Douaa Berkani

From Medicine to Writing and Jewelry Making, a Journey of Self-Discovery

I am thrilled to share this first women of algeria portrait with you. Not only because of the valuable insights that will be discussed, but also because Douaa, who is working with me on this website, is the guest of honor. I’m so happy to have her on board, as she has been doing an exceptional job. Her friendly and dynamic personality is infectious, and her constant flow of new ideas is truly inspiring. It’s truly amazing how much she can handle in her daily life, especially considering she’s only 23 years old. Douaa’s passion for writing, working out, and making jewelry is evident in her success as a freelancer and small business owner. Additionally, her commitment to various associations and hosting an online debate showcases her dedication to promoting positive change in her community. In this interview, she shares her background, how she ended up in her current career, and what inspires her to pursue her passions. Join us in discovering Douaa’s story and supporting her endeavors.

Let's get to know you

douaa berkani picture

Name: Douaa Berkani
Age: 23
Occupation: 6th year medical student, freelancer and a small business owner
Location: Annaba
Favorite Color: none
Favorite Dish: Mhajeb
Favorite Movie: Inception
Hobbies: Writing, reading, working out, making jewelry
Favorite Book: Handmaid’s tale
Spoken Languages: English, French and Arabic
Biggest dream when little: To make a change in the world
Role model or idol : I’m not sure I have one, I look up to so many people but I don’t call them idols which kind of troubles me but I want to be honest.

Role and Carreer

Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you ended up in your current career or role?

I was born in oum el bouaghi not big of a city, in a conservative family, the eldest of 3 children. It took my parents 5 years to have me so once I got there they invested all their efforts in me haha, I was always expected to be the first in class & do good in school, later on I was constantly set an example for my 2 sisters and brother, so that created some sense of responsibility that I have to do good and be the best in everything. In my teenager era I started rebelling if I may say, I wanted to discover myself more and what do I want not what my parents want. And that was quite hard since I kind of relied on them in everything. I still chose medicine as a degree not out of passion but just to make them proud.

College was the peak of me getting to know myself more, I practically lived alone for 3 years, and got to know all types of people. People who I never thought existed in Algeria besides existing in Hollywood shows haha, anyways that influenced me a lot and I got to requestion everything I was taught and make up my own mind, and choose what’s right and what’s wrong regardless of what other people thought.

In the covid era I started hosting a weekly online debate on discord called sa9si, where I hoped to influence people to think for themselves rather than just following what has been said and implemented by others in their brains, as a debates lover I used to enjoy that more than anything. I also started using English more frequently and write about topics that I found interesting. Not to forget that I used to make content on Instagram, tackling taboos and sharing awareness about mental disorders, stigmatized conditions and so on.

As an active member in the society I joined as many clubs and association as possible and I advice all college students to do so, it opens new doors of knowledge and of network for you and volunteering itself is an experience that everyone should try, doing things for the good of others is worth every moment of one’s life.

I was a part of a medicine related association, later on I joined a women’s rights association and my favorite of all is story of hope’s association for the assisted kids and marginalized communities, we work with a very vulnerable category and we offer them both emotional and educational support, the work environment is great and all the members believe in the cause and do their best to give these kids a better chance in life. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my college years.

I also work out very often, and try to have a balanced healthy style ( no I’m not a fit girl YET. But I try to do my best ).
Honestly working out helped me on so many levels, not just with the body imagine because that was my first motive but later on I figured that working out gives me mental strength, helps me with anxiety, and especially motivates me to be a better version of myself which is what I’m working on daily, I restarted reading books after a long pause, since my teenagerhood, and I’m trying to find what’s my genre znd type of the books so currently I’m reading everything and seeing what I like the most, the classics, George Orwell, books that inspired movies because I watch a lot of cinematic work and since I’m very invested in the pop culture as a gen Z, I find it very hard to enjoy other works for instance I was raised watching Hollywood, and now I am giving a chance to french and swedish cinema but it’s quite hard for me because I found them boring, in this journey I also watched a lot of iranian movies like the recent famous holy spider that I 100% recommend and I think their cinema is very underrated and very good.
For me Algerian cinema is quite bad if I may say but there are few Francoalgerian movies that I related on so much and I did enjoy a lot, like ce que le jour doit à la nuit, Papicha, les bienheureux…etc.

I also have a small business called @swipe.wire__ where I make jewlery and sell them, it’s one of my hobbies I find great joy in making the jewls and creating new artistic works.

What inspired you to pursue your current career or role?

As I said before I didn’t choose medicine out of passion, but once I did I knew that’s what I’m gonna be, and knowing that it’s a privelege, so I wanted to love it and I started by watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy in order to grow my life for this career.

What are some challenges or obstacles you have faced in your life or career, and how have you overcome them?

As a medical student I have a problem with remembering the details and the physiology of the human body and to overcome that I mainly rely on repeating and restudying no magic is needed lol.

What do you enjoy most about your job or life?

I simply find joy in being a human, whether by sending quality time with my people, reading books or watching a good movie.

How do you spend your days? What is a typical day like for you?

I wake-up early in the morning, pur fairouz music on, have my coffe head to school or to meet my friends, I listen to an educational podcast or read a book and then I go to the gym and at night I study or watch a movie and always journal because I love doing so.

What are your goals or dreams for the future?

To make a change in the world, and make it a better place to the marginalized communities.
To do more researches in the field of alzheimer and cancer.
To travel the world and have fun and visit italy.

What are some skills or characteristics that you think are important for success in your life/job?

Networking, being sociable, being goal oriented, problem solving and team working.

How do you think the position of women in Algeria has changed over the years, and what changes do you hope to see in the future?

We obviously have more rights now than before but still the road is long and the obstacles are huge, women in Algeria still suffer in silence whether from the family laws applied by the government or the way the algerian society perceive women, and look at them as lower than men and inequal.
Minor mariage still exist in the countryside and rural areas, women being forced to stop school because it’s not necessary and mariage is better and according to them the younger the better, women being beaten up on a daily basis by their abusive husbands and not standing up against them because even if they reach the police they’d try to convince them not to sue their husbands and sometimes even not believe them, and the community would blame them and encourage them to stay “patient” and silent.
The marginalized communities are currently seeking prostitution as their first income because they have no other choices, or because they were manipulated to do so even if they’re still minors.

I really hope we’d have a more structured organized movement that shall give the algerian woman the same rights and opportunities as men, I dream of an Algeria where the female’s education is more important than an arranged marriage with an old man, where girls won’t seek prostitution and rather focus on their studies, where if a woman accuse her husband of domestic violence or sue a harasser she’d be taken very seriously and they’d actually do something about it and I really hope to see that one day.

What advice do you have for other women who may be facing similar challenges or looking to pursue their dreams?

Don’t give up on your dreams, don’t waste your time in toxic relationships or friendships, know your worth, do your best to make your dreams become true, work on yourself and don’t invest your time and energy in people who don’t deserve that.

What advice do you have for someone who is considering a career of life similar to yours?

Study hard, it’s not cool to be a non competent doctor, it’s not cool to not pass your exams. Don’t listen to the ones who shame nerds because honestly they’re just jealous. And don’t brag about not studying or not doing your best it just makes you sound pathetic, go fully in but also don’t forget to live your life and have fun, you can do both just organize your time and don’t waste it scrolling on socials, use that time to hang out with your friends, or do your hobbies, discover yourself and what you love and enjoy and do it.

Make sure to have a support system and surround yourself with people who push you to do better and not who complain 24/7 and project their negative energy on you.

How do you stay motivated and focused in your work or life?

Sometimes if I don’t feel like working out I analyse the situation, am I too tired or I’m just being lazy ? If it’s the second I force myself to go to the gym and give my best regardless of how bad I’m feeling, it doesn’t matter because the joy will come later and I remind myself of why I’m doing this in the first place, same for reading a book ot studying. Because procrastinating will just make me feel guilty but doing the work will make me feel better.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your life or experiences that you think would be interesting or helpful for others to know?

Everyday I wake-up and choose to be a better version of myself and you should do the same.


Do you have any problematic you would like the community of TheTrendyAglera readers to help you solve ? If yes, tell us about it.

I would like to know how do you think we can improve the women’s movement in Algeria?

Make sure to follow Douaa on Instagram and discover her work :

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