Photo credit: Mathieu Muller
“I have been raised and educated in more than eight countries. But to make it simple, I am from Algeria--at least that’s what my passport says. I’m lucky enough to have left my birth country by choice with my parents when I was two years old. Since then, I’ve had the option of going back to my country but chose instead to keep moving. Again, I am lucky to speak from the perspective of a person who chose to move.
At 24, I have moved to different countries 13 times and I really want this number to increase. I’m currently living in Switzerland. I chose Geneva because I’ve always wanted to work at the United Nations Office at Geneva. I really needed to go somewhere that looked like me. This means a place that respects diversity where I can keep working with people from everywhere, with all different backgrounds. Of course, I miss my family but they travel a lot as well. So in the end I don’t miss a lot about Algeria.
I think it’s easier to do a thesis on quantum physics than to answer a question about where my home is. To be honest, I hope I always struggle to answer this question. I have friends who ask me ‘Oh I bought you a postcard, where do you want me to send it?’ I have no idea. I can’t give them a proper physical address. I’m foreigner everywhere-- I’m a migrant every day of my life and it’s just amazing. Again it’s a choice and it’s pretty different from having to flee due to conflict or war. I think the most interesting thing for me in moving to each place is how you learn about each person and each country you go to. People you meet abroad open this whole new dimension and this whole new reality that you’ve never seen before.”