Amin Maalouf interviewed by Petra Stienen
Arabist and writer Petra Stienen talks to the festival's guest of honour, the Lebanese/French author Amin Maalouf.
Multiculturality in the Dutch debate has almost become anathema, but for Amin Maalouf it is a human right: 'We live in a world in which we force people to choose where they belong. We need a new attitude with regard to identity, it must be made legitimate to have more than one identity.'
In his latest novel Les Desorientés (The Disoriented) he describes the feelings and thoughts leading to migration: 'Maybe my life doesn't amount to anything, just like the lives of the people I have known, compared to that of a famous conqueror. But it is my life, and if I believe it only deserves to be forgotten, then I haven't deserved to live.'
Watch an English spoken interview by Wim Brands on Sunday 12 January on Dutch televisionk here.
Thirty minutes after this programme, at 4 p.m. feel free to join the Wim Brands Reading club, in which the Dutch translation of Maalouf's novel will be will be discussed with the audience, and with writer Fouad Laroui and Arabist Petra Stienen. That programma is in Dutch.