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Laila Aboezaid

Laila Aboezaid tijdens Bluff Your Way into Arabic Literature in Theater aan het Spui in Den Haag, op zaterdagmiddag 19 januari in Winternachten 2008 - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Laila Aboezaid tijdens Bluff Your Way into Arabic Literature in Theater aan het Spui in Den Haag, op zaterdagmiddag 19 januari in Winternachten 2008 - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(1950, Morocco) is one of the first Moroccan authors writing in Arabic and whose work is translated in English. Aboezaid actively witnessed the struggle for independence and in her most recent book The Director and Other Stories from Morocco (2006) she writes about the many changes which the struggle for indepenence brought about in Morocco. In her semi-autobiografical novel The Last Chapter. A Moroccan Woman's Life, published in Dutch in 2004, Aboezaid writes about the search for an intellectual Moroccan woman, who, keeping her religious identity, tries to find her personal freedom within Moroccan society. In The Year of the Elephant (1990) independence again plays a major role. In it she writes about the life of a political activist in the period after Moroccan independence in which many Moroccan women were forced back into their traditional roles. Not only in her books does she draw attention to women's rights, in 2002 she was a member of a special commission looking into it. Right now she is writing a biography of the Prophet Mohammed. In addition to novels, Aboezaid has written poetry, articles and short stories.

(WIN 2008)

Archive available for: Laila Aboezaid

  • Winternachten 2008

    Shabandar Café - Grand Café Oriental

    With: Ahmed Alaidy, Ashur Etwebi, Habib Selmi, Hassan Daoud, Hatem Bourial, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Khaled Khalifa, Laila Aboezaid, Lamis Saidi, Tamim al-Barghouti, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

    Shabandar Café is a programme by Gemak, the new centre for western and non-western art, politics and debate, of The Hague Gemeentemuseum and the Vrije Academie. With Shabandar Café Gemak links up with the Winternachten festival. Gemak is named after the famous meeting place of artists and intellectuals in Bagdad. Enjoy the most refined forms of Iraqi culture: live classical Arab Moqam music, an Iraqi storyteller and poetr, a short Iraqi documentary on Café Shabandar, tea and the tastiest Iraqi snacks.

    The exhisition space of Gemak has been decorated for the occasion in that of the original café, destroyed in March 2007. Honorary guests: the Arab writers taking part in festival Winternachten. An English-Arabic language programme, compiled by the Iraqi visual artist Rashad Selim.
    For more information on the programme see In English and Arabic

    Shabandar is the name of a café on Al Mutanabi Street
    where for decades Baghdad's cultural elites met
    discussing books, poetry and politics
    or dropping in for a coffee after visiting the book vendors' stalls
    on the busy street outside

    Everybody interested in books came here
    to buy them in the good years
    to sell them during the sanctions
    to be transported by their covers
    if they were penniless

    On the 5th of March 2007
    one car bomb attack among many
    destroyed Shabandar
    and the book market outside

    Shabandar Café has left Baghdad
    even if its walls are rebuilt
    5000 years of urban culture
    scattered to the four corners of the Earth

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    Liberation in literature

    How do characters and their creators, the writers, free themselves from oppressive restrictions? Where do they find their freedom? And when does freedom turn into unfreedom? Three writers discuss this. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer has an Avatar in the virtual world without-rules-of-the-game Second Life. Laila Abuzaid (Morocco) finds her freedom within the framework of Moroccan tradition. Interviewer is Anne-Sophie van Neste.
    The earlier announced Turkish writer Ömer Zülfü Livaneli has cancelled his visit to the festival due to family circumstances. In English.