7 questions with Imade Annouri
When imagining men who would wear the men’s collection, Imade immediately came to Lies’ mind. He’s funny, his true self and somebody who cares more about the bigger picture instead of his own profit/gain. Something I truly admire.
Besides being a politician at Groen! Imade is also actively involved in cultural and social work within Antwerp. We met up with Imade in his - still under construction - new home & asked Imade some questions about life, the future and his favourite things. Unsurprisingly, his answers immediately put a smile on our faces.
"Don't let anyone tell you who you are; decide for yourself."
What's the most valuable advice you've ever received (and would like to give your younger self)?
I am born and raised in Antwerp and a son of migration. My parents are from Morocco. As a child, I was always aware of the two different worlds I was living in. One world with my family's love and the cultural heritage of my ancestors, being the first generation of Annouri being born 3000 km further from Morocco. The other world: the exciting one around me, Antwerp's beautiful city and the so many different interesting people who crossed my path. As a migrant child, too many times, society has tried to tell me who I am: a Moroccan in Belgium, a Belgian in Morocco. Is my identity my heritage, or am I being defined by the place I live in? When I was a teenager, I saw a lot of people around me struggle with the same question. But my parents taught me the most valuable lesson during those days: don't let anyone tell you who you are, decide for yourself. I don’t have to choose between heritage or present. I can combine them however I want. And that is something that I've carried with me in everything that I have done ever since.
What does a better future look like to you?
These days, the only future I dream of is where I can hold my friends, go out, have a drink or something to eat, go to a concert, … Just enjoying life in its simplicity and never taking any of those things for granted. If I think past Covid, then I guess a better future feels like an easy breeze. Nothing forced, everything at ease. A future where we collectively jump out of the rat race. Where ambition and drive is something that one chooses, not get forced into. And a future where parks, trees, water, fresh air are a part of every city and that our well-being as humans is the compass that guides us. That all sounds pretty good to me.
Where do you go to escape?
Whoo, there are so many places, a lot of things excite me. I am big SciFi fan; how one person can create an entire world in his/her/their brain and share it with the rest of the world to enjoy is just awesome. Seriously, Avengers Endgame made me cry six times.
Music is also a big passion. Reading books. NBA-basketball and especially the New York Knicks, who are the worst team of the last 20 years, so I am definitely not a bandwagon-fan. Basketball is really the most beautiful sports ever created.
And in real life, it's just by wandering, whether it's a two-hour walk nearby home or discovering a new city on the other side of the world, that always makes me really happy.
What are you looking forward to in the next few years?
Discovering new things. Places, books, music, experiences, … . Enjoying time with the friends and family I love and basically just trying to be the best version of myself. And also to the moment that the New York Knicks will reach the NBA playoffs and Taika Waititi's Star Wars movie.
What does your current playlist sound like?
Eclectic! Jazz-music when it's dark. Keith Jarret, Kenny Burell, Sonny Rollins, Cecile McLoran Salvant, …
Hip-hop and reggae during work hours. Blackstarr, Tourist Lemc, Dilated Peoples, Oddisee, The Reminders, Color Grey, Dub Inc, Groundation, … (I want to drop every name that comes to mind but I guess I'll just stop here)