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Tahar Ben Jelloun Quotes

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

An individual voice can be heard in a choir that otherwise sings in unison. This is something that is not excused.

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

Be vigilant, for nothing one achieves lasts forever.

Beauty is first and foremost an emotion.

Egypt has suffered more ordeals than the other countries to get where it is.

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.

For me, poetry is a situation - a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history.

I am a guest of the French language. My poems in French are born of my interaction with the French language, which is not the same as that of a French poet.

I am a Moroccan writer of French expression.

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

I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity.

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

I have written about the dispossessed, immigrants, the condition of women who do not enjoy the same legal rights as men, the Palestinians who are deprived of their land and condemned to exile.

I liked Sartre's views but not his writing.

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

I read a poem every night, as others read a prayer.

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

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