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Life in Kabylie

Eh gypsy… You’ll get sick.

Salima Rahmoune, the young Algerian novelist, has published her first novel in Arabic “أيتها الغجرية… ستمرضين” (Eh gypsy… You’ll get sick.) In a fabulous way, the writer takes us to Kabylie, where she captures the dogmas of her society; thus, we discover that controversy between the narrator and her hometown.

We are in the early of 2000, in Kabylie, the beating heart of the revolt against oppression, where people squeal loudly Liberty. Tinhinane final year pupil in high school, yet no less sensitive about liberty, she knows that it doesn’t exist, it is just a word claimed in the protestations, but never felt.

She is from a fairly well-to-do but old fashioned family where the father imposes his Spartan education, who considered daughters as a danger for the honor of his society. Tinhinane is frightened from suffering the same as her old sisters did; one forced to marry a rich man she didn’t even know, and the other one prevented from pursuing her studies at the university since… She is there, immured in an enormous house to wait. Tinhinane doesn’t make mistakes; she is serious and sober. She always dreams of going and pursuing her higher education, possessing flair and great erudition that will lead her to a coveted freedom. In the meantime, she looks after her steps that her hometown “Ain El Hammam” doesn’t cease to spy on with vigorous glances.

That parental punishment frightens; that fear stifles. It is a simple photography that will upset this apparent balance. At a commemorative ceremony, Tinhinane received a picture of her, taken during her quaint act, a discourse for the event. She is anxious, then anxiety disappeared. Other photos came up with a secret love nourishing a feminine curiosity that will not be slow to get hold of beautiful emotions. Now, the one single question she asks: And if the photographer came out? The novel entitled “Eh the gypsy… You’ll get sick”.

First sentence to be uttered by the protagonist, the mysterious man who leads the diseases, anathemas, and perjuries. The novel is a long confession of Tinhinane whose style stirs emotions. Through this narrative writing, we will follow the destiny of a teen who has become a woman. The protagonist recounts, provokes, accuses, knocks the gates of the past and points out in his divagations the dogmas of his society such as honor, fatherhood, marriage, the homeland… with the sharp tongue of a woman who doesn’t have nothing to lose.

Rahmoune launches her literary career with a remarkable style, pouring her full emotions in “Eh gypsy… You’ll get sick”. Full of sense of optimism and self-determination, she is majoring in medical studies (faculty of medicine in Tizi-Ouzou). After her first novel, at the present time, she is preparing another novel that will be published in French next year. From an early age, Salima Rahmoune is keen on reading and writing, she is inspired and influenced by the works of Kateb Yacine, Tahar Djaout, Marcel Proust, Louis Ferdinand Celine, and many others.

“Eh gypsy… You’ll get sick.” is available at the SILA, stand of Lebanon, Dar El Farabi, D. 44.

An article by Mounira Ait Allek.

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