Languages, identities, intercultural competences:
I had to learn English, because Arabic is quite difficult and in Arabiamost people speak both languages. I do not remember any conflicts then or if I felt a different person at home and at school I just can tell you that learning two different languages was more of a good experience than a problem.
At the age of 7 , I moved back to France, my native country. I had never lived there before and although I had been there from time to time on short holidays, this was for me a new experience, because the French and the Arabians have not much in common. In Arabia, I had visited deserts, and some lovely towns. In France, there are no such landscapes. Another change was the way of getting dressed: in Arabia, as you know, women wear big long black “abayas” and men long white “djellabas”, while in France, women wear skirts, and men were trousers and jeans. All these differences made me feel different, of course, but there was also one particularly that reinforced this and made me feel alone, maybe a little rejected. When I arrived in France, I had to go to a new school, and my first day was sad. I remember that all of the kids had already their own friends. I was there, lonely, looking at them. I had left all my friends in Arabia, and it took me a long time to make new ones. This made me feel more Arabian than French for a while, because in Arabia I was a normal kid, who had a lot of friends, and in France, I was considered a foreigner coming from a different country. I felt like a stranger in my own country.
I only stayed 3 years in France because at the age of eleven, I moved to Brazil. At that time, I didn’t have any idea about this country : I didn’t know what language was spoken there, I didn’t know what the people looked like, well I didn’t know almost anything, except one thing : “Brazil is a poor country”. I remember my French teacher saying this to me, before I left France. So, being a kid, I remember that I was afraid of not having enough food in Brazil. So this is why I tried to bring some food from France to Brazil, but this was a very long time ago.
When I arrived in Brazil, I adapted myself very quickly, because Brazilians are very nice and gentle with foreigners. The only problem that I had to face was the language. Portuguese was so different from French! But I have to admit that some months later; I quickly turned into a little Brazilian: the language was really easy to learn.
Although I’ve been living a long time in different countries I consider myself French. I’ve been living in Brazilfor 8 years now and I really love this country, and I will never forget it because I spent all my teenage years here, and the real friends I have made is in Brazil.However, this doesn’t mean that I turned into a Brazilian! For example, the World Cup will be played this year and all my soul is for France, and not for Brazil (after all they have already won 5 times and other countries deserve an opportunity)