My hope is that countries like Morocco will have investment to create work, so people don't have to leave.
The mistake we make is to attribute to religions the errors and fanaticism of human beings.
We must stop posing as victims of the West and behaving negatively towards the West. We must participate with the West on an equal footing in the reconstruction of the world.
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.
Beauty is first and foremost an emotion.
Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl.
Our steps invent the path as we proceed; behind us they leave no trace, only the void. So we shall always look ahead and trust our feet. They will take us as far as our minds will go... -- Tahar ben Jelloun
It is through accepting other people in our own countries that we shall come to respect our neighbours and be respected in our turn.
My sensibility steers me toward writers who are out on their own.
Religion has to stay in the heart, not in politics. It is private.
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.
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.
Most of those who died did not die of hunger but of hatred. Feeling hatred diminishes you. It eats at your from within and attacks the immune system. When you have hatred inside you, it always crushes you in the end.
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 write about wounds, the eternal treasons of life. It's not very funny, but it's sincere. My commitment is to sincerity.
There is an important erotic element in A Thousand and One Nights, which is one of the keys to understanding the Orient.
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.
I read a poem every night, as others read a prayer.
Be vigilant, for nothing one achieves lasts forever.
Poetry is a form of mathematics, a highly rigorous relationship with words.
In Morocco, it's possible to see the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time.
For me, poetry is a situation - a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history.
People must insist on the right to say no, to be alone, to stand out from the herd. Creative artists can say all this in their own way and in their own field, by hard, rigorous work.
I'd thought sexuality was instinctive or natural, but it's profoundly linked to inner security and cultural context.
In the 70s I was in exile; every time I went back I wondered if they'd take my passport away.
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