By Nidal Chebbak
By Nidal Chebbak
Morocco World News
Fez, January 30, 2012
The Algerian novelist Mohamed Moulessehoul, known as Yassmina Khadra, was granted the Literary Award given by the American foundation Time for Peace last week in a festival that was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels .
Yassmina Khadra was born in Kenadsa, Algeria in 1955. He was an officer in the Algerian army. When he first started writing, he opted for a female pen name to avoid military censorship; the name he chose was that of his wife. Yassmina Khadra was a camouflage identity, especially during the Algerian civil war. Once he left the army and moved to France with his family, Moulessehoul revealed his real identity in 2001.
Yassmine Khadra is an Algerian novelist who writes in French. His works have been translated into 33 languages that generated worldwide success, and he is considered as one of the most read novelists in North Africa and the Middle East.
Among his novels are: Amen (1984), Houria (1984), La fille du pont (1985), Morituri (1997), Double Blanc (1998), Les Agneaux du Seigneur (1998), L’écrivain (2001), L’imposture des mots (2002), Les hirondelles de Kaboul (2002), La Cousine K (2003), La part du mort (2004), L’attentat (2005), Les Sirènes de Bagdad (2008), Ce Que le Jour Doit à la Nuit (2008) , L’Équation Africaine (2011).
In his novels, Khadra speaks about the clash and encounter between the East and the West. As a Muslim Arab who has lived most of his life in Algeria, he writes about and depicts the image of the East as he knows it,to the West. He believes that his mission is to de-stereotype Muslims and Arabs by providing a deep look at Eastern societies and cultures to turn the clash into an understanding and acceptance of difference.
In an interview with Qantara, Khadra said: “It’s a pity that you do not have access to our culture. The Arab world is not just a postcard with dunes and caravans, nor is it only terrorist attacks.
The Arab world is more generous and more inspired than yours. Do you know that El Moutannabi is humanity’s greatest poet since the dawn of time? It’s a pity that you do not know anything of it. I was initially inspired by mine. But I have had the chance to get maximum benefit from a double culture, Western and Eastern, without ever losing sight of where I come from.”
Edited by Benjamin Villanti