Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Insha-Allah


A true story by Sara Cheikh





Out now!



The story told in the book gets complemented by this audiovisual online archive.


ONE WAY TICKET

 Chapter 01

THE WAIT

Chapter 02






ONE WAY TICKET





[ENG] But that night, it’s not my grandmother, but my uncle, Sidi Buya, who wakes me up.

"Nayat, Maine, Musa, get up, you are going to Spain," Sidi Buya shouts.

I have no idea what Spain is. My grandmother gives me a hug and plants a kiss on my forehead. I don't remember crying or feeling sad, just confused.

Fifteen minutes later, I am in a Land Rover Santana with my sister Nayat, my brother Musa, my uncle and about five other people I don't know on my way to Mauritania, where I will get my passport to enter Spain.

Twenty-one years later, I still get up in the middle of the night, so I don’t wet my bed, but it’s been quite a while since I slept by Noa's side.


[ESP] Pero esa noche no me desvela mi abuela, sino mi tío Sidi Buya.

—¡Nayat, Maine, Musa!, levantaos, que os vais a España —nos anuncia Sidi Buya.

No tengo ni idea de lo que es España. Mi abuela me da un abrazo y un beso en la frente. No recuerdo lloros ni tristeza; solo confusión.

Quince minutos más tarde, estoy con mi hermana Nayat, mi hermano Musa, mi tío y unas cinco personas más que no conozco en un Land Rover Santana de camino a Mauritania, donde me harán el pasaporte para poder entrar en España.

Veintiún años después, sigo levantándome en mitad de la noche para no mearme encima, pero suele pasar bastante tiempo hasta que me duermo de nuevo al lado de Noa.


Excerpt from the book / Extracto del libro


My mother helding me and my twin sister Nayat without knowing who was who. She started to distinguish us in the second year. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1992.


1.
My mother, me in blue, my sister Nayat in purple and my brother Musa in the background in my grandmother Noa's tent, where we always slept until my uncle woke us up to go to Spain. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1993. 

2.
My father with my sister Nayat and me in my grandmother Noa's tent. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1993. 

3.
My mother with my brother Musa in her arms and me in the foreground in my grandmother Noa's tent. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1993. 

4.
My father making tea with my sister Nayat in his arms and my mother with my brother Musa. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1993.



My mother playing with me (left) and my sister Nayat with the piece of bread she always had in her hand. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1993.

From left to right: My sister Nayat and her beloved piece of bread, my brother Musa, my cousin Khalil, me and my cousin Muhamad at my aunt Nayat's house. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1995. 


My sister Nayat (left) in our nursery school passport photo. Smara camp in Tindouf, Algeria, 1995.



[ENG] I'm returning to the desert tomorrow. It's been two years since I've been to the camps and four years since I've been to Mheiriz, the town in the liberated territories of Western Sahara, where my grandmother Noa and our goats live.

[ESP] Mañana vuelvo al desierto. Hace dos años que no voy a los campamentos y cuatro que no voy a Mheiriz, la ciudad de los territorios liberados donde viven mi abuela Noa y mis cabras.

Excerpt from the book   / Extracto del libro



My sister Nayat (left) and I recently arrived in Spain in the boarding school where we grew up. Valencia, 1998.


Tessa (left) and Marie saying goodbye to me the night before returning to the desert. Paris, March, 2020.



[ENG] The endearing stranger anxiously explains to me that she too is going to Algiers but that her flight leaves in twenty minutes. She has just checked-in and has left a large travel bag that she is not allowed to take since she had already too much luggage. She begs me to please take it and return it to her in Algiers.

The image of my father telling me to “never EVER agree to take a stranger’s suitcase” flashes in my mind. Maybe it has drugs or body parts in it, and then I'm in big trouble. I glance at her oversized travel bag while I consider my answer.

“Of course, don't worry. Just run, don't miss your flight. It might be the last one you catch for a long time,” I reply jokingly.

[ESP] La desconocida entrañable me explica angustiada que ella también va a Argel, pero que su vuelo sale en veinte minutos, que acaba de facturar y se le ha quedado una maleta grande que no puede añadir por tener ya demasiado equipaje. Me suplica que, por favor, pille su maleta y se la dé en Argel.

Se me viene a la mente la imagen de mi padre diciéndome: «nunca, NUNCA, aceptes coger la maleta de alguien que no conoces». Igual la piba tiene drogas o trozos de un cadáver y me la lía jevi. Dirijo la mirada a su maleta descomunal mientras pienso qué responderle.

—Claro, no te preocupes. Tú corre, no vayas a perder tu vuelo, que igual es el último que vas a coger en mucho tiempo —le respondo bromeando.

Excerpt from the book / Extracto del libro






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