On Being Poor and Rich in Algeria


What is it like to be poor? And what is it like to be rich? Algerian Salim looks into the two situations and also reflects (Ar) on those who are hanging in between.

He introduces his topic saying:

لو كانت الوسطية امرأة لقتلتها، رغم حبي للتفاحة الحمراء . و لو كان الفقر رجلا لقتلته، رغم تقديري للرجولة . و لو كان البذخ شبحا لقتلته، مع أن الأشباح لا تقتل ..

If being in the middle were a woman, I would have killed her, despite my love for the red apple. And if poverty were a man, I would have killed him, despite my appreciation for manhood and if extravagance were a ghost, I would have killed it too, even though ghosts cannot be killed.

On poverty, Salim writes:

أن تَعيش فقيرا فهذا يعني أنك سَتشتهي وجبة كاملة، و ستَشتهي صديقا يملِك سيارة كي تجرب الجولة فيها، سَتَتَمنٌى لو أنٌك استكملت دراستك، و ستسهر الليل متخيلا نفسك تلبس لباسا عاديا و تملك هاتفا لا بأْس به، و أنك على علاقة مع فتاة متواضعة و أنت تمتلِك شيئا يضمن مواصلتها معك .. ستحس بالذل فور أن يمرض أحد من عائلتك و أنت تطلب ثمن علاجه من الذي يسوى و الذي لا يسوى .. أن تكون فقيرا هذا يعني أنك ستحقد على الأغنياء ..
To live poor means that you long for a full meal; that you hope you have a friend who owns a car so that you could go on a drive in it. You would wish that you had completed your studies and will spend nights imagining yourself dressed up like other people, or that you own a mobile phone, which you can show off. You would imagine that you were in a relationship with a modest woman, and that you owned something which guaranteed that she would continue being with you. You would also feel humiliated when a family member galls ill, and you go around asking those who are worth it and those who are not for the cost of his treatment. Being poor would mean that you would hate those who are rich.

And on being rich, Salim explains:

أن تَعيش غَنِيا، في الغالب سَتَدُوسُ على عشَرات من الناس في طريقك، و لن تسعد بمال تحرسه ليلا و نهارا من الزوال، لن تهنأ بالنوم، ستعاني من ارتفاع نسبة الكولسترول و لن تأكل اللحم، ستصاب بداء السكري و لن تأكل الحلويات، ستصاب بالضغط الدموي المضطرب و لن تأكل إلا أكلا بلا طعم، سيموت قلبك و لن يضعف إلا أمام الفائدة، سترى الكل حولك يتأهبون لاستغلالك، لن تتمكن من حب أي فتاة لأن قلبك يتبع الفائدة و لأنك أصبحت تخاف من أن تكون محل استغلال .. أن تكون غنيا هذا يعني أنك ستحقد على الفقراء ..
To be rich, invariably means that you would have stepped on tens of people in your path and that you would not be happy with that money you guard day and night and worry that it would disappear. You would not enjoy your sleep and would suffer from a high level of cholesterol, which will prevent you from eating red meat. You would be diabetic, and you would not be able to eat sweets. You would have hypertension and would not be able to eat anything other than tasteless food. Your heart would die and would only weaken in front of profit. You would see all those around you as people getting ready to use you. You would not be able to love any woman because your heart would follow profit only or because you would be afraid of being used. Being rich would mean that you would hate those who are poor.

And on those who live in between, Salim offers:

أما أن تعيش في وسطية، هذا يعني أنك سَتُحِب و ستعتقد أنك تملك ما سيضمن لَكَ حبيبتك، أن تأكل كالأغنياء يوما و كالفقراء يوما، ستقود أنت السيارة و لن تحس بطعم الجولة فيها، ستملك الهاتف الرائع و ستبيعه فور احتياجك، ستتمكن من علاج أبيك إذا أصابه المرض في مستشفى حكومي، لكنك سَتُحِس بالذٌل إن استعصى المرض، و في النهاية ستفقد حبيبتك لأن اعتقادك لم يكن في محله، ستتذوق من كل شيئ قليلا، الوسطية هي تذوق، ستعيش كل لحظة بصفة و لن ترسو على بر .. و حينها ستحقد على الغني و على الفقير و ستلعن الوسطية ..
To live in the middle means that you would fall in love, and that you would believe that you have what ut takes to guarantee you your beloved. You would eat like the rich one day and the poor the next. You would drive your own car but not enjoy the journey. You would own that incredible mobile phone and would sell it as soon as you needed any money. You would be able to afford to have your father treated in a government hospital when he falls ill, and you would feel humiliated if it was a serious illness. At the end, you would lose your lover because your expectations were not in their place. You would taste a little of everything. Being middle class means tasting a bit of everything. You will live each moment in a different way and will never be content. It is then that you would hate the rich and the poor and curse being middle class.

As for him, Salim admits:

لن أرتاح سواء كنت غنيا أم فقيرا أم “وسطيا” .. سأرتاح فقط عندما أعيش كما أريد .. في عالم لا يحوي طبقات لا يرتاح أحد فيها .
I will not be content whether I am rich, poor or middle class. I would only be happy when I live how I want, in a world without a class system, where no one is ever content.
Reposted post – original over at Global Voices Online by Amira Al Husani
Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
Renee Blodgett on FacebookRenee Blodgett on InstagramRenee Blodgett on PinterestRenee Blodgett on TwitterRenee Blodgett on Youtube
Read More Share

Recent Author Posts

Join Our Community

Connect On Social Media

Most Popular Posts

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We Blog The World