Who is Andrew? A Second Allaqta Video Profile Gives Answers

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Algiers, Algeria (map)

"Who is Andrew? The one who loves Algeria" (photo: Allaqta)
After the success of their first video profile on me back in August (which has since racked up over 1.2 million views between Facebook and YouTube) the Allaqta crew was getting a lot of questions. Where did you find this guy? Is he really American? What is he doing in Algeria? Does he really like this country? In short, who is Andrew?

To capitalize on the surprisingly strong reactions to the initial video, they decided to splice together some leftover footage from our interview to create a second video that would tell my personal story in greater detail, and hopefully answer some viewers' questions about my background. This second video dropped last week:

Who is Andrew the American who loves Algeria
من هو أندرو #الأمركي العاشق للجزائر؟ كيف أتقن #الدارجة #الجزائرية؟
ماذا قال عن #العشرية_السوداء؟ وما رأيه في #الشعب_الجزائري؟
#Allaqta #اللّقطة #Algeria #الجزائر
Posted by Allaqta on Thursday, November 24, 2016
(Or watch on YouTube here; for English subtitles, click "CC" button below video.)

Just like the first time, reactions to this second video have varied widely. On the one hand, I have been humbled to receive dozens of messages and emails thanking me for appreciating Algeria's language and culture and helping to share them with the world.

But encouraged by these kind words, I again succumbed to curiosity and scanned the comments... and found them even more disappointing than those on the first video. Rather than helping the Algerian "birthers" (who had questioned my American origins last time, sure that I was at least part Algerian) to see the light, this second video just seemed to move them into the camp of "spy denouncers" certain that I am some kind of secret agent and that only they were wise to the ruse. Such reactions reveal more about the commenters' overactive imaginations and/or—as I said last time—about their own disregard for their homeland, than they do about the video. My disappointment at reading such babble hardly compares to the thrill I feel at the positive reactions, but nonetheless, it's high time to revive my personal policy of never reading comments on the internet.

Once again, a heartfelt "Thank you" to the Allaqta team for all their hard work in creating this video and sharing it with Algeria and the world. Keep up your great work, my friends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

have u seen yourself Andrew. there is a huge difference when u spoke in french which u seemed like the usual western foreigners calm, serious...but when u started speaking in Arabic (precisely in Algerian dialect)you became talking not just with your mouth but also with your hands, face... man!!!!!!! it was so funny seeing you turning to be one of us

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