Maher Mezahi reflects on moving between his two "home countries" - Algeria and Canada.

Viewpoint: The privilege of being the child of immigrants

In our series of Letters from African Scholars, Algerian-Canadian writer Maher Mozahi reflects on his years in Algeria while preparing for another assignment elsewhere.

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Lately, I've been thinking about the honor that I and various offspring of strangers have over our own people.

I first saw discrimination during my childhood experience in Canada and observed the Gulf in the levels of consolation between first and second-age workers.

The elderly would sneak in eggshells when it came to asserting their liberties, as if they were afraid to be sent home immediately even after naturalization.

They also conveyed a kind of mental weight, which is the understanding that we are somehow or another representative of a more inclusive sector, and therefore we had an obligation to portray a positive image.

However, accompany this negative tension of being a settler as well as the positive advantage of having two nationalities and two homes often.

There comes a point in having a wildly largely alienated life when the possibility of moving to the "original" country, and finding that subsequent home, is really contemplated.

Sociologists have called privacy "reverse migration," particularly when it relates to individuals moving from the West to less affluent countries.

For some, the move is motivated by the element of segregation in their home countries.

This could be based on religion - in Algeria, for example, there is a vast locality of French-Algerian Salafi Muslims who don't feel they can exercise their confidence as they would in France.

Others pointed to bias and the rise of ultra-conservative developments.

No more racial profiling
For me, the point went way back, after completing my degree in the way of thinking in Canada, but instead of something driving me away from Canada, the open doors that drew me to Algeria drew me in.

I needed to get close to the piece of my family that I had just been able to see during the summer trips, I needed to work on my Arabic and above all, I needed to find a career in broadcasting African football news.

Like other Muslim families, we did manage to deal with some intolerance after the 9/11 attacks, but those events, which existed more than twenty years ago, were separated and did not reflect the benefit of everyone there.

There is, however, something particularly valuable about the stay where I felt like I had an impact.

There are many great football columnists in North Africa who write in both Arabic and French, but not many of them at the same time are in English.

Accordingly, I felt like I was starting something new, or at any rate having a greater impact than if I had done similar work in Canada.

After landing, I got an initial look at the extravagance I had that my family members didn't do on the go.

Without precedent in my life, so far I have not had a place in the "notable minority" group. There was no weight or fear of being labeled on race or ethnicity at any point and it was a truly liberating experience.

Better quality of living
The subsequent honor was that I walked into a generously rewarded TV channel job with little insight, mainly in light of the fact that I grew up communicating in English and focused abroad.

At that time there was a great deal of good energy in Algiers.

A few dozen exceptionally qualified Algerians from the diaspora who were also my age needed to take a stab at living in Algeria and promoting their respectable fields.

Furthermore, it wasn't as if our lifestyles had decisively declined.

In fact, in the event that you get a decent compensation, it is better to live in a few African countries than to live elsewhere.

You really can't beat the climate, the typical cost of many everyday items, and the simple velocity of life.

Maher Mozahi
Seven years after returning home, I am currently practicing another honor: to leave”
Maher Mozahi
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Despite this, it is clear that a certain luster has erupted from this side of the Mediterranean in recent years.

The Covid-19 pandemic cut Algeria off from the world and the resulting financial hardship saved no one.

To exacerbate the situation, the crackdown in the aftermath of the 2019 enemy government battles left little room for disillusionment in open discussions.

Seven years after “coming home,” I am currently practicing another honor: to leave.

Having the option of meeting and withdrawing from the country leads to blame.

In some cases I ask myself: "What gives you the option to travel in all the ways you see fit?"

Of the many imbalances I've seen here, none have been more evident than those that come about because of inconsistencies in where the individuals were conceived.

A month ago, I was at a round table with a prominent Algerian creator and an unfamiliar writer.

The latter option asked the former why he would prefer not to live in Europe.

"While you have the opportunity to go back and forth, it wasn't very tempting," he replied.

"Do you see this Mediterranean?" He kept highlighting the entrance in Oran.

"For a traveler, it is a welcome sight. In any case, for a young man who is out of work without any means throughout daily life, it is an encapsulation of oppression."

Indeed, mentally, I felt more liberated here, yet I likewise discovered the honor of owning various places I could call home and the consequences of that for individuals who could not.
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