Jocelyne Shrago was born in 1945 in Algiers, Algeria. Her father was a postmaster and she grew up in a working class part of Algiers called Bab El Oued. In her interview she shared very vivid memories of the Algerian Civil War, in which she and her family were caught up. The family left Algeria in 1962 and lived in Ales, in the South of France. She came to the UK in 1968 to teach French. She met her husband on a trip to London and remained in the UK after getting married.