Last year I went on an amazing trip to Marrakech where we went from rooftop to rooftop to meet Moroccan women. Beside the fact I came back with so many new and special women friends that will always have a place in my heart. I also made one little friend, Aya.

I was very grateful to get the tip of Saïda Sakali to read “Dreams of Trespass, tales of a harem girlhood” written by Fatima Mernissi.

Fatima Mernissi (1940-2015 ) is a Moroccan sociologist and writer.

As one of the best known Arab-Muslim feminists, Mernissi ’s influence extends beyond a narrow circle of intellectuals. She is a recognized public figure in her own country and abroad, especially in France, where she is well known in feminist circles. She writes regularly on women’s issues in the popular press, participates in public debates promoting the cause of Muslim women internationally.

Mernissi ’s work explores the relationship between sexual ideology, gender identity, sociopolitical organization, and the status of women in Islam; her special focus, however, is Moroccan society and culture. As a feminist, her work represents an attempt to undermine the ideological and political systems that silence and oppress Muslim women.

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Yesterday I had the pleasure to be invited to an amazing hommage to Fatima Mernissi in BOZAR(Brussels) The always a charismatic host Yasmina El-Messaoudi introduced us to so many amazing young women yesterday night.

Iman Lechkar explained the work they already did with the “leerstoel” and the caravan of books in Brussels to keep the work of Mernissi alive.

Saïda Sakali  and Yamilla Idrissi are the strong woman that came with this initiative, they are both Moroccan ladies and very intelligent woman explaining us why feminism in their culture is so important.

Let me share 1 sentence of the great text of 3 bright women that not only wrote a great text, they also got on stage and read it to us….

Anissa Boujdani...”….I just missed her … she or the many women in her”

Aya Sabi …” ………….in times of colonization in kaftans and kohl, she conquers more territory , than men in tailor-made suits”

Yousra Benfquih…”….a waterfall of bright delights”

Thank you ladies for these words, sentences and stories, because writing words and reading is as oxygen for the mind. We all need that oxygen to grow as humans, or at least that is my opinion.martine

The beautiful music of Fatoum, made me dream away, back to our different rooftops in Marrakech and especially the one in the Atlas, where I met Aya, a little girl of the same age as my daughters. A girl that loves to draw and read. And when she was drawing in my booklet she explained the story of a bird flying away.

Dear Aya, you are such a strong little lady, I am sure that you will become as powerful as those ladies on stage yesterday, sweet kisses come to you straight from Brussels with a bird to your rooftop in the Atlas.

Handtekening Suyin (1)

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