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Algarabías: Languages and literary creation between Morocco and Spain

June 14, 2019From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Ambassadors’ Hall (at Calle Alcalá, 62, First Floor). From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Prior registration required.
Register using  this link.
In Spanish.

On Friday, June 14, Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid is hosting this seminar on the literature from both shores of the Straits of Gibraltar. Registration has now begun.

“Algarabía” is one of the names given to the Arabic language in Spanish. And in Spanish, within Morocco, Hispanism and literary creation are experiencing an unprecedented revival. Since the mid-twentieth century, Morocco has been producing a significant amount of literature in French and, though less known, in Spanish, as well. However, until relatively recent times Spanish-speaking Moroccan authors have not been given a great deal of acknowledgment in Spain’s literary scene and academia, and they have also had a hard time finding their place inside of Morocco’s literary world. This Spanish-language Morocco has garnered international prestige and recognition from entities like the Cervantes Institute and the Spanish Royal Academy of Language based on its own merits. It is a sudden golden age which is seeing new voices being added to Catalan and Spanish letters, as well, through the uprise of the Moroccan diaspora, which may be considered a side effect of colonization. Algarabía is the Spanish and Arabic that binds us together.
Casa Árabe and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid are collaborating with a series of institutions to increase the visibility of this phenomenon and, coinciding with the Madrid Book Fair, opening new spaces and forms of cooperation on both shores of the Straits of Gibraltar.

Seminar information sheet

9:00-10:00 a.m.  Casa Árabe
Seminar opening event: Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe
Opening conference: Hossain Bouzineb, correspondent scholar of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language in Morocco

10:00-11:30 a.m.  Casa Árabe
The Spanish language and Morocco, the Arabic language and Spain
Malika Embarek López, translator
Ahmed Benremdane, president of the Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies
Moderated by: Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla, tenured professor, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

12:00-1:30 p.m.  Casa Árabe
Spanish in Morocco, Moroccan Hispanism, Moroccan literature in Spanish (round table discussion)
Mohamed Abrigach, director of the Research Laboratory on Morocco and the Hispanic World, University of Agadir
Abderrahman Belaaichi, coordinator of the Agadir International Festival of University Theater
Moderated by: Ahmed Benremdane, president of the Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies

4:00-5:30 p.m.  Casa Árabe
New authors in Spanish and Catalan literatures
Najat El Hachmi, writer
Mohamed El Morabet, writer
Moderated by: Malika Embarek López, translator

6:00-7:00 p.m.  Madrid Book Fair
Contemporary Moroccan poetry
Mourad Kadiri, a poet included in the book Al sur de la palabra. Poesía marroquí contemporánea (To the South of the Word: Contemporary Moroccan poetry) and the director of the House of Poetry in Morocco
Abderrahman El Fathi, poet and author of Volver a Tetuán (Returning to Tetouan) 
Moderated by: Juan Antonio Tello, editor of Al sur de la palabra, and Karim Hauser, of Casa Árabe 

The AECID Islamic Library (Ibn Arabi Award of 2019 and the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize of 2015) possesses a notable collection of Moroccan literature in Spanish and Arabic, expanded upon thanks to the donations of the Casa Árabe Media Library and Arabists such as Fernando de Ágreda, Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla and Bernabé López García, in addition to others.
The online catalogue provides a nice sample of what can be found if you are searching for Moroccan language and literature.
Algarabías: Languages and literary creation between Morocco and Spain
Mohamed Abrighach
Abrigach was the director of the Spanish Department at the School of Letters and Human Sciences of Ibnou Zohr University in Agadir, as well as the coordinator of the journal Anales. He is currently a professor of Spanish Literature and Literary Theory, as well as the director of the Research Laboratory on Morocco, Spain and Iberian America: History, Language and Literature (MEHISL) at the same university school. He is also the Secretary General of the Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies (AMEII) and a member of the Calima Network of Researchers on Canary Islands-Africa Communication and Culture (University of La Laguna). His fields of research include: Spanish-Moroccan interculturalism, the presence of Spaniards and Hispanic Americans in the Maghreb region, Hispanic Orientalism, migration literature, and Spanish literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As for his publications, they include approximately twenty articles published in collective books and both domestic and foreign journals. Furthermore, he has had several books published, dealing with the Spanish-Moroccan literary imaginary, including titles such as: La inmigración marroquí y subsahariana en la narrativa española actual (Moroccan and Sub-Saharan Immigration in Today’s Spanish Narratives); Estudios, testimonios y creaciones en Homenaje al hispanista Abdellah Djbilou (Studies, Testimonials and Creation to Pay Homage to Hispanist Abdellah Djbilou, contributing author), and Del Rif a Melilla. Nuevos espacios fronterizos en la narrativa magrebí de Antonio Abad (From the Rif to Melilla: New borderland spaces in the Maghrebi narrative of Antonio Abad).

Abderrahmane Belaaichi 
A Hispanist, researcher, professor of Linguistics and Translation, a member of the Laboratory for Research on Morocco and the Hispanic World (LIMHIS), a permanent member of the Agadir International University Theater Festival, put on by the School of Letters and Human Sciences of Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, Morocco, he was a founding member of the Executive Board of the Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies (AMEII). Cultural manager. Participant in colloquiums, congresses and round table discussions inside and outside of Morocco. A former professor of the School of Languages and Translation at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Former head of the Department of Hispanic Studies in Agadir. Former member of the Moroccan Association of Comparative Literature. Member of the scientific committees of Cálamo and Espiral, as well as an evaluating judge for the International King Abdallah Award for Translation. Research stays and training sessions in Morocco, France and Spain. With a great interest in Spanish-language Moroccan literature and popular culture, as well as the semiotics of images in general.

Ahmed Benremdane
A former university professor and department head of Hispanic Language and Literature in the Spanish Department of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah in Fez, as well as being an educator, he has held  the following positions: director of the Department of Hispanic Studies, the Dhar el Mehraz School of Letters and Human Sciences of Fez, the coordinator of the degree program in Hispanic Studies at that same school, the coordinator of the Master’s degree program specializing in consecutive and simultaneous translation and interpreting: Spanish/Arabic/Spanish, coordinator of Research Group A.C.I. of the Literature, Communication and Teaching Laboratory of the Dhar el Mehraz School of Letters in Fez. He is currently the president of the Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies and the director of the journal Espacios by the AMEII Association. His fields of research are: Spanish literature, especially the topic of Morocco in Spanish narratives, Spanish-Moroccan cultural relations, the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco, the history of Al-Andalus, translation: Spanish-Arabic-French.

He has had many articles published in final reports by congresses and in specialized journals, as well as books on translation theory. He has translated short stories, plays and two novels with a Moroccan theme by Lorenzo Silva.

Houssein Bouzineb
With a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Mohammed V University in Rabat and a PhD from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Hossain Bouzineb was a professor and department chair in the School of Letters and Human Sciences at Mohammed V University in Rabat until he retired.
At present, since the year 2000, he has been a mission director on the Royal Cabinet (Spanish translator for H.M. the King). Hossain Bouzineb is a specialist in aljamía (Spanish written in Arabic print), the history of the Moriscos, archival documentation on Morocco and translation, especially between Arabic and Spanish, and from French. He is a member of the editorial committees of the journals Attarikh Alarabi (in Arabic) and Langues et litteratures, published by the School of Letters in Rabat. He was also a member of the Averroes Committee (run under the auspices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Morocco and Spain). On February 7, 2019, Houssein Bouzineb was named a correspondent academy member of the Royal Academy in Morocco, becoming the first author from the Maghreb region to be appointed to that position.

Malika Embarek López
has a degree in Spanish Philology from the Université Mohamed V in Rabat. She is a technical translator and official sworn translator of French, though her true calling is literary translation.  With approximately 70 translated works, she mainly devotes her time to translating North African literature written in French (Tahar Ben Jelloun, Edmond Amran El Maleh, Abdelwahab Meddeb, as well as others), and, in collaboration with other translators, she has also translated works by Moroccan authors who write in Arabic (Mohamed Choukri, Abdellah Laroui and Rachid Nini). Her latest published translations include the following: Sexo y mentiras. La vida sexual en Marruecos (Sex and Lies: Sex life in Morocco), by Leila Slimani (2018); Canción dulce (Sweet Song) by Leila Slimani, and Zoco Chico, by Mohamed Choukri (2015). In terms of teaching experience, she gives workshops on literary translation. In November of 2015, she was given the International Gerardo de Cremona Translation Award, and in 2017, Spain’s National Award for the full body of work by a Translator. Because of her education and her family ties on both shores of the Mediterranean, her focal points of interest are literature, translation and dialogue between cultures.

Najat El Hachmi
El Hachemi earned her undergraduate degree in Arabic Philology from the University of Barcelona. She also contributes to several different media. In 2004, she presented her first work: Jo també sóc catalana (I Am Catalan, Too). Written in Catalan and later translated into Spanish, it is an autobiographical text in which she takes an in-depth look at her experience as an immigrant, the topic of identity and her process of growing rooted in Catalonia. In 2018, she published El último patriarca (The Last Patriarch), a work which was bestowed with the Ramon Llull Award, and the Ulysse Award for a first novel in 2009, as well as becoming a finalist for the Prix Meditérranée Étranger in 2009. In the book, the author settles her score with the male chauvinism of family patriarchs rooted in the idea of conservative tradition preserved above all else. The book has been translated into many languages, including English, French and Arabic. In 2015, she published La hija extranjera (The Foreign Daughter), which earned her the Sant Joan Novel Award. Its plot revolves around the conflict of identities between a mother and daughter. Her latest publication came in 2018: Madre de leche y miel (Mother of Milk and Honey).

Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla
One of Spain’s main points of reference in translating from Arabic and studies on Arabic literature. He was the director of the Toledo School of Translators and is currently a professor of Arabic language and literature at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, as well as a professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at that same university, since 2006. His latest publications include: La literatura marroquí contemporánea (Contemporary Moroccan Literature, 2006); La novela en Marruecos, un nuevo género literario en el proceso de formación de una literatura árabe nacional, el papel de la crítica (The Novel in Morocco: A new literary genre in the process of forming a national Arabic Literature, the role of criticism, 2000). He directs the collection of translations of autobiographical Arabic texts “Memorias del Mediterráneo.” “Morocco-Spain: Incipient cultural relations.” He authored the Introduction to the Book of Oppression, by Khadija Menebbi, and “A City Called Beirut,” as well as the introduction to the graphic novel Yogurt with Marmalade, by Lena Mehrej  He has promoted Arabic literature series translated into the Spanish, such as Memorias del Mediterráneo (Mediterranean Memoirs), published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, and the collection Turner Kitab, by Turner, devoted to contemporary Arab fiction.

Mohamed El Morabet
El Morabet was born in Alhucemas in 1983 and moved to Madrid in 2002. Upon his arrival in Madrid, he worked as a translator from the Amazigh language. However, he soon realized that he had a calling for literature and that his writings could not be produced in Amazigh, so he decided to express himself in Spanish.
He earned his degree in Political Science and Administration from the UNED. He has contributed to the Planeta Futuro section of El País newspaper. And in January of 2016 he had a story published in the section Babelia, titled "Borges, él y yo" ("Borges, He and I"). "Un solar abandonado" ("An Abandoned Plot of Land", 2018) is the first novel by this author, and therefore the first result of his desire to put his work down in the Spanish language. This novel weaves together two stories at once, very much in the spirit of The Arabian Nights, tying in other stories, as well. The Spanish language used by El Morabet is rich and complex, and in its echoes we can sense the language and soul of the Rif region, creating a delectable mix.

Mourad Kadiri
Kadiri earned his bachelor’s degree in Modern Letters from Mohammed V University in Rabat in the year of 1991, and then his graduate degree at that same university. At present, he is working as the director of studies for the cabinet of the Minister of Education in Morocco. He is a member of Morocco’s Union of Writers and the president of Morocco’s House of Poetry, as well as the group “Poets of the World,” headquartered in Chile. He has had four collections of poems published to date: Letras de la palma de la mano (Letters in the Palm of Your Hand, 1995); Hilado de chicas (2005); Pájaro de Dios (God’s Bird, 2007) and Tramway (2015). His books Letras de la palma de la mano, Hilado de chicas and Pájaro de Dios  have been translated into Spanish. Some of his poems have also been translated into French, English and Italian. He has taken part in various literary activities both inside and outside of Morocco. All of Kadiri’s work is written in the Moroccan dialect.

Abderrahman El Fathi
El Fathi earned his degree in Hispanic Philology from the University of Tetouan. He later earned his PhD from the University of Seville. He is currently the director of Hispanic Studies at Abdelmalek Essadi University in Tetouan. His literary production consists mainly of poetry, and his work has been included in several anthologies: Arribar a la Bahía. Encuentro de poetas en el 2000 (Arriving at the Bay. Meeting of Poets in 2000), Tres Orillas (Three Shores, 2002, Algeciras, Diputación de Cádiz), Luces y Sombras (“Lights and Shadows,” N° 19, 2002, Tafalla, Government of Navarre), as well as others. His first book of poems was Triana, imágenes y palabras (Triana, Images and Words) (in 1998). With Abordaje (Boarding, 2000), he earned the Rafael Alberti Award bestowed by the Embassy of Spain in Rabat. This poem book is included in the book África en versos mojados (Africa in Wet Verses, 2002), which was converted into music by singer/songwriter Ramón Tarrío from Ceuta. In the year 2004, Abderrahman El Fathi published Desde la otra Orilla (From the Other Shore). In 2018, he presented Volver a Tetuán (Returning to Tetouan), a work in which El Fathi returns to his home town with poems about his life experiences: the night and the sea, passion and falling out of love, and death, often young and irrational. 

Casa Árabe
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the research project “Crisis, and Local and Transnational dynamics in the Western Mediterranean: Sociopolitical changes, mobilizations and the diaspora”

The Moroccan Association of Iberian and Iberian-American Studies (AMEII)
The Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (CCME)
The House of Poetry in Morocco
The laboratory for Research on Morocco in the Hispanic World, the University of Agadir
The AECID Islamic Library

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