Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
Sister Emma shares with us her experience of hijrah and homeschooling in Algeria. She also runs her own charity organisation, assisting children and families in Algeria since 2007. If you want to find out how you can help, please visit her website >>> http://www.algerianaction.co.uk/ and may Allah accept it from her and the brothers and sisters involved in this project!
Where are you from and how long have you been in Algeria?
I moved to Algeria in August 2013, from that time i have needed to spend a few months in the UK for health reasons but, that is when I made hijrah alhamdulillah.
Please tell us how your life and your family life has changed since you moved to Algeria.
Living in Algeria has increased our appreciation for the most basic of things – like having a constant supply of running water we also waste less. In the UK I tended to look after paperwork type things but here these things are done by my husband, I think through necessity I have become more dependant on my husband. Alhamdulillah we already lived relatively simply in the UK but here our lifestyle has become much simpler.
We know you homeschool your kids in Algeria and there are many sisters planning to do the same once there. Why have you decided to homeschool them and what advise would you give to the sisters?
My children were always homeschooled in the UK, we wanted our children to be taught in an environment with an islamic ethos where they could fully participate and felt that this wasn’t possible in UK state schools. When we moved to Algeria we enrolled our two eldest children in a private school but they hated it from the beginning – they were used to hands on learning and found the style of teaching restrictive and boring and were crying to be homeschooled again. They tried it for nine months but finally after a teacher hit my eldest with a ruler we took them out and our homeschooling journey resumed alhamdulillah as I really believe it is the best option for our family. My advice to sisters making hijrah and planning to homeschool is to ensure you get a good internet connection as so many resources are available online which are not readily available to buy here and to try and connect with other families that are homeschooling in dz for support and idea sharing as it is not common for younger children to be educated in this way here.
Where do you find resources to teach your kids?
I get many of my resources online, I also get books from the UK and improvise a lot!
Do they study in English? How do they learn Arabic and Quran?
My children study in English, they have a tutor for Arabic and my husband also helps with this. They have attended classes at mosques for quran- most mosques run classes for children masha’allah.
What was the hardest thing to overcome at the beginning of your hijrah?
The hardest thing for me was my inability to communicate properly, I am naturally very talkative and enjoy being with people so not being able to express myself was very hard for me when I first made hijrah.
Name 3 things you love about Algeria?
The adhan- a regular reminder that I am in a muslim land
Seasonal fresh produce- a reminder that everything has it’s time
The helpfulness of strangers- a reminder of brother/sisterhood.
The Our Algeria Team