Thursday 5 June 2014


Another awesome post in our series of readers all around the world... SOUMIA tells us what it's like to live in Algeria!

Soumia says:
I am seventeen years old and I live in Algeria, a country in North Africa. The capital is Algiers, and it's called the 'white city' (La Ville Blanche) as the buildings are all white. The languages here are Arabic and French... Algeria was once occupied by the French but we got our independence in 1962 after a long struggle.

At middle school I struggled a little and so I made a fresh start at high school. I had been known as the 'best friend' of the popular girl and I had also been ill, but I got better and changed my style. I made some great friends who were honest and mature and accepted me for who I am.

We are very proud to be a muslim country - we are a very generous people. Ramadan is a month we wait for every year, when we do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sundown. My mum wakes the family at 4am to do 'sohor' which means eating something to help us though the day. Towards sundown, my sister and I help my mother to prepare food to break the fast;
I'll make 'bourak' as it's easy, my sister makes salad and my mum makes 'shourba', a soup we eat all month as it's full of vitamins to help us cope. The picture above is of shourba! Fasting is expected of everyone except for children, the sick and those travelling. The purpose is to feel understanding of homeless people who don't have a thing to eat or drink; you gradually see how hard it is for them and eventually you help them. We also eat tajeen, a very delicious bread. At other times of the year, we eat couscous, a grain-based dish with meat and vegetables (pictured) which is eaten every Friday to keep the tradition of our elders.

Girls in Algeria wear the hijab which is a scarf that we put on to cover our hair; in our religion, the woman is not allowed to show her body parts to any man except her husband. It is up to girls to decide whether they wish to cover their hair or not, but I do... I like it. I feel beautiful in the hijab and I think it makes people focus on your inner beauty; they don't get distracted by anything else. Some girls, though, are obliged to wear it by their parents, as some fathers would do anything to save their daughters from harm. They think that if a girl wears inappropriate clothes, it could bring her troubles. There is also the 'koftan' which is a traditional dress women wear to ceremonies or weddings - there are several different kinds of koftan.

Overall, I am very happy and proud to live in Algeria... it is a beautiful country.

Cathy says:
I love Soumia's account of life in Algeria... it helps me to imagine and understand a country I have never been able to visit. COMMENT BELOW if you enjoyed this post or would like to share an account of life where YOU live with DREAMCATCHER...


  1. I am a Muslim too and celebrate Ramadhan. Shourba sounds really nice,I would love to try it some day!:) I wear a hijaab and my friend has once been to Algeria. She too believes its a fab country! ;)

  2. I've really enjoyed reading about Algeria. I work with a boy who has Down's Syndrome and is from Algeria. He is very proud of his home country but isn't able to tell me much about it. This post gives me a great insight. Thanks.

  3. Soumia's home seems wonderful and her traditions are very respectful!



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