Works are not just 'screams, protests or rebellions'

Female Moroccan writers face rising challenges

GMT 12:14 2012 Tuesday ,31 July

Arab Today, arab today Female Moroccan writers face rising challenges

The Moroccan writer Khanata Banona
Casablanca - Raja Battaoui

The Moroccan writer Khanata Banona The Moroccan writer Khanata Banona has said she does not acknowledge the classification of literature by the gender of the author, and that it should be evaluated according to its content. Khanata stated in her interview to Arabstoday: “Moroccan writers today are not writing just  as an outcry against women’s rights or traditional values...they don't just propose personal issues like love, marriage, children and family but all of these together which form and discuss wider and more broad humanitarian issues” as reflected in her first novel "Fire and Choice" (al Nar wal Ekhtyar).
"Fire and Choice" covers Palestinian concerns during the setback and Palestinian diaspora. Proceeds raised one million Francs which were gifted to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). The Ministry of National Education in Morocco later taught it in secondary schools and it was classified as a part of national literature.
Wafa Malih agrees that the first female novels called for liberating and educating woman in male dominated societies which denied equal rights to women through issues such as like life, love, marriage, and work in addition to the role of the woman in general life.
Malih told Arabstoday: “Moroccn women didn’t all like biography novels, female authors covered many other genres such as short stories, novels, poetry, and human sciences like Khanasa Banona and Fatema el-Marnisi who presented novels analysing problems from the depths of Moroccan society.”
 Malih added: “I am acting on behalf of woman, by not letting her writings be listed under female literature as I don’t believe in this kind of categorising. Creativity has no sex, colour, or religion.”
 Recent times have seen an emergence in female Moroccan authors; the momentum allows female literature to boost its profile and evolve new forms. The increasing sales gives legitimacy and weight to the causes heralded in these novels, poems, articles and biographies.
Author Habiba el Zoghy said that the need for female novels in Morocco became very important despite the raised voices against the movement who considered it a comic surplus no one needed.
 Speaking of women’s rights in literature,writer Nagat el-Hashemy said: “If women want to regain their rights in authorship which were stolen from them, she has to communicate with her surrounding environment and take into consideration the challenges and difficulties women are facing”.
Nagat el-Hashemy also mentioned the importance of literature by women in destroying traditional models and developing narration methods, linguistics, and metaphors.
 Moroccan poet Maleka Al Asal considers publishing houses the first obstacle against developing writing because of rules and regulation dealing with female and male writers as a product. Asal also stated that a strong personality, real ability, and dedicated ambitions were able to remove any obstacles against writers.

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