The risks of the journey are huge. Thousands of Moroccans try to emigrate illegally to Europe in small boats; the Spanish border police estimate they catch more than 12, o each year. Some don't live to make it that far. A slang term in Maghrebian Arabic describes these emigrants- harragas , meaning "those who burn.
These stories nurture their hope for "better luck tomorrow," for a new sense of self and for "a new beginning in a new land. Lalami focuses on four of the emigrants: Murad, a college graduate and avid reader who earns pocket money by taking Paul Bowles fans on informal tours of Tangier; Faten, a young religious woman who leaves her country to escape its corruption and poverty; Aziz, a jobless newlywed who desperately seeks to prove himself worthy of his wife; and Halima, a struggling mother who takes her three children and flees her abusive husband, whom she fears would receive custody if she divorced him.
All four characters are so burdened by their families and the lack of opportunity in Morocco that crossing the Strait is their last alternative: "Fourteen kilometers In a memorable scene, he envies a young American tourist in the streets of Tangier: "the ease with which she carried herself, the nonchalance in her demeanor, free from the burden of survival. The modesty of these characters' aspirations is heartbreaking. Halima wonders, "Would she have an apartment, a washing machine, maybe even a car?
Lalami contrasts these four characters with the affluence and ugly corruption of Larbi Amrani, a fanatic, rich and highly positioned official at the Ministry of Education at Rabat, who abuses his powerful position and accepts all types of bribes. After "The Trip," the collection divides into two parts: In "Before," the narrator moves back in time and displays the appalling conditions that drive her characters to emigrate.
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Faten and Aziz make it to Spain, only to be confronted with a disappointing reality. To make a living, Faten must transform herself from a religious woman who wears a hijab headscarf to a prostitute. She becomes intensely aware of the irony and absurdity of fate, as she contemplates her humiliating nights of working the Madrid streets, dispossessed of any sense of dignity or freedom.
She often wonders what a normal life would be like: "never having to see the men, being able to sleep at night, being able to look around her without worrying about the police at every turn. Meanwhile, Halima and Murad are deported. Murad's self-concept and dreams change dramatically. He realizes that his compulsive search for work and fulfillment in immigration and his obsession with a better future in Spain had gradually taken away an essential part of his being. For every new bit of "imagined future," he bitterly reflects, he had to "forsake a tangible past.
His obsession with life in Spain made him forget all the constituents of his culture, including story-telling as an essential part of his patrimony. He fears that in the future he will be unable to recount for his children the stories he'd heard as a child; he will be a man "as mute as if his tongue had been cut off. Thus, the novel ends on a hopeful note of cultural reawakening and self-recognition.
In Murad's dream, as perhaps in Lalami's, the word produces the deed, the desire forges the object, and the imagination makes the world. The creation of any world, whether real or fictitious, begins with a word. Therefore, Murad's writing of his own story will be an "act of faith" in the power of language to create a new world and ultimately to liberate him from the illusionary bonds of the dream.
While Djebar's characters find meaning in their struggle against cultural amnesia, injustice, and subjugation, Lalami's are entangled in a postmodern world of crisis, poverty, confusion, and corruption, in which it is not geographical or political boundaries that determine identities, but rather an amalgamation of factors that go beyond the traditional idea of a nation. Their country has deluded them, obfuscated their hopes, deferred their dreams, and blackened their future.
And I have some new stories that are probably going to be a third collection. In my creative writing classes, I have an exercise where students write fictional postcards and then send them out. Some of your stories go into Eastern religions and the way technology gets incorporated with those philosophies, which reminded me how 50 years ago, or maybe even more recently, people began accessing an inner world through Buddhism and mysticism, as well as drugs and hallucinogens and that sort of thing.
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Do you think that change is inevitable? I was really hoping that these stories would be a warning. As you explain in the story, they can remove an unwanted pregnancy like dragging a file to the recycle bin. That sort of ease is also a scary thing, like there should be some struggle. And this is a wonderful thing for them, until their avatars bring home a virus. So I do think our new technology allows us to express ourselves in ways we previously felt inhibited to explore.
We can see this with all the different dating apps out there, especially platforms like FetLife or kink sites, where people can express their sexual interests openly. Yet, each of these technological innovations comes with their own emotional baggage. Or an unliked post, or a dating profile that never gets any hits. So you mentioned that you have a child, a son, right? Tell me what you were trying to go for: Is it for one generation selling out another, or them not being able to connect? What is your anxiety there? I think the role of parenthood emerged in my stories because of my love of fatherhood and my love for my son.
Suddenly I found that I was writing a lot about fathers dealing with sons, and parents trying to raise children. For example, my own son is online a lot. He has games that he plays online with his friends, he is up to date with all the different apps, and part of our struggle is that I have to limit that time and ask him to put away his devices so we can reconnect in the real world.
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However, we can zero in on the single aspect as to how schools are currently acting in such a way as to destroy Christian Biblical values generally and the Family in particular. We will examine, in this program how the school system is specifically designed to achieve this specific objective. Before we begin, let us briefly review some of the key historical steps which have brought America to the point of our discussion today. Neo-Evangelical churches began to proclaim that we did not have to remain separate from the world, and Mainline Protestant Churches began to deny basic Christian doctrine.
Symptoms of this malady were the establishment, in , of the National and World Council of Churches. Thus, people began to drift away from the True God and their hearts began to grow cold toward Jesus Christ.
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Step 2 -- In the early 's, Television made its debut. People began to drift toward un-Christian moral values and into materialism. TV also was the perfect medium by which people could be re-conditioned on a population-wide basis. Step 3 -- In , the Supreme Court decided it was un-Constitutional to have prayer in public schools.
This infamous decision effectively threw God out of our schools. Since nature abhors a vacuum, Satan was waiting to fill this religious vacuum with his false religion. Beginning in the mid's, traditional values of marriage and of sex only within marriage was rejected by millions of young people. It was the age of "Free Love". Sex and child bearing began to occur regularly outside marriage. Step 4 -- By the early 's, the single-parent family began to become more common. Many young men saw no need to stay with the girl he had impregnated and the child he had fathered.
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Consequently, many families sprang up without the traditional Father-Mother leader-ship. Today, 1 out of 4 children are born outside marriage. Step 5 -- This break-down in the traditional family began to seriously erode the essential foundation which enable children to learn. Further, attitudes of parents continued to move toward personal selfishness, violence within relationships, and abuse.
All this is the direct result of both individuals and the government rejecting God. Step 5a -- Respected psychologists began to advise parents that they should not physically discipline their children. This false teaching resulted in millions of children growing up rebellious against all authority figures in their lives. Since this phenomenon began in the mid's, these rebellious children are now having rebellious children.
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Further, State and Federal Governments began getting into this arena by dictating that no physical punishment could occur at school and that parents should not be physically punishing at home. Rebellion became rampant. Step 5b -- At the same time, textbooks and other learning curricula systematically excluded God from the educational process. Nowhere is this more apparent than the teaching of evolution in science and principles of humanism throughout the curriculum. Step 6 -- With fatal consequences, the Federal and State Governments acknowledged the problem and stepped in with their "solution".
However, Government rarely has properly solved anything.
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