11:30 in the centre of Oran. Morning activities intensify before drawing to a close. Ready for a little stroll?

In an unsuspecting alleyway, a shopfront tickles your attention.

There, you glance colourful fabrics,

Some opaque, others luminescent like satin.

The motifs appear in need of telling their story.

Cross the street, take a closer look. These are the scarves.

At the back of the shop, a woman catches sight of you,

She beckons you to come nearer.

You find yourself in a cosy, intimate room

Of tiled floors, beige wallpaper, and a few framed portraits.

Smile on her lips, she introduces herself:

« Welcome to our shop. You can call me Beya. »

Her face, like a mirror.

The delicacy of the silk scarves finds an echo in her gaze,

As if each one contained a scrap of her own journey.

In each exposed piece, you can find traces of her.

Kan ya ma kan, fi qadim e’zaman

Beya tells you her story. You dream by her side.

« This shop is owned by three sisters, three women

Who cherish it will all their soul. »

She shares her affection for Oran’s culture,

The love for her dual-culture, French and Algerian.

The shop, sunbaths, sewing,

Meetings, parties, food.

And then, a terrible departure and

Foggy exile.

In the palm of your hands,

Beya entrusts the keys to the shop: « From now on, we will only have our memories.

Convey them, tell them, so you may never forget them. »

Beya symbolises identity, matriarchy, and nostalgia.

In Arabic, her name means « the Great Lady ».

Her voice is yours: she represents the strength of all women.

Weave your stories. Wear La Makanerie.


Written by Neïla Romeyssa. Translated by Laetitia Key 

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