Unlearning a Language

The American Dream was out of reach for my immigrant family

Adeline Hocine
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readMay 28, 2019


Illustration: Asli Yazan

“W“What are you doing, habibti?” she asked, confusion growing into concern. I had been humming a quiet tune to myself and paused without looking up.

“I’m breaking the dolls’ heads,” I replied.

My mother tried to force a laugh, but her voice betrayed her. “Why?”