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Abdallah Zrika

Biography

Abdallah Zrika (1953) grew up in Ben M'Sik, a poor suburb of Casablanca. He wrote his first poems at the age of twelve. He then went on to study sociology and made an immediate breakthrough as a poet in his twenties. He belongs to the generation of Arabic-language artists who caused a new wind to blow in Morocco in the 1970s. He spent two years behind bars during the so-called ‘leaden years': six of his poems were condemned as ‘damaging to sacred values'. Since his release in 1980, he has devoted himself exclusively to writing. His sombre, dizzying and richly figurative verses articulate in complete freedom the view of the individual with regard to the fundamentally bad world which surrounds him. Zrika still lives and works in Casablanca, the city which reflects his personal topography.

picture: Aicha Belorf

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