WAMU 88.5's Andrea Wenzel takes us to Elkader, Iowa — a town named after a 19th century Algerian jihadist — and home to an Algerian-American restaurant run by a gay couple.
Elkader, Iowa (population 1,500) is a town with an unusual namesake — American settlers named it after the Algerian jihadist and anti-colonialism fighter Abd al-Qader in 1846. This story charts the efforts of an openly gay Algerian man and his partner as they create an Algerian-American restaurant on Main Street—and wrestle with cultural adaptation, American identity, and small town politics.
This story is produced and presented by Andrea Wenzel for WAMU 88.5. All photos are courtesy of Andrea Wenzel.
You can find more information online about the town's connection to Algeria and it's namesake Emir Abd al-Qader.