a comfortable happy life. I also know that I loved going to the ‘sooq’ on Thursday mornings with my mother and though I had dropped the egg basket one too many times…. ok that’s beside the point.

Born to two Algerian parents, I spent the first 4 years of my life in the hustle and bustle of Algiers. Surrounded by family, living in an area where my father had gone to college, my mother generally was familiar with and being the only child, life was handed to me on a silver platter (gold was pretty pricy then). Through the stories my parents have told throughout the years and watching home videos I know we lived a comfortable happy life. I also know that I loved going to the ‘sooq’ on Thursday mornings with my mother and though I had dropped the egg basket one too many times, that’s beside the point.

I celebrated my fourth birthday in England and soon after traveled to New York City. Although my parents were used to hustle and bustle of cities, NYC posed another kind of buzz. Due to the strangeness of this new city the noise seemed nosier, the traffic seemed crazier and the people seemed less welcoming. On top of all that, my parent’s valued their sleep schedules (and I don’t blame them, they had an energetic four year old in tow) and living in the city that never sleeps didn’t fly so well.

Fast forward a couple years, my parent’s and I were settled living in Minneapolis.

Since then, many things have changed and many things have stayed the same. Our family has since grown and we’ve moved a couple times to accommodate but the smell of home brewed coffee in the morning, the taste of mama’s couscous has not changed, and sometimes when I walk through areas of Minneapolis I am welcomed by a smell that reminds me vaguely of Algeria. It may not be surrounding me in my life but it’s in my heart and on my mind.

Far7 we Aman

~Amina

Definitions:

Sooq: The marketplace (imagine a farmer’s market, add 3,000 more people selling a large assortment of things ranging from bananas to baby clothing)

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