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Tahar Ben Jelloun Quotes

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Tahar Ben Jelloun
December 1, 1944 -
Nationality: French
Category: Poet
Subcategory: French Poet

At 21, I discovered repression and injustice. The army would shoot students with real bullets.


To lead a country, you must periodically hold a national consultation in which people representing different programmes can make a bid for power.


We do not have many intellectuals who can speak out for us internationally. We have no writers who are recognized, respected and loved outside the Arab world.


The mistake we make is to attribute to religions the errors and fanaticism of human beings.


There are very few great poets in the world.


I don't feel guilty about expressing myself in French; nor do I feel that I am continuing the work of the colonizers.


Poetry is a form of mathematics, a highly rigorous relationship with words.


The power of the word in Morocco belonged to men and to the authorities. No one asked the point of view of poor people or women.


I belong to a specific category of writers, those who speak and write in a language different from that of their parents.


I do not use the language of my people. I can take liberties with certain themes which the Arabic language would not allow me to take.


I love life in spite of all that mars it. I love friendship, jokes and laughter.


We have no Arab intellectuals of international stature because we live in a state of generalized mediocrity. We are suspended in the pit without touching the bottom.


A modern civilization is only possible when it is accepted that singular beings exist and express themselves freely.


My characters are driven by a passionate desire for justice. They are rebellious and incorruptible.


Religion has to stay in the heart, not in politics. It is private.


I'd thought sexuality was instinctive or natural, but it's profoundly linked to inner security and cultural context.


I write about wounds, the eternal treasons of life. It's not very funny, but it's sincere. My commitment is to sincerity.


My hope is that countries like Morocco will have investment to create work, so people don't have to leave.


This universe can very well be expressed in words and syllables which are not those of one's mother tongue.


Emigration is no longer a solution; it's a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they're knocking on doors that are not open.


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