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Naema Tahir

foto Liesbeth Kuipers
foto Liesbeth Kuipers

(Great Britain, 1970) came to The Netherlands at age nine with her Pakistani parents. She read law and worked for various government ministries, the UNHCR and the Council of Europe in Strassbourg. In 2006, however, she decided to settle in the Netherlands and focus on her writer's career. In the fall of 2008 her book of Muslim fairy tales Little Green Ridinghood And the Converted Wolf appeared, in which she jocularly deals with the clash of civilizations. In Lonely Present (2008) a migrant child tells about its feeling of being uprooted. Tahir made her debut with the nonfiction anthology A Muslima Unveiled, dealing with themes such as Muslims' self-criticism and women's liberation. Her fiction debut Precious Property (2006), a book with candid erotic stories, was a great success. Tahir is a regular contributor to the public debate. Her articles have been published by Volkskrant en NRC-Handelsblad among others. In 2008 she was one of the guests in the VPRO television programme Zomergasten (Summer Guests).


Archive available for: Naema Tahir

  • Winternachten 2010

    Readers' Club Live: Kafka!

    With: Bas Heijne, Elsbeth Etty, Naema Tahir, Pieter Steinz

    A man wakes up as an enormous insect, a circus artist fasts until death, a hangman demonstrates a new torture machine, a son has his father sentence him to death by drowning.

    The stories of Franz Kafka (1883-1924) are often absurd, but they are presented with the highest degree of realism and in a simple style. Kafka's tragicomic main characters, laden with a guilt feeling based on nothing, try to make the best of the nightmare that life is.
    In NRC's Reaers' Club Live columnists and editors of the NRC book pages Elsbeth Etty and Bas Heijne discuss with each other, writer/lawyer Naema Tahir and the audience The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, the new Kafka translation by Willem van Toorn. Host is chief editor of NRC's book pages, Pieter Steinz.

    Over the years Kafka's work has been read as a quest for God, a satire on eastern European bureaucracy, an allegory on the human condition and a symbolic autobiography. Kafka serves all sorts of purposes, and exactly that makes him such a suitable subject for the fifth edition of the successful Readers' Club Live at Winternachten.

  • Winternachten 2009

    Five Do's and Don'ts for Barack Obama

    With: Ashwani Saith, Chantal Mouffe, Gündüz Vassaf, Michaël Zeeman, Naema Tahir, Nelleke Noordervliet

    Five writers and thinkers from four corners of the globe came together at Winternachten to provide Barack Obama with their do's and don'ts. After formulating their piece of advice students of the Institute of Social Studies reacted on the comments.
    Host Michaël Zeeman was surprised by the cynical and even activistic reaction of the students. Where the writers are eager and hopefull for the change this new president can bring, the students turned out to be very sceptical.

    Participants of the debate were writers Nelleke Noordervliet and Naema Tahir, the British-Belgian political philosopher Chantal Mouffe, Turkish writer and psychologist Gündüz Vassaf and development economist Ashwani Saith from India. They each formulated one piece of advice for Obama. Students of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), hailing from southern countries, were to react to these recommendations. Once decided on, the following do's and dont's were shipped to the White House:

    Do's and don't's for Barack Obama Ashwani Saith:
    Palestine! Dismantle walls, build justice!
    Share a cigar with Fidel!
    Disarm! Transfer farm subsidies to African peasants
    Think of multilateralism, not neo-imperialism
    Confluence, not clash of civilisations
    Nurture nature, don't sell it
    Protect workers, not tycoons
    Social, not 'bastard' Keynesianism
    And, oh, yes - keep sharing your toys …
    Chantal Mouffe:
    Acknowledge that the world is multi-polar and that the US cannot behave any more as the sole legitimate centre of power. Diversity exists. Diversity and identity underpin everything.
    Gündüz Vassaf:
    Think also as a world citizen.
    Be bold, focus on right not re-election. Make peace, not war.
    You're a giant – tread lightly.
    Prioritise without partisanship: Israel/Palestine
    Nelleke Noordervliet:
    Appoint a court-jester who keeps telling you the truth.
    Be more a Philosopher-King than a King-Warrior
    Naema Tahir:
    Be the leader who inspires all to contribute to the good of society by encouraging the belief that good deeds and good behaviour rests in all
    Students of the Institute of Social Studies:
    Do no harm to foreign countries
    Don't be the leader of the world
    Don't impose yourself on others
    Remember the principles you had in your campaign
    Imagine other paradigms

    On Friday 1 May 2009 their will be a follow-up of the debate, in cooperation with the ISS, exacly 100 days after his inauguration.