Africa must find its NorthToday I want to scream. My words are like embers. They burn my mouth. I can not keep rehashing. I must spit them out.
This morning, after several years, I finally dared to look at my papers. I scanned my passport and my identity card. They are green. It was printed by the color of Islam. The information can be in Arabic.
I have returned. I have wrinkled. I have peeled. There is no language of my mother.
These documents do not name me. They deny me. The authorities have made me what I have not been. Kabyle, the ID card is called nekwa. In other words, whoever is on that document, it’s me. However, there is no “me” in the Algerian official documents. There is another. There denial. There are false. There absurdity.
Berber is the modern version of the native. To exist, it must wield the colors of his masters. Africa lost its north, said the poet. The North seeks. He foot in Africa and head East. It’s called the Maghreb. Sometimes the Arab Maghreb. Whenever someone pronounce this name, he planted a knife into the chest of the Amazigh children.
Algeria is the identity sustentée lie. The identity lies spawned amnesia. Amnesia gave birth to self-hatred. Self-hatred fed colonized the complex. The colonized the complex has produced men of resentment. Men resentment gave birth of children from violence.
Who am I ? I do not know my way. I do not know my destination. I wander like a sleepwalker. Lost in the whirlpools of time, looking for me a lifeline. Behind the desert pursues me. In front, the cold threatens me.
Where is the horizon?
Where is the language of my mother? Where is the religion of my father? Where is the memory of my land? Where is the history of my ancestors? Where are their footsteps? Where are their impressions?
There is nothing in school, nothing in the villages, not in the cities, nothing in the trees, nothing in the hovels, nothing on the graves.
Nothing here. Nothing there. Nothing everywhere.
Sad fate that the settlers carved in stone.
Nobody tells the truth. African sages have understood long before me, until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will continue to glorify the hunter.
We are generous with those who oppress us. We exist only through their actions. Our dreams are as big as our dreams. We want to abolish frontiers. But we lack logic. Universalism is a luxury that chained beings can not afford. We belong to a people without a voice. Our nation is invisible.
When will we realize that history is not the ally of the defeated? She is the mistress of the powerful.
A people without a state is like a barnyard dog. He obeys the state that holds the leash.
We too heard the dream merchants. Identities are not all deadly. Ours and many others are wounded. Long since we live on the outskirts of the world.
We speak as the colon. We eat like him. We laugh as her daughters. Our cheeks blush as her cheeks. We are his shadow. To move forward, we follow. To live, we copy it. Our art is his art. Our nightmares are hallucinations. We imitate his movements. We cavalons when he runs. We retreat when he hesitates. He bequeathed his clothes. He found old shoes at our feet. We react when he attacks us. We recroquevillons when goads us. It is he who imposes laws. It is the maneuver. We are in tow. Our steps are punctuated by the rhythm of his heart. He shaped us with its mold.We are the illegitimate children of its civilization.We are not worth much. We waste. He sacrificed on the altar of our rapacity.
We are his folklore. We are his hobby. We are the entertainment. We are his jesters. It controls our mind. He killed our germs. He stifled our buds. We do not have the right to flourish in our humus. He rescued us from our roots. He planted us in the rockery. He threw us in the clutches of slavery.
We are the products sold at the market of ignorance and contempt. Once eaten, we will be thrown into the garbage dump of history.
When I was born, I was stuck in “Arab” label.When I die, I’ll be buried “Muslim”.My birth certificate is a death certificate.I do not exist. Neither in life nor in death.
I am an odor. I am a rumor. I’m the whisper of a foreign bird. I am the whisper of the wind.
I belong to a repudiated people, robbed of their land and their rights. I am relegated to the administered.
The story handed me a double trap. In the eyes of the Oriental, I’m a little Western because I am secular and open to the world. To the Westerner, I am an Oriental, being an exotic, an Arab, a Muslim.Tossed between East and West, invaded by General Oqba and conquered by Napoleon, we watch the waves pass the time.
We are spectators of an ungrateful world that crushes us.Not having an official existence, I created a fictitious existence, in books, in stories, on the boards of theaters.Is it not high time that Africa finds its north?