Algeria: 50 years of holidays in Bled

Each year, the Zourane family poses for a traditional group photo on the heights of Skikda (Algeria). Here Senna and his three daughters in 2009.

In Zourane sisters, holidays back home are long parts of Bergerac. In this wine Dordogne, wise province where their father, a mason, had landed in 1962, there was exactly fifty years, every August, we loaded the Renault 18 break to the roof. Their mother had packed for several months shopping bags piled it around the house, warning: "That's for Algeria!" Inside, there was perfume, soap, coffee. A bunch of small gifts to improve the ordinary family. The packages were then wedged under the legs of passengers. The door was closed. Then the car began to move, ready for 600 kilometers of road to the port of Marseille.

Dalila, Lynda and Malika tell it today, 30 years ago, between a laugh and two puffs of nostalgia. They can hum by heart, hilarious, Tonton du bled, a song of the rap group 113 released in 1999. "504 wagon loaded, go, get the nephews Just a moment I put the roof on the big blue trunk (.) The management port, two days walk on the floor until Marseille with the car a little bent. " The title has become a cult children's "second generation."

THE GREAT MIGRATION SUMMER

In 1994, Zourane moved to Saint-Laurent-du-Var, the Alpes-Maritimes. The Dordogne countryside no longer offered enough work in the building for the father. The family has traded in his house against an F5 housing project. But the great summer migration has never suffered. While Algeria celebrated on July 5, the fiftieth anniversary of its independence, vacation memories of the three sisters write hollow the country's history as well as the route of many families in the diaspora.

Pretty brown, wasp waists, they can talk for hours about these holidays back home they could not live without. In the family apartment on the top floor of a building in sensitive area of ​​Point-du-Jour, Delilah says that regular colleagues ask him where she goes on vacation. As always, she replied: "In Algeria." And each time, the same fuse exclamation: "Encore!" "Before that annoyed me, but now I do not answer," she said.

She is happy with her sisters, to bring out the old photo albums.

See: portfolio "mild summers sisters Zourane"

At the foot of the apartment of their parents, the fast lane along loudly the whole ramshackle bars. Spouses Zourane are now among the oldest tenants. They decorated their level of green plants and a small wooden gate. From the balcony, you can guess the sea, the horizon, and hidden behind Algeria.

To represent what had looked like the first return Zourane in Algeria, he had to appeal to the memories of the mother, Senna, 56 years. As in photo albums, no trace of this summer 1978. Retired from his job as a canteen, she now spends with her husband three months a year in the house they have patiently built over the years, Algeria.

The phone, Senna Zourane however, is not very comfortable to describe his inner feelings. She only remembers that "Delilah barely worked" and it was "Malek, the second in a basket." She was 21 and had arrived in France three years ago. The young woman left her children then present to the family. It was also the first homecoming of Lakdar her husband, mustachioed silent since he had left Algeria at the age of 15 years.

The first memories in pictures Dalila, Lynda and Malika them are related to long boat ride that marked generations of Algerians. No date on pictures to color outdated 1980s. But those are now well established and independent young women - respectively HR in airline catering company, caregiver and municipal employee - there appear, on the deck, girls excited. "For us, this was the real start of the holiday." Thirty hours of crossing between Marseilles and Algiers, it was the beginning of freedom.

It was, of course, bear the night sitting on chairs at the edge of aging vessels, where it happened that sink "comes off the bathroom wall" as says Malika. But concerts rai meublaient hours of insomnia. The premises also flirts: "Among young people, it is grouped by region and asked:" Where are you going, you "?" Delilah smiled. It was Skikda. A pretty coastal town is 230 km from the Tunisian border.

The boat is also the secret theater of their transformation into small "model immigrant". One hour before arrival in Algiers, their mother insisted they change their tangled mops and paint. She then helped to put new clothes and shoes shined. So, she thought, the benefits of migration would have more influence with the family waiting at the harbor entrance.

"THE COUSINES OF FRANCE"

A Skikda, if someone wanted to town, he asked where were the "immigrant Nice." Family, very proud, the presented: "These are our cousins ​​in France." Three sisters recall having been more than once taken some pretext on the balcony, so that the neighbors can see their presence. "I feel like a nice bike," joked Delilah.

They also remember the curiosity aroused by the fact that they lived in France. "Often, we were promised," If you say a word in Arabic, I buy you an ice cream "," says Lynda. Finally came the fateful question: "What do you prefer: France or Algeria" As the sisters Zourane sincerely answered "Algeria," they heard saying, "Why, it's full of holes here!"

Siblings, which grew in 1987 by a small Samir store today in the air, must actually learn to adapt to differences in comfort between their home and their French Algerian housing. Malika evokes water cuts and bathtubs that mouth open faucet, if the water would. "Sometimes it was in the middle of the night. Everyone shouted "It happens!" "

At this time also, Algeria suffers food shortages. Lynda remembers that they were sent, with their cousins, the queue at the grocery store. "We asked:" What are we waiting for? " The cousin replied: "Bread" ". "For two months, we had to forget all our eating habits," added Delilah. Exceptions: Nutella and chocolate Nesquik, brought from Nice to improve the breakfast.

While in some of these stories have signed sustainable rejection charms stays back home, the squat toilet have left memories of endless constipation, sisters Zourane they do remember that the beach days and nights Eastern music. An image summarizes, in their eyes, the years of gentleness that they pose with their aunts and cousins ​​in swimsuit two pieces in the sea: "People lived free, at the time," points Delilah. The arrival of Islamist terrorism will change everything.

AT THE HEART OF THE "TRIANGLE OF DEATH"

Guennaz the family, a bricklayer father seven children, also lives in the Nice area. Holiday back home were always as important as in Zourane ritual. But the decade of violence that is ravaging Algeria in 1991 marked their summer vacations. The Guennaz are from two small towns south of Algiers: Guerrouaou, a quarter of an hour of Blida, the father's side, and Ouled Chebel, 30 km from Setif, the side of the mother. But while Skikda was relatively untouched by the civil war, Guennaz, them, will find themselves in the heart of the "triangle of death" between Blida, Medea and Ain Defla.

They agree to meet on Sunday to talk about a couscous with merguez-the eldest of the siblings, Youcef, 39. For six years, athletic beard could become owner of a house in a village in the hinterland of Nice, where he is the only Maghreb. Owner of a security company, is happy to have eradicated the difficult area of ​​Moulins, in Nice, where his parents still live with his younger brothers and sisters.

The family landed against her in 1993 in this area of ​​great sets that did not take advantage of paint strokes of urban renewal. The Guennaz then shook seven F4 in Cimiez, a residential area of ​​Nice. Looking for a bigger apartment, they never found better than Mills: "There, we rent to Arabs," said their real estate agencies.

YEARS BLACK

Goucem, mother, red jilbab, arrived in France for forty years. It was she who made photo albums. At his side stand Yacine, his third son, 35 years in the retail seller, Amina, 30 years, seven months pregnant and holds a master's degree in management administration. Redouane and the youngest, coffreur in construction. But those dark years that shook the family, like other immigrants from the region, tell more than they show.

For Youcef, this period corresponds to a black hole: he had to give six years to his summers relaxing at home. Unlike his siblings, he was born in Algeria. It is in the arms of his mother that he arrived in France at the age of 6 months. But in 1991, when the fighting starts between the government and the Islamists, he just turned 18. It is therefore considered by Algeria as a potential called. "For immigrants, I knew it was hard, he says. They were sent to the South, where it is very hot. " He finally succeeds in getting exempt.

The joyous holiday mood also cools after the hijacking in 1994 of an Air France by a group of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). "From the airport, there were soldiers everywhere, we were put in a separate terminal, with the impression of being potential terrorists," said the family. At that time, with the democratization of air travel, Guennaz began to prefer the plane. The boat is no longer used only by parents who drive the car alone, especially full of furniture to equip the house.

While many immigrants in France will limit their holidays during this period, the spouses Guennaz, them will keep their trips and seasonal return with their young children. Their relatives try to dissuade them. But Goucem Guennaz has always kept his month Algerian sun. Sometimes he even have homesick and cry: "When I had just arrived in France, I watched from the balcony planes take off and I imagined they were in Algeria."

THIRTY-SIX YEARS FOR A PALACE

The Guennaz are also motivated by the desire to advance the work of the purchased when they first return to Ouled Chebel in 1976 home. This is the major project of the father, Yacoub. In January, he celebrated his 65th birthday and retirement, largely devoted to supervise the finishing touches. A force, remains almost became a palace: 600 square meters with a terrace, a large patio, a long garden, and a huge garage. A house that will Yacoub Guennaz spent more than thirty-six years of vacation.

These summers bled 1990s are marked by the death of several family members. Goucem Guennaz be remembered for a life of this first day of vacation, where she had landed in Algiers with children and luggage, when he was informed of the death of a nephew whom she was close. At the end of his work, the young man was hit by a bomb that targeted a military truck.

At that time, in his apartment in Nice, Goucem Guennaz also avidly follows the Algerian information. This time, the drama surprises when she is watching the news. It recognizes the face of two cousins ​​among the victims slaughtered in a slaughter. "She then rushed to the phone booth to call the family who confirmed the news," said Youcef. His mother still has trouble talking about this episode was so devastated.

In Algeria, Goucem Guennaz will eventually prohibit their children to speak loudly when the French are in the street. She knows the resentment aroused by the former colonizer. In the summer of 1997, however, this set will cause anguish she still remembers. That day, she is at the beach with his kids, when suddenly, Faiza's twin Redouane missing. The girl is now 7 years old. "For several hours, I returned all the sand," said his mother pictorially, with his timid voice. She'll find her at the police: "She did not dare say a word, lest they recognize his accent."

Such tensions are then in Algeria, a new wave of immigrants will land in France. Most belong to the upper classes. They are lawyers, academics and doctors. But for them, traveling in Algeria are more frequent, shorter stays a week or fortnight, just enough time to visit relatives. For summer vacation, they can go both in Italy and on the Normandy coast.

CELEBRATING LIFE STAGES

In Guennaz and Zourane, from most popular media, it is summer, back home, that are celebrated all stages of life: circumcisions, engagements, weddings. It is also Ouled Chebel, August 19, 1989, the eve of returning to France, that gave birth to Goucem Guennaz Mohamed. In 2002, it was here that was buried Antar, the second son of the family, died of cancer. It is always in Ouled Chebel Amina was married in 2010.

Zourane sisters, they, remember all the fun with marriage proposals rejected their father, almost every summer. Periodically, a lovesick knocked on the door and Lakdar Zourane said: "It is why" - "To ask the hand of your daughter," the father retorted, not without malice: "Which one?" And the young man was trying contrite: "The one who is my age."

The election in 1999 of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will once again change the color of the holidays. No matter that he came to power is contested: in Zourane sisters, one is grateful for the healing obtained with the Islamists. They measure this relaxation to return to television programs live music and dancing. Their mother removes the pants she forced herself to wear for legs covered. And when others remove their veils, girls Zourane submit their short skirts. "We saw the changes from one year to the next," says Malika.

In Algeria, at the same time, parables bloom on the balconies. Access to French channels are widespread. "Our cousins ​​began to talk about with the accent of Marseilles," the three sisters laugh. The look that you wear on them is modified. Small clothing cheating the boat suddenly become obsolete: "The cousins ​​knew right away if we were dressed in fashion or not." It is also at this time that they begin to hear: "Anyway, in France, you are all Rmistes."

MORE FREEDOM

In Guennaz, memories of the early 2000s fluctuate age children. Amina, round face, hair carefully hidden under a black veil, remember that, for her, then in their late teens, holidays in Algeria have long meant more freedom to the city. To Mills, Youcef holds the eye. While their father brutalized work, it's big brother, is responsible for ensuring the siblings. "On vacation, however, as the houses were next to each other, I could go out with my cousins."

Redouane remembers Unlike endless afternoon in the home of Ouled Chebel among the elderly aunts. "I had to stay with the women," the top of his 22 years he grumbles. "I could not bring my Game Boy because there was nowhere to buy batteries," he adds. With derision, he says he was saved by the arrival of the PlayStation, that could plug into an electrical outlet.

The 2000s, in fact, an improvement of the Algerian economy, particularly related to the explosion of oil prices. Access to credit is facilitated. Algerians are flocking to new cars. In 2010, one of the largest shopping centers in the Maghreb, with bowling and fitness, even open Bab Ezzouar, near Algiers. 'The Algeria becomes comfortable "in the eyes of Youcef. "Now is there buys back here," added Amina.

A Skikda, in late summer, just before returning to France, the sisters are Zourane and full of jewelry and cosmetics cheap. During the holidays, thanks to the favorable exchange rate, they offer 10 euros for access to private beaches that are multiplied or hairdresser several times a week after their bathing - 2 euros. They also pay sessions jet skiing, unaffordable for them on the Var coast.

Guennaz in the tradition of holiday bled however began to lose with the arrival of grandchildren, Youcef's two daughters, aged 8 and 5 years, and the only son of Yacine, 9. "But I want him to see something else, other countries," said the latter, energetic thirty. With his wife, he's gone once in Thailand and one in Dubai. Goucem, the mother is the only one to have remained with her husband and Amina permanently attached to the annual return to the sources.

A SMALL MENUET MOZART

In 2011, two young fathers nevertheless entrusted their children to their mother for two weeks. In the family album, this trip is immortalized in a photo of the grandmother and toddlers to the rides brand new shopping center Bab Ezzouar. She came back delighted, but hurts not to have more grandchildren, she is so proud. As Ines, for example, the eldest of Youcef, taking weekly piano lessons, and played for his own, that Sunday, a little Mozart minuet.

In Zourane the years passed, the father Lakdar has wanted to return in 2005 as a family in the village of his childhood at IFRI in Kabylia. Bled a clinging to the mountain, bombed during the war. In 1956, it was here that held the Congress Soummam, one of the founders of the Algerian independence acts. "For the first time, who never speaks, we finally found where we came from," stir, the three sisters. During this unique journey, they left in two cars from the port of Marseilles. They also took Jeremiah's best friend Samir, grand-son of Blackfoot.



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