Personal Information

I was born in North Africa, on approximately the 22nd of November, 1959. I am married to my dentist!! and have a lovely daughter Louiza. My mother, Louiza passed away in 1966 (I was six years old). My father is 79 years old and has never visited me in America. As a child growing up in a poor third world country, I always dreamed of one day working for NASA. In those days, American astronauts were landing on the moon. I arrived in the US on a cold, rainy and windy December 6th, 1983. While in transit in Boston Logan airport, I was approached by a retired Air Force Colonel, Marvin Weber, who wanted to know what I was going to do in the US. I explained to him, in my very poor English, that I was going to graduate school to study physics. That was all I could say and the plane took off for Washington Dulles airport. When we arrived to Dulles, I wanted to know how far we were from downtown Washington and how to get there, so I asked Colonel Weber. After analysing my whole situation, Marvin decided to invite me to his home for the night. My reaction was that of total relief, because I was not ready to face the streets of Washington that day. Marvin called his wife Midge to come and pick us up. He explained to her on the phone that he had invited a lost, north african student, home for the night. The next day, I packed my bags to leave but Marvin and Midge did not want me to so I went with Midge to downtown Washington and did all my paper work at the Algerian embassy. Midge and I met near her office building late in the afternoon and came back home together. In trying to find out what I like to eat, Midge went through a whole list of things she could make, but the only thing I understood was PIZZA. After dinner, I told Marvin and Midge, in writing, that I had to leave the next day because the embassy people bought me a ticket and wanted me to leave. They were both upset as the next day was a Saturday and school was closed. They tried very hard to find someone who could help me in New Jersey where I was heading next but couldn't. But they supplied me with local maps and that was a great help in itself because when I landed in Newark airport, I used the map to show the cab driver where I wanted to go. Few months had passed and Marvin and Midge have not heard from me. One day, I felt confident enough in my English that I picked-up the phone and called them. They were delighted to hear me speak and understand English. My friendship with the Webers grew stronger when I arrived at Brown University. They came to all my graduations and invited me to visit them in Washington. They represented my family side at my wedding and were present at my daughter's birth. They have been and continue to be with me through all my American experience. In short, they are my adopted American family.


I love the outdoors, that includes hicking, camping, jogging, playing and coaching soccer. I play ping-pong occasionally and Chess when someone interested shows up. As a graduate student, I hicked all the peaks of the white mountains and travelled by car across the country from Providence to Los Angeles and back. Several other small trip allowed me to visit other parts of this great country that eventually became my adopted country. I also enjoy music (classical, country, Jazz and some Rock in addition to other ethnic music like Berber, Arabic, music from India, ....) and watching good movies and documentaries as well as some sports (basketball, football, soccer).


Whitewater rafting in the New River, West Virginia, Summer 1997

My first ever catch was a five-foot, 20-pound Shark off the Beach at Gulf Shores, AL, July 2nd, 2002.

More about the shark...

Breckenridge Colorado, 9600 ft above sea-leavel, June 2002 (Francisco Canabal and I on horse back).