There is nothing like an Algerian barber. Finding an Algerian barber has been one of my top priorities whenever I moved somewhere; that is two occurrences. The haircut lasting a minimum of 30 minutes gives you the feeling the barber is giving it his all, and the result is always perfect compared to those few experiences I had with non-Algerian professionals. And let’s not forget the way he drinks his coffee while cutting your hair, or how he apologizes because he went out to smoke his cigarette. The other reason why I like Algerian barbers is all those discussions you hear in the shop.
My barber’s name is Mohamed. He’s a Kabyle from Algiers and he employs two other men: an Algerian from the East and a Tunisian who spent too much time with Algerians that he seems to have forgotten his country. The triplet’s specialty is political analysis but they seldom talk of Algerian domestic affairs as they prefer international ones. I’ve heard them analyse 911, the US invasion of Afghanistan, the second Gulf war, Saddam’s execution, NATO’s war in Libya, etc. but I missed their analysis of Gaddafi’s killing.
A few days ago the topic was Eid celebrations as they were making arrangements for the sheep sacrifice. The discussion went as follows:
Mohamed to Algerian: Shall we do like last year and use your car?
Algerian to Mohamed: No, to each their car ya hbibi. Last year with two sheep in my little car I could have lost my driver license.
Algerian to me: You know last year we celebrated in the garden of someone I know. And believe me the car kept slaloming on the highway with the two sheep alive and kicking; we could have died.
Mohamed to Algerian: Yakhi habess! Why say someone you know, say he’s the grand-father of lemra wella hshamt?
Mohamed to me: And he says a garden… It was actually a 2 square metres space. Garden ta3 tmeskhir.
Algerian to me: Laughing, and after we killed the sheep we found out they were females.
Tunisian to all: So you finally admit it. Matjouzsh for Eid… You know you can go for a female only if you’ve looked everywhere and couldn’t find a male. So did you find any baby sheep in their bellies?
Mohamed to Tunisian: No they were still jeunes-filles. And stop with it, at least we did something. Look at yourself, you went 600km away and came back with only 2kgs meat in a bag.
Tunisian to Mohamed: Yes only 2kgs because I gave everything to the poor. This is the point in Eid. Yakhi hala, sacrificing females….
Mohamed to Algerian: BTW I am selling my car so how would I do if it’s sold before Eid?
Algerian: Ok in case your car is sold then we would use mine.
On this sacred day in this sacred month I wish everyone a blessed Eid, and hadj mabrour wa sa3y mashkour wa dhanb maghfour to all the Muslim pilgrims.
Saha 3idkoum everyone. T3aydou bessaha w lahna fi hyatkoum w hyat waldikoum. Ghafara Allahou lana wa lakoum.