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Said el Haji

Said el Haji - foto Willy Jolly
Said el Haji - foto Willy Jolly

(Morocco, 1976) moved to the Netherlands age six as part of a family reunification scheme and grew up in Berkel-Rodenrijs. When he studied Dutch language and literature he began work on his debut De dagen van Sjaitan (The days of Sjaitan, 2000). The critics were very enthusiastic about this novel in which El Haji puts paid to the hypocrisy of Islam, embodied in the authoritarian father figure. Pieter Steinz (NRC Handelsblad) called the novel 'the first Islamic novel in Dutch breaking down traditional religious and socio-political barriers' and likened him to Maarten 't Hart. In 2006 Goddelijke Duivel (Godly Devil) appeared, in which a writer of Berber descent goes in search of his god. His third novel, De aankondiging (The announcement, 2011) is set in the century before the birth of Islam. The main character is Mutalieb, the prophet Mohammed's grandfather. Mecca in those days was a tolerant town in the periphery of the Byzantine and Persian empires. El Haji's work distinghuishes itself on account of his original points of view, the provoking dilemmas which he raises, good rthythmicity and remarkable composition.

(WU 2012 GR)

Archive available for: Said el Haji

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 2

    Writers reading

    Enjoy the work of the writers you have come to see. They read old and new work.  Without further ado and without discussion, introduced by Nicole Terborg. Dutch and English.

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 2

    Treasure hunters

    History is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for writers. Arthur Japin usually bases himself on historic events and characters. Where in his work does he draw the line between fact and the imagination? And how does an experienced writer of biographies like Annejet van der Zijl bend history to her will? And how did Said el Haji research his latest novel, set in the Mecca of before the origin of Islam? In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2004

    The future is not a fairy-tale

    With: André Klukhuhn, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Joke van Leeuwen, Manon Uphoff, Michaël Zeeman, Said el Haji, Thea Doelwijt

    Once apon a time there was a girl, that climbed to the top of a tower of books, high above the clouds. What is the view like up there? Is she safe? What will become of her? Authors Manon Uphoff and Thea Doelwijt, writer and performer Said El Haji, philosopher and writer André Klukhuhn, author and stand-up comedian Joke van Leeuwen and poet and rebel Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer wrote a fairy-tale for her. They give her a future, perhaps they will even present her with an ideal. Will she be happy? Listen to six adult fairy-tales and a conversation with the writers, led by Michaël Zeeman.