Talking 'The Algerian Dream' on Maghreb-Orient Express

Sunday, October 31, 2021 | Paris, France

My studies in Paris this year have given me the chance to visit the city regularly throughout the year. I took advantage of my latest visit to join this week's episode of "Maghreb-Orient Express," French broadcaster TV5MONDE's cultural program on the broader Middle East and North Africa.

Some readers may remember that I also appeared remotely on an episode of the show back in 2016, to discuss my photography and writing on Algeria.

The weekly program features a fantastic slate of writers, singers, and other artists, doing their best to break down cross-cultural misunderstanding and animosity in an age that is sadly rife with both. So this year the producers invited me to return after hearing about my new book, The Algerian Dream, I was all to happy to oblige.

The show is taped in advance for scheduling purposes but broadcast exactly as recorded, making it effectively like live TV— and ratcheting up the pressure. Appearing on live TV (especially in a foreign language) is a challenging exercise in thinking on one's feet, and as expected this episode included some surprises—most notably when presenter Mohamed Kaci tossed me a tough question about the latest round of intense diplomatic chest-thumping between the French and Algerian governments. (In answering, I did my best to steer the discussion back to issues of actual relevance to the young Algerians who are my book's subject.)

The episode runs 26 minutes and includes interviews with French-Lebanese singer Yara Lapidus, French writer Laure Limongi, and me. I invite French speakers to watch on TV5MONDE online, Facebook, or YouTube. And if you enjoy it, please share with others!

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