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Mohamed_Zafzaf

Mohamed Zafzaf

Mohamed Zafzaf (1942-2001) was a Moroccan novelist and poet from Kenitra writing in classical Arabic. In 2002, one of the most prestigious Arab literature awards created the "Mohamed Zafzaf Prize for Arabic Literature" in his honour.

Born in Souk Larbaa El Gharb in 1942, Zafzaf settled in Casablanca where he started writing stories and articles, as well as translating world masterpieces. He lived a lifestyle that focused on writing, the work he loved most. From his apartment and favourite café seats, especially the Café Majestic in the Maarif district of Casablanca, he weaved tales that have fascinated Arab readers for decades.

In the Maghreb, Zafzaf was known almost as much for his simple lifestyle as for his works. An outspoken critic of cultural ignorance, Zafzaf lambasted authorities when the only government-financed theatre in Casablanca was demolished in the 1980s.

Zafzaf authored dozens of novels and stories while working first as a junior high school teacher before becoming a librarian at the school. Despite the humble position, many literature students chose aspects of his works to research for their theses during his lifetime and continue to do so now. Zafzaf tells the story of Arab citizens' everyday struggle. One of his most famous works, "The Intermittently Appearing Fox," focuses on an Arab citizen with ill-fitting simple clothes who always works hard and looks over his shoulder awaiting unexpected crises that can suddenly emerge.

Among Moroccan novelists, Zafzaf remained the most dedicated to his craft, steadfast and self-disciplined. He showed his support for the people not by open participation in politics, but through artistic creativity in which his writings addressed the concerns of society.

When his novel "The woman and the rose" had been translated in Spanish king Juan Carlos I sent him a congratulations letter. Mohamed Zafzaf kept this letter on the wall of his house.

Biography

A selection of his works

  • Born in Souk Larbaa El Gharb in 1945.
  • Studies philosophy at the faculté des lettres et sciences humaines in Rabat.
  • Teacher at different lycées of Casablanca.
  • First poem in 1962.
  • First short story in 1963.
  • Member of the writers union of Morocco in July 1968.
  • Published in different Moroccan and Arab newspapers.
  • The "French translation of "The Rooster Egg" ("L'œuf du coq") receceives the Grand Atlas prize in 1998.
  • Author of short stories, novels, translations of poetru collections and plays.

Short stories

  • The strongest
  • The holy tree
  • The Lord of the djinns

Novels

  • The woman and the rose
  • The roosters egg
  • The fox who appeared and vanished (translated in French in 2004)

Translation - play

  • A drawing on wood



External links

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