The blood underneath our djellabas

Written and illustrated by Kenma





During those days, there was nothing more thrilling than the hot creamy porridge made out of millet grains that had crossed Northern Africa to arrive into our bowls. Two hours before sunset, all sorts of savoury perfumes would start filling the house. The porridge was just the starter. Cucumber and juicy tomato salad, deep-fried plantains lying next to the m’semen - square-shaped wheat galette cooked on an oily plate – bought earlier at the local market. Once everything was set up on the plastic tablecloth, we’d be counting the minutes until we could break the fast. In the meantime, we would put on the radio and wait for the critical moment of the muezzin’s call. Three beeps, an enigmatic invocation, and a stretched Allaaaaaaaaaaahu Akbar... Time to gather around and rejoice in the delicious feeling of replenishing our bodies. It was more than satisfying our bellies or putting oil back in the tank. We’d gone through the hardship of another day with an empty st