Saturday, December 24, 2016 | Algiers, Algeria (map)
Shortly after last week's live interview on French TV, an Algerian friend and TV host, Younes Sabeur Chérif, invited me to appear on his morning show—Algeria's most popular one—Echourouk Morning. My primary concern as I weighed his offer was the language: this one would be in Arabic.
If doing a live TV interview in French had been invigorating (well, also a little nerve-wracking) then the thought of doing one in Arabic was positively terrifying. But with Younes's reassurance that I could always slip into French when needed, I accepted. Luckily, a decade of studying classical Arabic and various dialects, a few years of bantering with friends and colleagues here in Algeria, and some last-minute prep with my friend Karima all paid off. Though nervous, I managed to get through 9 minutes in a passable Algerian Arabic, describing how I came to Algeria, discussing my photography and calendars, and dodging Younes's questions about the negative aspects of local life. See the full video above or on YouTube. (Sorry, English-speakers, no subtitles are available on this one.)
Thank you to all my Arabic teachers—both official and unofficial ones. My thanks also to all the Algerians who have written to share praise and gratitude.