Chorba Meets Bourek: The Family Grows

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | Algiers, Algeria

Ever since the fateful night, three long years ago, when Nina and I adopted and eventually named Bourek (see "Bourek Meets World"), we've half-joked about getting him a little sister and naming her "Chorba." Doing so—as anyone who's visited Algeria can tell you—would complete the traditional Algerian Ramadan meal of bourek (local spring rolls) and chorba, the tomato-based soup that accompanies them. In Algeria, the pair are as inseparable as spaghetti and meatballs, burgers and fries, or sushi and soy sauce.

Nina, who developed a penchant for rescuing lost animals during her enchanted childhood in Egypt and India, claimed (dubiously) that acquiring a second dog couldn't possibly double the amount of work it takes us to care for a single one.

Unswayed by that math, for several years I resisted her steady pressure campaign, which was fed by a steady stream of images of forlorn street dogs shared online by a local humane society called "El Rifk" (Arabic for "kindness"). Then two weeks ago, Nina's birthday arrived, and my resistance waned.

The family was about to get a little bigger.

"Algeria Viewed By An American"

Friday, August 3, 2018 | Algiers, Algeria

Andrew in Tassili National Park, southeast Algeria, March 2018.
Hard though it is for me to believe, this spring I passed the 5-year mark in Algeria. Time flies when you're having fun.

After all these years living here and exploring the country, I have collected plenty of insights about the place—and about how it looks from an outsider's eyes. Visas & Voyages Algérie (a new web portal offering information for foreigners seeking to visit Algeria and for Algerians traveling abroad) recently interviewed me and published an article ("Tourisme : l'Algérie vue par un Américain") on my view of the country and its potential as a tourist destination.

My English translation is below. Bonne lecture!