Racism in the US is nothing compared to this - “What happened to your hair?” “Your Algerians, your good believers there, they burned my hair!”
Tuesday, June 09, 2020
Aïcha, 28 years old
Jihad Watch : Amid riots and mass hysteria over “systemic racism” in the U.S. that
doesn’t exist, here is some real racism in Algeria, as told by its
“Aïcha, 28 years old,” translated from “Aïcha, 28 ans,” Goethe-Institut, May 6, 2020 :
I have been living in Constantine for 6 years. I came
from Mali for my studies. It’s my family who chose Algeria. I wanted to
go to the United States or Canada, but my parents preferred to send me
to a Muslim country. For me, the important thing was to be free and
Before coming, I thought that Algeria was an open country, where
people lived well together. But when I got to the airport, I was
shocked. They were staring at us, pointing at us and someone shouted:
“welcome to Algeria, kahloucha!” I remember that word very well, I
didn’t know it was an insult yet.
The day I arrived at the university campus, it was the same, we were
hooted. Later, in the street, my hair was in an afro, a young man put a
cigarette in my hair. It set fire to my hair and made a hole. An old
lady came to help me put out the fire. Everyone laughed. I began to run,
I was crying. It was then that some nice girls taught me to insult in
the Algerian dialect.
The more I went outside, the more I was assaulted, insulted or hit.
All the time, it was: “kahloucha” (black, pejorative), “kahloucha zobbi”
(black my dick), “nik mok” (fuck your mother), roh bledek (go back to
your country). I still had fear, a lump in my stomach. There has never
been a day without my being assaulted, beaten or having my hair pulled. I
fell into a terrible depression, the beginning of madness. I walked
around carrying a stick to defend myself.
I couldn’t stand life here, I couldn’t even go out of my room, and in
the first year, I attempted suicide. A week later, my family came to
pick me up. I could not go back because I was ashamed that my community
would see me as incapable of studying, they do not know what is going on
Constantine is a particularly conservative city, it’s much worse than
in Algiers or Bejaïa. The boys are constantly attacking us. If they see
a girl alone on the street, they go crazy. They throw stones at you,
they stone you. I felt like everyone wanted to hurt me. So I started to
respond with violence. They hit me, I hit them, they hit me, I hit them.
All my school years, it was fights morning, noon and evening. I didn’t
even know that I had so much violence inside me, but in Algeria, it made
everything come out.
On campus, some girls told me that I was beautiful, but it was to
make fun of me. Others were so shocked to see a black girl that they
froze or screamed and ran away. Sometimes, some came to apologize
afterwards. I made friends, too, who really were there for me and
invited me into their family. These friendships are the best part of my
years in Constantine.
Thanks to me, a lot has changed at the college. At first, the foreign
students spoke very little with the Algerians, they kept their
headphones on so as not to be disturbed. They had no way to defend
themselves, no place to complain. But me, every time someone insulted
me, I got into a fight and I went to the administration. It was from
there that black students began to be respected. One day a girl said to
me, “Thanks to you, now I can take off my headphones, they don’t even
insult me anymore.” It was with violence that I made myself respected.
Among the black students we therefore created something like a
family, with a lot of solidarity. The older students took care of the
new ones. As soon as one of us had a problem, we were all there.
The administration says it is there for us. Indeed, we can file a
complaint against those who attack us and the administration sanctions
them with up to a year of suspension. But it does nothing to educate the
students, apart from sharing us by working group so that we mix with
the Algerians. They want us to integrate, but they don’t want
integration. Many girls have experienced racism even from the teachers. A
teacher asked a girl, “Are you a man or a woman? With blacks, I can’t
tell the difference.”
Algerian society, I see it closed and racist. Blacks are still seen
by many as slaves, as an inferior race. Here, the images that we are
shown of black Africa, it is the disease, the famine, people who live in
remote villages without any civilization. Few documentaries air on
Africa, African history is not taught, and Algerians do not see
themselves as Africans. They should be taught that both the people who
come from large countries and they, too, are African. They don’t know
anything about their history, just the Algerian revolution and the dark
decade, so how can they respect black people? Society brutalized them.
They are like sheep, while those in power get rich.
When I got home, my mother expected to see me religious, with the
hijab. I had a shaved head like a rock n’roll star. The poor girl at the
airport almost had a heart attack. She said to me, “Where were you?”
“Well, I was in Algeria!” “But what happened to your hair?” “Your
Algerians, your good Muslims there, they burned my hair!”