Rabat - I am a Muslim born Moroccan citizen. I was born in the early fifties to a family of devout parents and grand parents who were by all standards of the time particularly knowledgeable in scholarly religious matters. This is important to start with as it means that I have learnt the Koran and that I have been exposed to the founding texts of Islam as well as to the major issues related to interpretation and exegesis at a very early age. Furthermore, as far back as I can remember there was always a teacher of the Koran in my home whose sole responsibility was to teach the kids of the family the Holy Book. I grew up with teachers of the Koran living in my home and being highly respected. It was only when my family had to move to the inner city of Marrakech that teachers of the Koran stopped living in our house. I was about 12 years old. This, however, did not mean that my systematic contact with the Koran had also stopped. A tradition we had at home, was to read chapters of the Koran early in the morning before school and after supper before we went to bed. The evening reading was accompanied by readings from established ancient and contemporary scholars and often attended by relatives or friends of my father’s. This lasted to until I joined high school when I started working on different schedules and agendas.

Mosque in Fez, Morocco
Abdellatif Zaki is a professor of Languages and Communication at Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco.