Transcripción Episodio 2

Jadiya: I’m on a hill and I’ll tell you what I see. 

Isabel [host]: Silence has many forms…

Jadiya: I see my house..

Isabel: …. and many ways of revealing itself.

Jadiya: … parked the car nearby. 

Isabel: There’s the silence after receiving bad news.

Jadiya: … water containers because during daytime… 

Isabel: The silence of shame.

Jadiya: … very, very hot. 

Isabel: Radio silence. 

Jadiya: … I see different neighborhoods. 

Isabel: Or silence as a verb, to silence. It’s what happens when someone speaks, but we still don’t hear them.

Jadiya: A lot… 

Isabel: Today we want to talk about voices that no one listens to. 

Jadiya: … of tents… 

Isabel: In fact, instead of talking about them, we want them to do the talking. 

Jadiya: Many rooms made of adobe … 

Isabel: That’s why this episode began with a shipment.

Jadiya: Others made of cement… 

Isabel: We sent a recorder to the woman you’re listening to. 

Jadiya: Children…  

Isabel: She is a woman that lives somewhere that is far away, but also very close. 

Jadiya: Because it’s almost school holidays… 

Isabel: A place where houses were built as temporary shelters, but every day they seem to be more permanent. We asked that woman to do just one thing.

Jadiya: … old Landrovers… 

Isabel: To record herself every day.

Jadiya: And what else? Oh!

Isabel: To record what she was doing, what she was thinking. 

Jadiya: One, two, three, four… 

Isabel: To record herself at home and at work. 

Jadiya: Five, six… 

Isabel: To record herself when she was alone… 

Jadiya: I can see six trees from up here.

Isabel: … but also with her family and friends. 

Jadiya: I mean, it’s not… 

Isabel: We asked her to turn that recorder into her diary. 

Jadiya: It’s not fertile. 

Isabel: So for the next 25 minutes I’m going to be quiet 

Jadiya: What else? What else?

Isabel: … and that is what you’re going to listen to. 

Jadiya: This is what I see.

Isabel: A diary. 

Jadiya: Peace.

Isabel: First hand access to a woman’s life in that place across the Strait [of Gibraltar].

Jadiya: There are no bars or places for leisure.

Isabel: A place to which we are bound by for many reasons, but above all, this one: 

Jadiya: What else? Life here… 

Isabel: A great silence. 

Jadiya: It revolves around family. Family, house. House, family. Family, house. House, family..

Isabel: Welcome to De eso no se habla [We don’t talk about that]


[Theme music]


Jadiya: I am preparing a facial mask, according to my sister I have to take care of my skin, I must take care of my skin. Ah… I actually don’t care, soap and water are good enough. But no, not according to her, because one day you’ll have to get married, whatever… You have to make yourself beautiful for your future husband. Shit. I’m going to make myself beautiful for myself, just for me, so that I can enjoy my pretty face. Oh, gosh. 


Jadiya: (Clears her throat) All right. Hi, everybody. I’m Jadiya. Well, in Arabic you would pronounce it Jadiya, but in Spanish there are multiple ways of pronouncing it: one is Jadiya, the other is Jadicha… Jadicha is only and exclusively for my village, Tharsis, in Huelva. For the rest, I only allow them to say Jadiya (she laughs). It sounds strange coming from others, but coming from the people of Tharsis it sounds very nice. Well, I’m Jadiya, I’m Saharawi, 26 years old. Of those 26 years… Nine of those 26 years I spent in Spain, studying, and… And now I’m back here. And… I’m the fifth little sister.  Well, and I live in a refugee camp. I’ve only known the refugee camps apart from Spain. And… Well, now, I forgot to tell you, that now we’re going to feed my goats, a daily activity that we do, which I sometimes like because it clears the mind a bit, you leave the house… But there are other times when it’s like… Ugh, feeding the goats again? And I’ll tell you what we’re taking. We have a little bit of… We have bread. We have onions. We have…what else do we have? Cuajed. Cuajed is cardboard. That’s our goats’ dessert here, yes, they eat cardboard. And… What else? What else? When you live in a refugee camp, somehow you have such a monotonous life that… You find it hard to say what you do or what your situation is. God, I’m suffocating, because we’re going uphill. And what else, what else? Well, that’s it, soon it will be time for the fourth prayer of the day and… And that’s why we’re going to feed the goats first.


Jadiya: Blanquita, hello Blanquita… Biada. Biada. Biada, biada, biada.


Jadiya: Damn it. My alarm failed me today. 

[Traffic noise]

Jadiya: And I’m going so fast. My mother always trusts me and doesn’t wake me up. Let’s see if somebody stops. What else?

[Vehicle stops]

Everyone’s looking at me like I’m a crazy person, talking into a microphone. Yes, I’m going to work. To the office, 8:30am to 4:30pm, with an hour’s lunch break. And… I translate documents, I do small reports…  


Jadiya: Horrible, this door. I have a lot of work today, two documents to translate. Let’s see… 


Jadiya: And now I have to wait for this computer to open. For God’s sake, turn on. 

[Keyboard sound]


Jadiya: I’m so famous when I’m driving… All the boys look at me. Ugh. Turn down the light. It’s like the road is all theirs.


Jadiya: Hello, dear diary. Let’s see… Well, I’ve been thinking about it for days and today I finally made the decision. Tomorrow I’m taking off my melhfa and I’m only wearing my headscarf. This is because I feel more comfortable at work. It’s mainly because of work, because I feel comfortable wearing the melhfa, but at work it’s a constant battle. I think that if I do it, I could also encourage other girls that might not dare to yet… Maybe they see it as something they want to do but it’s impossible, because people around them might talk about them and so on, so… Let’s see if I can help girls who want to do it and think it’s impossible… “How am I going to do that? If all my life I’ve worn a melhfa, and they’re going to see me with a headscarf and something could happen”. So tomorrow is the big change… And let’s see, let’s see how it goes.


Jadiya: Oh, Isa asked me to explain what a melhfa is, because I talk about the melhfa so often. And let’s see… A melhfa is like a piece of fabric that we Saharawi women wear. There are different colors, different textures, different types. For example, there are comfy melhfas, like pajamas; or melhfas we wear at weddings and baptisms; or melhfas for work… And that’s the melhfa, the traditional outfit of Saharawi women.

[In Hassaniya] 


Jadiya’s mother: Jadiya, Jadiya…

Jadiya: Yes.

Mother: Get up, it’s time to pray.

Jadiya: It’s twenty past two in the morning. My mother wakes me up to pray. 



[Car door]

Jadiya: Well, my first day without a melhfa begins, but I’m wearing a headscarf, eh? Now I’ll get the car and see what I find at work. 


Jadiya: Today I’ve been the protagonist at work. It’s the second time that so many people look at me since… The first time it was a week and a half ago, when I went to my village in Spain and I was wearing a headscarf. And this time it was also because I was wearing a headscarf. But it was something very different, because that time I was wearing a headscarf and I hadn’t worn it before, and this time I’m wearing a headscarf and before I would wear a melhfa. So I was the center of attention today, although my boss seemed a little shocked when he saw me come in, because his face was like, “girl, what are you doing? Why have you come like this?” And it was very funny, a little weird.


Jadiya: What’s this? Come on, get in! La Rosalía. (clapping) What time is it? Twenty past eight.


Jadiya: Why do I speak Spanish so well? There’s a story behind that. I participated in the program “Vacaciones en paz” (Holidays in Peace), where Saharawi children spend every summer with a Spanish foster family. I participated from 2001 to 2005… In a village in Huelva, Tharsis. In 2010 I returned there with my family to finish my studies: secondary school, high school and university. Then, in 2018, the summer of 2018, I came back to the camps. And I came back, on the one hand, to spend more time with my Saharawi family and also to look for a job. So far I have a job, alhamdulilah (I thank Allah), as we would say, and… And I’m with my Saharawi family. But now it’s the other way round. Now I miss my Spanish family and that’s what often happens to children who participate in the “Vacaciones en paz” program. We manage to come back and we get into a circle: we spend time with one family, then with the other one, and you always miss the family that you are not with.


Jadiya: How cool! Today we woke up surrounded by puddles of water, because yesterday afternoon it rained very heavily, it was incredible. And it’s so cool to see puddles of water in the camps. Because, of course, it’s mostly desert. And when… when there is… a proper downpour, puddles form. Some kids play in the puddles thinking they’re pools. It was so cool, but today the sun is already shining brightly… But it’s cold, eh? And since it’s cold, we take refuge in the haima. It’s like a heater, the haima is the heater of the desert. (laughs) And we’re all in there together. Even when we sleep, we all sleep in there together, because at night if… If it rains a lot at night there might still be water leaks in the rooms, so we prefer the haima. We all stay there. Eight family members. Eight.


Jadiya: Yesterday was my third day without wearing a melhfa, only using the headscarf. A quiet day, the people at the office are already used to it and they don’t care, like… Everything’s normal. So, on that side… Oh, I like it because… They’re kind of getting used to that change very well. I don’t go outside very much though, because well, some people are very stupid. But cool, I mean, so far it’s going really well. I wear it whenever I feel like it. Maybe… Two days a week or so, tops. And also when we’re moving around a lot, because we have to… When we have a busy day at work, going back and forth, well… If we have to go to the camps or something, then I put on my melhfa. And… but good, so far.


Jadiya: In my haima there is happiness today, because there are packages arriving from Spain, sent by my sisters. And everyone is happy. There are… They send candy, chocolates, clothes… Although the clothes aren’t new, but for us, for my siblings, they are new. And here, when boxes arrive from Spain, it’s all happiness. 



Jadiya: Lulu! Come here! Come here! Goldilocks, Goldilocks! Come here. 

[In Hassaniya] 


Mother: It’s tomorrow.

Jadiya: No, no. He was born on the 2nd.

Jadiya: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…  

[In Hassaniya] 


[Jadiya’s father sings a song he just made up]

Jadiya: Lulu, Lulu.

Bushra [Jadiya’s sister]: Have you made a video (of the packages)?

Jadiya: Package one, package two, package three, package four, package five. Package five! (laughs). In person!

[In Hassaniya] 


Father: ¿Where is the fifth one?

Bushra: Dad, the fifth one is right here, right here.


Jadiya: Fuck this shit. I mean, this is totally unfair. Fuck. I mean, yesterday, a co-worker told me that they had received a terrorist alert and that every Spaniard who is in the refugee camps must leave because, well, there is a terrorist threat. And those who were planning to come shouldn’t come either, because the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said there’s this threat. And fuck, it’s just, it shouldn’t be this way. It’s just that… Fuck it. I read an article in El País today and it just said that… Yes, that all Spaniards should leave for their own safety and then, the rest, to hell. Let’s just leave the refugees there. Like… And it’s a lie, I mean, there’s no terrorist threat. What’s really happening is that there’s a congress of the Polisario Front, there are elections in Algeria and then, of course, the [Spanish] minister visited Morocco last week and signed an agreement with them on… on fishing, I think. So, let’s not make the Moroccans angry and let’s all go back to Spain, right? So we’re safe. It’s a lie, damn it, there’s no terrorist threat here. Everybody knows that. 


[Screaming, voices]

Jadiya: My neighbors are celebrating a wedding!

Jadiya: Bushra, has the water heated? Oh, I was waiting for the water to heat up so I could brush my teeth, because the water is so cold. And there are no hot water tanks here. You heat up the water and… And you mix it with a bit of cold water, and that’s it, you have warm water to wash yourself. In this case, your teeth. 

[Jadiya singing]


Jadiya: I’m feeling down today, and all I can think of is that I wish I had a room of my own, to lock myself in there until this nonsense in my head went away, and then come out and that’s it. But… Well, there’s no such thing here. Here, the whole family sleeps in the same room. And, either you keep your feelings to yourself, or you go out to the patio or something until you get over it. Ah… Because here families are very close, which I love, but sometimes it’s like you need to be alone, in your own space. Although sometimes to feel better… We always sleep in the same room, I mean, I almost always sleep in the same room with my sister and my brothers, and everyone, really. But sometimes I say, well, I’m going to change places, and I go to the other room to sleep with my parents. That way I change a little bit. 


[Car noise, whistling]

Jadiya: Yes, yes, a woman is driving, yes. So annoying.

[Engine noise, a horn]


Jadiya: I just got home from work. Alsalam ealaykum! [Hello!] And I can’t wait to put on my melhfa and pajamas. Today I haven’t run into anyone speculating whether I’m a teacher or a student. Of course, my sister would say “but why don’t you wear the melhfa if you’re more comfortable?” Well, I say, yes, I’ll wear it. Of course I’ll wear it. But only when I want to. (laughs)It gets on her nerves. But my melhfa is like… Now the melhfa I wear at home, where is it? It’s like wearing pajamas: you come home and you can’t wait to put it on. 


Jadiya: (Laughs) It wasn’t recording and I thought it was! What was I telling you… Why do humans always need to eat… Why do I always have to do the dishes?! I’m sick of it!


Jadiya: My little brother and my little sister… Both are watching… One is watching a movie in English, and the other, a Turkish soap opera. It’s very interesting, I’m going to ask each of them why. Jalil, why are you watching a film in English if you don’t understand English?

Jalil: Because at the bottom of the screen, what he’s saying is written in Arabic.

Jadiya: But wouldn’t you be more interested in seeing a movie in Arabic and that’s it, I mean, to understand it?

Jalil: No, because sometimes I find that movies in Arabic are more ridiculous. I prefer them in Spanish or English.

Jadiya: All right. Why… why are you watching a movie, I mean, a Turkish soap opera, if you don’t understand Turkish?

Bushra: [In Hassaniya] Because I love the Turks, who cares (she laughs). I don’t know how to say it in Spanish, I just know that I love them. (She laughs)

Jadiya: Because you love Turkish people?

Bushra: [In Hassaniya] Yes, even if they’re just cooking a bit of onion, I don’t care (she laughs).

Jadiya: And you don’t care? I mean, even if they’re just cooking? It doesn’t matter, you watch them? And wouldn’t you be interested in learning Turkish? 

Bushra: [In Hassaniya] Yes, of course. I want to visit Turkey. 

Jadiya: What for? Why do you want to go to Turkey? Who told you that Turkey was so beautiful? (Laughs)

Bushra: [In Hassaniya] I’ve seen it in the soap operas! (She laughs) 

Jadiya: Because you’ve seen it in the soap operas? But soap operas are always an idealization. 

[In Hassaniya]

Bushra: What?

Jadiya: Soap operas always make everything seem lovely.

Bushra: I don’t care

Jadiya: So if we made a soap opera in the camps… For example, if we made a soap opera in the dunes of Dajla, I’m sure everyone would want to come to the camps. But once they arrived at the camps they would say “Oh wow, it’s a refugee camp”. It’s the same with Turkey.

Bushra: [In Hassaniya] No one can give what they don’t have. We have the camps, but what we want is to go to Turkey. 

[Jadiya singing]

Jadiya: (Singing) Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight… Don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right… 

[Jadiya singing]

[Theme music]

Isabel: Western Sahara is located between Morocco and Mauritania. It was a Spanish colony since the mid-19th century. Between 1958 and 1975, Western Sahara became a province of Spain, on the same level as Alicante or Badajoz. It was called “Province 53”. In 1975, a few days after Franco’s death, the Spanish government abandoned the Saharan territory and left it in the hands of Morocco, which had been trying to occupy the country for weeks with a march of hundreds of thousands of people: the Green March. When the Moroccans arrived, a large part of the Saharawi population fled to take refuge in Algeria. Today, 165,000 people live there, in refugee camps. They have been waiting 43 years for a referendum on self-determination that has still not arrived. But no one talks about this very much either, because it affects many interests, many other silences. Meanwhile, the Saharawi people continue their struggle to return to a country from where they were forced to flee. And where many, like Jadiya, have never even set foot in.


I am Isabel Cadenas Cañón and we don’t talk about that… or else we do.


This episode was recorded by Jadiya (or Jadiye, never Jadicha) Ali, in the refugee camps of Tindouf, before the pandemic began. Now, to the confinement of living in a refugee camp, another confinement has been added: there are no buses, no planes, no way out of the camps. 

The script and the editing of this episode were done by me, Isabel Cadenas Cañón. Elena Gómez helped us in the editing and also Paula Morais, who is our assistant for almost everything. Vanessa Rousselot is our script editor and Laura Casielles, our text editor. The sound design is by me and Marcos Salso, and our sound studio is Isolé División Sonora. Our theme is by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Laura Casielles is in charge of communication, and she was also the one who introduced us to Jadiya. The illustration of this episode is by Carmen Cáceres. 

Thanks to Brahim Chagaf for being the messenger of the recorder, and thanks to all the people who, in the first days of our confinement, participated in our virtual listening session.

If you have a story of silences, talk to us. On our website, www.deesonosehabla.com, you can subscribe to our newsletter, listen to the rest of the episodes, or send us a voice or text message, or an email. We are also on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and you know how much we love to talk. If you liked this episode, do us a favor and subscribe to our channels on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podimo, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

De eso no se habla is produced in the proud neighborhood of Lavapiés in Madrid, and today it was also produced in the proud Tindouf refugee camps thanks to the support of PRX – Public Radio Exchange – and the Google Podcasts Creator Program. 

We’ll be back in two weeks. 

Thanks for listening. 

Jornaleros. Cara A: Rocío