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Naima El Bezaz

Naima El Bezaz was born in Meknès, Morocco in 1974. She moved to the Netherlands at the age of four. She studied law at Leiden University. In 1995 she published her first book, De weg naar het noorden, which was awarded the IBBY Prize. Since then she has written many stories in various newspapers, magazines and anthologies. Her novel Minnares van de Duivel was published in 2002 and deals with mysticism in the Arab world. She describes the lives of Islamic women and critically examines traditions like the cult of virginity and submission. The book has already been reprinted nine times. In 2006 she published her third novel, De Verstotene, in which she describes the blossoming love between a Moroccan woman and a Jewish man. Both her novels caused a stir and social debate.




Vlaams Nederlands Huis de Buren Radio Netherlands The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

This author's Radio Book:

Naima El Bezaz
Taboo

‘Is depression a European thing? A Dutch thing? Is it a part of integration?’ This is the reaction Hind, who is Moroccan, gets when she confides to her mother that she is depressed. In her opinion ‘Moroccans are not depressive’. In her Radiobook Taboo, Naima El Bazaz describes how the Moroccan community deals with depression. ‘It is all in your mind. Stop thinking about it, eat well and dress more femininely. After all you are twenty-six now and your eggs don’t have an unlimited shelf life. Be thankful you are living in Europe. If you had lived in Rabat and Nador like your cousins, no man would have asked for your hand in marriage. Your value is determined by the country you live in, so behave and be a good woman. We will go to Morocco this summer and there you will find yourself a good husband. Once you get married and have children you will forget all this nonsense. It’s as simple as that.’

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