BY HAMZAH DERBAZI
With almost 5 million Algerians in France, the Algerian-French are still suffering between the two Mediterranean countries, as they are still discriminated for being Algerians in France and despised being French in Algeria.
When the brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi terrorized France (i.e. Charlie Hebdo) in January, the French news media didn’t miss the opportunity to refer to their Algerian origin, though they were born, raised and educated in France and held French passports.
Meanwhile the Algerian-French aren’t very welcomed by the locals in Algeria; ‘I do not like les émigrés’, a 23-year-old student in Algiers said bluntly. ‘When they come here, they always complain about the dirty streets and all our flaws. When they come on vacation, they show off their euros and invade the very few tourist places we have, while they live of welfare in Europe’.
The struggle continues on the other side of the Mediterranean; ‘We were born to suffer’, another said. ‘In Algeria, I play dumb so no one can notice my French accent, and in France, they do not want us to find a way out from the projects we live in. Racism breeds revolt, which in turn accentuates racism. It’s a Catch-22’.
And according to some of them, the solution is easy; ‘They should put us on an island somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean, right between France and Algeria, and leave us there.’