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The Confused Arab : A Portrait

Sofiane Si Merabet has a passion: identities. Growing up as the son of immigrant parents in France, he found that identities defined his day- to-day life. Everything, from the way we eat, speak, and even love, depends on how we identify, with said identity sometimes being a painful aspect for those in the diaspora – especially those with Franco-Algerian origins. Si Merabet decided to encapsulate this and turn it into a platform; thus, The Confused Arab was created.
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The Confused Arab demands introspection. It looks deep into the Arab identity, especially for those of Maghrebi origins. Are we simply from a homogeneous region called “The Arab World”? Do we possess a more unique identity? Should we base our identity on our ancestral heritage and collective memory? Do we focus more on our immediate surroundings and the way we choose to live instead? The Confused Arab aims to be a collaborative platform of authentic exchange between those in the diaspora, and those in the so-called Arab World.
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Starting with an Instagram account in 2016, Si Merabet utilized the power of the application as a visual tool to start a conversation. As the community grew, he added a website and, more recently, art installations like Hammam Tomorrow (focusing on heritage) and Hawa City (dealing with travel and migration) to his arsenal. While the plan initially was to feature cities in the MENA region focusing specifically on food, history & music, he has since decided to further expand his reach and dig into more topics, with the goal being to collaborate with members of the Arab diaspora from different backgrounds.
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There are no limits to The Confused Arab’s reach. Using nostalgia as a tool to explore identity, Si Merabet can be expected to keep highlighting modern Arab identity in many forms to come.
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Portrait by Randa Aimour
Shot by Sabrina Ferdjani
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