Aïcha Gourdane speaks about Mickael Jackson

An interview conducted as part of the writing of Nour.

Aïcha: By the way, the love Nour felt for her mother, that was awesome! As for me, personally I think it hurt Djamila to see her daughter like that, so automatically...She didn't have much money because, well, you see, I knew it but just to give her some joy, some relief, she had her come to our house. And in a way, I think if Nour followed that path I think she owes it to me somehow...
Christophe: You say so because she's younger than you?
A: Yes, she is. We're six years…she's six years younger than me.
C: Okay.
A: Whenever she would come to our place, actually, my brothers and sisters and me, we were listening to Jackson. BAD, BAD, BAD, yeah, BAD, that '85 album BAD, yeah that one! And so she would start dancing with us and we were stunned because we practised everyday and her, bam, she had such a sense of rhythm, she could feel the music, and bam, she would go to the dance floor, she was awesome...
C: She had a gift for dancing...
A: Wait, the kid was just awesome, she really was and from... so from then on, I was full of admiration for her.
C: What about Michael Jackson?
A: Michael Jackson, he was black, and we... well, in a way, being discriminated against just because you're an Arab, just because you're a rebeu [Translator's Note: French slang for second-generation Maghrebi immigrants], personally this is something I didn't, this is something I barely experienced, personally I barely experienced that kind of racial discrimination at the time. I experienced it later, I could feel I was being stared at, I knew that was because of the way I looked, there was, there was something wrong because of the way I looked or my brothers looked, that was more my brothers actually, they kinda spared me, you know. Why? Because I was a girl. As for Michael Jackson, I used to think 'Millions of people like him so they're not racists', and he was like the brother I always wanted, you know, this brother, this guy who dances, and we were really into dancing, you know, and let me tell you something, we used to dance and play games and Michael Jackson, he made us dream. Because, can you picture this, the guy... Know why I'm telling you this? It's because it's weird, yesterday we talked, we had an interview and you upset me because I feel like I'm really into your stuff and last night, well, usually I don't drink much, I don’t really like to escape from reality and last night, I don't even know why, I went to the pub and I said to myself 'C'mon, do it!', I let myself go a bit and I don't know why I had a little drink and all and a friend of mine—her name is Lætitia—invited me to her place and she put a lot of music on and all... And so, I have a drink and I start thinking “Wow, that's weird” and I begin to loosen up a bit and have a little drink, like, just one and all. And guess what the chick puts on, she puts Michael Jackson on, “Say say say but you want” [sic], know what I mean! So I say “Oh yeah!”, the guy is giving me a sign, I'd forgotten about him for fuck's sake and he's gonna come into my story, you know, because he's some man, and he's lived in our house, and he was there and made us dream, we could watch him for hours!!! His songs! Even if I don't know them that well but his videos, his songs, I knew them all by heart, he was, he was the King [TN: in English in the text], he was the king! Well, I think he was my father, you know, he was my father!! And I think he was a father to us all because he gave us happiness, the guy made us dream. Actually I think he was my father. You see, like I said... now, I couldn't have told you all that before but I think he was my father, know what I mean, an eye-opener!

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