Before expanding my thoughts on this subject, I want to make it clear that the purpose of this blog post is not to make you adopt a particular perspective or change your mind in order to agree with what I am saying. I want to shed light on some facts that are either kept untold or purposefully dismissed in our day to day conversations.
I left Washington DC Airport thrilled and excited to arrive in Algeria because I had missed my family, friends, the places I hang out in, and the funny conversations that we have all the time even when we try to describe how messed up the place is. As I arrived, I received many looks of wonder and surprise. I was repetitively asked by people who had no idea what I was doing in the US why I decided to come back. Especially during a period when nothing is certain with all the clowns that are running the mainstream political discussions. Given that I didn’t know how to give a short answer that could somehow sum up all that I wanted to say, I always responded by: « It depends on what you want in life ».
It wasn’t clear to me until now that many people are caught in the thought that all their problems will vanish once they leave the country.
I know people who spend money on drugs and would answer that not doing that means going insane in Algeria. Others will tell you that they waste hours in coffee shops or going after girls in public places because “it’s Algeria”. In America, you will have to motivate yourself to get out of bed on a very hot day to go to work or study. You will have to discipline yourself to focus on class and to do boring homework when you get home. You will meet many stupid people and individuals with improper behaviors too. You will see people who would demonize a person because he happens to be white. Others will claim that some blacks are either successful because they received affirmative action or they’re poor because they must have wasted their life in drugs or alcohol.
A lot of bullshit that plays on daily conversations.
I do not try to make it sound like the social life in Algeria is anyway better. I am simply saying that life is more than the dust you complain about in the street. It seems that we lack depth in the way we see things, and what we want to dedicate our lives to.
I see people dropping out of school, refuse to take internships, or join a class to learn a new language and it is somehow the fault of the place. I know people who couldn’t afford public and private schools for sure. However, even when these people finally make it somewhere, most of them waste money because of bad decisions.
I am not a patriotic person who will tell you how much I love the flag and the country when you can’t relate to what I’m feeling. However, If you think that your greatest battle in this life is to leave Algeria for a better place, then you will realize after finally leaving that life is a series of battles. Being focused on winning one battle today to lose for the one that comes tomorrow is not a wise decision. It would be much better if you focus on developing the winning personality that will make you go forward in life. To win and conquer wherever you are. Education and Knowledge of self and character
Author : Abdelwaheb Ait Tayeb.