HELLO AMERICA!—In Oran, Algeria, he is known as Kamel, actor, musician that young people are going nuts over. His dream is to come to America where he can meet his relatives and artists he has grown up idolizing. Since Kamel is planning to move to America next year, he doesn’t hesitate to express his ideas and feelings about his life in Oran and what he dreams of accomplishing once he settles in Hollywood.
MSJ: At this point in your life, who are you and how do you dream of affecting your future as an artist?
KAMEL: You ask who do I feel I am? This is what I hunger to find out. I have so many feelings when I see guys like Justin Bieber singing and dancing, when watching Michael Jackson making his dance moves on stage and so many others. We see everything on TV here in my country.
MSJ: Do you go to the movies very much?
KAMEL: No. I see everything on TV or listen to radio. I like watching the world news, especially stories about politics and what’s happening in the U.S. There seems to be a lot of drama, it is like watching a movie, especially now with your president Trump.
MSJ: What is it like living in your country, especially, for young people?
KAMEL: Very limiting. We go to school, finish, work and more work. I have been lucky because of doing TV commercials. I get a lot of big reactions from young people and that makes me happy. I also recorded some “rap” music, however, I do still feel, sometimes, incomplete, especially when I hear someone like Stevie Wonder or watch an old American musical on film, it makes me feel that I am missing something deep inside. I’m twenty-five now and hungry for new territory and challenges. Hopefully, it will make me feel complete. Since I have relatives in America, I want to get to know them, it will help me to understand and appreciate who I really am. Sometimes I feel misplaced, wandering, searching for acceptance and peace. These are feelings I live with.
MSJ: How did you become so mesmerized with Hollywood?
KAMEL: My mom had a copy of a film called “Carmen Jones” and I watched you as that funny character T-Bone, and I loved it. You were so funny and somehow, I could feel how you were moving and thinking. From that time on, I wanted to be like your personality, making people feel good and laughing. When reading your book, of course I understood why. I just want to be free to be who I really am. I see no future here in Oran because of rules and restrictions based on our history and religion. I want to grow and thrive as the person who I really am, not what I am expected to be.
MSJ: What do you expect to accomplish in America?
KAMEL: The kind of freedom I have read about, the kind of creative opportunities I see young people taking advantage of; reaching out without laws restricting them to discover who they really are artistically or any other way they wish to be. I want to see how far I can go in Hollywood and prove to millions of other young people that if they believe and willing to work and sacrifice, they too can turn life around completely for themselves, no matter who they are or where they come from.