Saturday, July 16, 2016

So Your Character is From Algeria ... Featuring Ahmina Dahman

It's time for this month's So Your Character is From Another Country! This is a monthly or bimonthly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's So Your Character is From Liberia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Algeria is another country I haven't given much though to until this post, but Amina has really widened my understanding of this part of Africa!


Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts are as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

My name’s Amina Dahman, I was born in 29th June 1997 in Blida, Algeria where I still live. I’m currently a student and enjoy studying makeup and hairstyling. I have a Youtube channel where I enjoy sharing my tips, tutorials, DIYs, lifehacks, and other things with people. I love writing books, but I’m still a beginner at it.

What do you feel is unique to your country?Landmarks? Celebrations?

Here are the top 10 facts make me feel that Algeria’s special:

1. Algeria is the largest country by area in Africa. Before 2011, when South Sudan became independent, Sudan was the largest. 

2. The Sahara Desert covers 80 per cent of Algeria.

3. Over a million Algerians were killed in the fight for independence from France in 1962.
4. Algeria has competed in every summer Olympics since 1964, winning five gold medals.

5. They twice won each of the men’s and women’s 1500 metres. The other one was for boxing.

6. The only people born in Algeria to have won Nobel Prizes were Albert Camus (Literature 1957) and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Physics, 1997).

7. Camus played as a goalkeeper in the football team for the University of Algiers, which may therefore be the world’s only university to have had a Nobel Prize-winning goalkeeper in its team.

8. In 2007, a court in Algeria had to rule on the ownership of a donkey which had eaten the money brought by a purchaser for its sale.

9. Then highest temperature ever recorded in Algeria was 51C (123.8F) in August 2011.

10. St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was the most famous Algerian of all. Hippo is now Annaba.

Here are some of the important landmarks:

The Botanical Garden of Hamma, The Ketchaoua Mosque, The Maqam Echahid, Bardo National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography, Notre Dame d'Afrique, The Basilique Saint Augustin, National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers, Tassili n'Ajjer, Beni Hammad Fort, The M'zab, The national park of El Kala, The Atlas mountains, Gouraya National Park, The Museum of Antiquities, The Ahmed Zabana National Museum, Great Mosque Of Algiers, Great Mosque Of Tlemcen, Ben Aknoun Zoo.

And here are some important celebrations for us: Celebrations: 

New Year’s Day, Mawlid, Labor Day, Independence Day, Eid Ul-fitr, Eid Ul-Adha, Anniversary of the Revolution, Islamic New Year, Ashura.

Sahara Desert

Notre Dame d'Afrique

Eid Ul-fitr Sweets
Tell me about your country's environment. What are some of your favorite places?

In Algeria, there’s not too much noise or people outside. It’s a calm environment and let me say that there’s not so much you can do comparing to activities that we find in developed countries.

Some of my favorite places here are mosques, Museums and Gardens.

Botanical Garden of Hamma

Tell me about your country's food. What are some of your favorite dishes?

Algeria is famous of it’s delicious and tasty food and well known of her traditional dishes like Couscous, Rishta, Shakshuka and others. And my favorite dishes are the traditional dishes.

Tell me about any different speech patterns in your country. Slang? Idioms? Words for things such as “biscuits” instead of “cookies”?

There are different slangs and idioms in Algeria and here’s some examples:

chabikhkem of hamlakhkem - I love you 
ckhamimakh felam - I think about you 
srajikhkem - I wait for you 
targourkame- I dream of you 
alwakte a drouhad - when are you coming?
arwah - come 
eni jaya! - I am coming! 
azel - quickly 
ouliye - heart  

Algeria Capital, Algiers
Describe briefly a regular day in your country. 

I wake up early if I have school or work. Get clothed, have my breakfast which breakfast is most of the times coffee (kahwa) and cake (halwa). 12 p.m. is lunch time. Lunch is prepared in the morning at about 09am by my mother. Afternoon at about 04 p.m. or 05 p.m. there’s coffee and cake again. After coffee I sometimes like to go out and have fun (visit friends, family or to garden…). In the night from 09 p.m. it’s dinner time. I go to bed at midnight after checking my social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

Algerian Coffee Store
How does your country compare to others, especially the States since my audience is primarily American? Environmentally? Politically? Culturally?

If Algeria were your home instead of The United States you would...
  • Be 3.5 times more likely to die in infancy
  • Be 41.1% more likely to be unemployed
  • Make 85.8% less money
  • Spend 96.87% less money on health care
  • Use 92.88 % less electricity
  • Consume 86.13% less oil
  • Die 3.17 years sooner
  • Be 76.79% less likely to be in prison
  • Be 65.79% less likely to be murdered
  • Experience 21.65% less of a class divide
  • Be 83.33% less likely to have HIV/AIDS
  • Have 78.76% more babies
Algerian Oil Plant
What are some stereotypes about your country that irk you?

There’s no stereotypes that irk me.

What media portrays your country badly be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?

I think my country is so bad at making movies.

Algerian Film
What media portrays your country well be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?

Good at T.V. shows.

Who are your top three favorite characters native to your country in books, movies, or shows?

1.) Moufdi Zakaria;, was an Algerian poet and writer. He wrote "Kassaman", the Algerian national anthem while in prison in 1955.

2.) Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", is a retired French footballer and current manager of Real Madrid. He played as an attacking midfielder for the France national team, Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid.

3.) Fatma Zohra Chouib, Miss Algeria 2014

Fatma Zohra Chouib, Miss Algeria 2014

Thank you, Amina, for this very informative post! I hope everyone enjoyed reading it. Come back next month for So Your Character is From Thailand ... featuring Melissa Grav!

Are you interested in participating in this project? Slots for Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, New Zealand, the Philippines, Liberia, and Algeria have been filled, but if you are from any other country, shoot me an email at howellvictoriagrace(a)gmail(dot)com.

Do you have any Algerian characters? Did this inspire you to write an Algerian character or set a book in Algeria? Are from this country and you have further input? Feel free to share! Do you have any questions for Amina? Be sure to thank her!

If you liked this post, come back every other Tuesday for book reviews; Friday for tags, character interviews, and link-ups; Saturdays for writing advice and life updates; and Sundays for the Writerly Bundle which includes a new soundtrack piece, vocabulary word, and tea review!

You may also like:
So Your Character is From Liberia ... Featuring Lucy Buller

No comments:

Post a Comment