(Morocco, 1954 ) was born in the North Moroccan Reef. He emigrated to the Netherlands in 1979 to become one of the most well-known poets of the Moroccan community here and in Belgium. Ziani is a pioneer in the stuggle for recognition of Berber language and culture. In 1983 he published In steen zal ik schrijven, (In Stone I Shall Write), the first book of poetry to appear in Tamazight (with a Dutch translation). In 1997 it was followed by Jubelzang voor de bruidegom (Song of Joy for the Bridegroom). Migration and identity are important themes in his poems. Also he intertwines in his poetry the nature and the popular culture from his youth with the influences he underwent in the Netherlands. Ziani moved to Morocco in 2003, living in Nador. Soon the anthology Forgetting to Die will appear.(WIN2008)
Archive available for: Ahmed Ziani
The last of Winternachten 2008 can be heard in the Sunday morning Radio 1 programme OVT (Simple Past Tense), a live broadcast from The Hague.
In VPRO's OVT history and literature come together in conversations with Winternachten guests Antjie Krog from South Africa and the Berber poet Ahmed Ziani, and writer Geert Mak. The series 'In Europe', part of the programme, today focuses on the 1930s. Can the fear of those times be compared to that in our time? In Dutch
Why a Berber is not an Arab. And why not all Berbers speak Tamazight. On Berbers and Berber culture there is the necessary misunderstanding and ignorance in the Netherlands. At the same time Berbers here are increasingly aware of their own background and culture - see the fast growing number of Berber sites. At Winternachten three writers discuss Berber culture and their place in it. Ahmed Ziani (1954) is a pioneer in the struggle for recognition of the Berber language and culture. He lives in Morocco, after having lived in the Netherlands for many years and one of the first to write his poems in Tamazight. In stone I'll write and Song of Joy for the Bridegroomare two of his titles, both published in Tamazight and Dutch. Mohamed El Hadaoui (1973) writes in Tamazight, Arabic and Darija (Moroccan-Arabic). A quote by him: 'He deposits a secret on his shoulders, keeps silent, remembers the pain of the streamn and melts.' The prose writer Ayada Ghamhi (1980), who speaks Tamazight and Arabic, opens her story without further ado with: 'Aaaahhh… Whát the fuck'. Interviewer is writer and columnist Asis Aynan. In Dutch