The first time Jeremie talked to Abla, he thought she was called Adia. He confused the –l and the –i, the –b and the –d. He did not know why, perhaps it was because it was the first time that he heard the name. When they started dating, they used the proverb: “pour vivre heureux vivons cachés” (“to live happily, we have to hide”). A catholic French dating a Muslim is not well perceived by all.

Abla was raised as a Muslim whilst Jeremie had a catholic education. They have learned to respect each other’s beliefs. They both place a high value on family ties and tradition.

In the beginning of their relationship, Abla did not tell her mother that she was dating a non-Muslim. One evening, she thought her mother was visiting her relatives in Algeria. She therefore took the opportunity to invite Jeremie over. But her mother came back earlier than expected from her trip, and when she opened the door, she found a big man standing next to her daughter. Jeremie was impressed, he glanced down at Abla’s mother’s feet: they were painted with henna. Abla’s mother acknowledged Jeremie and said hello, but then she went to the opposite corner of the house to sulk. She blamed Abla for having kept a secret from her.

Abla and Jeremie try to follow certain traditions belonging to their respective religions, but they have agreed to avoid being strict about it: they choose which traditions they want to follow. For instance, they never eat pork. But sometimes, they store a few beers in the cupboard. Abla’s mother, who has always been and will always be loyal to Muslim traditions, is against the consumption of alcohol. When she saw the bottles of beer, she glanced at Jeremie. Jeremie knows that Abla’s mother trusts him, she just wants to show that she still has authority.

 Jeremie and Abla agree that the names of their religions are not important: what really matters are family values and sharing. When Abla and Jeremie had children, they decided to give them a mixed education. Catholic and Muslim culture should be a part of their children’s lives. Zacharie and Ismael therefore have names that can be found in the Koran as well as in the Bible. They know where they come from, are proud, and have strong family ties.

Putting all of this aside, one of Abla and Jeremie’s sons really wants to eat a Mac Bacon.