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ePub ´ mobi Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen ó 9781935639534 ë moneyexpresscard Þ On May 16 2003 fourteen suicide bombers launched a series of attacks throughout Casablanca It was the deadliest attack in Morocco’s history The bombers came from the shantytowns of Sidi Moumen a poor suburb Pe that pervade their lives When Yachine’s older brother Hamid falls under the spell of fundamentalist leader Abu Zoubeir the attraction of a religion that offers discipline purpose and guidance to young men who have none of these things becomes too seductive to ignoreNarrated by Yachine from the afterlife Horses of God portrays the sweet innocence of childhood and friendship as well as the challenges facing those with few opportunities for a better life Binebine navigates the controversial situation with compassion creating empathy for the boys who believe they have no choice but to follow the path offered themWinner of the 2010 Prix du Roman Arabe and Prix Littéraire MamouniaThe novel provides context and perspective to often little Wow Just wow What a great little book never have I finished anything so uickly completely shirking all my responsibilities and studies The visuals are heady I'm simultaneously in love and repulsed by these boys I'll try to review tomorrow

Les étoiles de Sidi MoumenPe that pervade their lives When Yachine’s older brother Hamid falls under the spell of fundamentalist leader Abu Zoubeir the attraction of a religion that offers discipline purpose and guidance to young men who have none of these things becomes too seductive to ignoreNarrated by Yachine from the afterlife Horses of God portrays the sweet innocence of childhood and friendship as well as the challenges facing those with few opportunities for a better life Binebine navigates the controversial situation with compassion creating empathy for the boys who believe they have no choice but to follow the path offered themWinner of the 2010 Prix du Roman Arabe and Prix Littéraire MamouniaThe novel provides context and perspective to often little Wow Just wow What a great little book never have I finished anything so uickly completely shirking all my responsibilities and studies The visuals are heady I'm simultaneously in love and repulsed by these boys I'll try to review tomorrow

mobi ↠ Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen ´ Mahi Binebine

Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen ↠ On May 16 2003 fourteen suicide bombers launched a series of attacks throughout Casablanca It was the deadliest attack in Morocco’s history The bombers came from the shantytowns of Sidi Moumen a poor suburb on the edge of a dump whose impoverished residents rarely if ever set foot in the cosmopolitan city at their doorstep Mahi Binebine’s novel Horses of God follows four childhood friends growing up in Sidi Moumen as they make the life changing decisions that will lead them to become Islamist martyrsThe seeds of fundamentalist martyrdom are sown in the dirt poor lives of Yachine Nabil Fuad and Ali all raised in Sidi Moumen The boys’ soccer team The Stars of Sidi Moumen is their main escape from the poverty violence and absence of ho And at the end lay paradise And I’m still waiting for the angels Mahi Binebine's Horses of God is an almost perfect little novel a fictional account of an event in Casablanca on 16 May 2003 that saw twelve suicide bombers slaughter innocent people along with themselves In just over 150 pages Binebine manages to capture the innocence and depravity of childhood in the Moroccan slum Sidi Moumen “where all downward slides converge”; the dreams hopes and desires of our now deceased narrator Yachine not his given name but a name he adopts for himself after Soviet soccer champion Lev Yashin whose voice comes to us from after beyond? death; and the collective and ritualistic violence that marks Yachine and his young friends as byproducts of the socioeconomic structure that crushes dreams before they can be realized—making them susceptible to outside influence any pathway out of the slum any proffered hand any kind word extended are the balms these teenagers need to eventually carry bombs on their backsPerhaps it is natural that a novel about the allure of Islamic fundamentalism and a deadly act of terrorism that ensues would be viewed as either exploiting post 911 fears or else as toeing the line dangerously between sympathizing with terrorists I seem to recall some of the former at work in criticism leveled at Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist which to keep it brief as this is not a review of that novel I think was largely unfounded and can be traced to a misreading of Hamid’s narrator’s idiosyncratic sense of deprecatory humor—one that can be misinterpreted as elitist or holier than thou but which is in fact working in a different vein altogether As for the latter side of the fence when it comes to literature and film Julia Loktev’s 2006 film Day Night Day Night is one that many critics problematically viewed as a psychological portrait of a young unnamed woman’s preparation to bomb a location in Manhattan That the camera never has her out of the line of sight seems to many to suggest that Loktev is forcing viewers to identify with this unnamed terrorist and therefore evoke empathy of some sort

Rather the major problem with all of the criticism leveled from any angle when it comes to cultural products dealing with fundamentalism and terrorism is that a binary opposition is perpetuated one that these very works are trying to suggest should not be invoked in any discourse on the subject Instead of an us versus them or a “good guy” versus “bad guy” dialectic these works—and Binebine’s Horses of God is among them but in a much uieter and subtle way—suggest that we all have the potential to become terrorists provided that environment and psychological factors collide while faced with influential and seemingly embracing figures who offer something—love salvation purpose—one’s life had hitherto lacked so utterly so fundamentallyYachine our narrator is recounting events from the beyond but it’s unclear where this isI won’t describe where I am now because I don’t know myself All I can say is that I’m reduced to an entity now to use the language of down below I’ll call consciousnessIs it heaven? Is it an external sort of consciousness? Is it a wraith like limbo haunting stage causing him to relive his past wrongs? And now as a lovelorn ghost I feel the futile need to pour out my feelings and finally tell this story I’ve been turning over and over in my mind since the day of my deathWhat makes Binebine’s prose so incisive in Horses of God are the ways in which he is able to vacillate back and forth between the young Yachine’s memories of his childhood his triumph and loss at soccer his heterosexual love for both Ghizlane and friend Fuad’s sister and also his ueer love for Nabil with a voice that is young naive childish but brash; by contrast when recounting familial events events going on globally typically relayed at the family table by his brother Said and his induction into the fundamentalist world of Abu Zoubeir Yachine’s voice is mature steady stern and almost weary from the world—something that makes this read as much than the thoughts of a sixteen year old boy Binebine’s skill here is in interweaving these two voices of Yachine’s and at no point do they seem discordant Rather we are getting a complete psychological portrait of our narrator at various stages in his development but without a normative chronology a portrait that is at times eerily reminiscent of Robert Walser’s choice of narrative voice in the eponymous novel Jakob von Gunten link to my Goodreads reviewAnd yet what separates Horses of God from the other cultural products—eg film literature art and so on—on fundamentalism and terror is that despite Binebine’s emphasis on Yachine’s individuality his inner subjectivity is rarely stressed True we get his young infatuations his disappointments his bitter childhood feuds with slum friends his dreams for something larger but in some ways Yachine reads like a stock character This kind of narrative distancing can be dangerous in a novel that makes use of the first person narrative style it often causes readers not to feel sympathy for the narrator But I think that is just Binebine’s point one already feels an affinity for Yachine so need there be sympathy as well? Isn’t it enough to feel an affinity as we can all relate to feelings of isolation alienation disappointment hardship and struggle in our formative years? Aren’t these enough to make us realize that in reality we’re not all that dissimilar from Yachine or his other friends who choose the path toward violence self annihilation and death feeling there is no other alternative? If faced with similar circumstances and living in the same claustrophobic world of Sidi Moumen—which Binebine also a painter fleshes out in such telling narrative strokes here—would we have turned out differently or would we too be wanting to confess dissuade and ask for pardon from the beyond?Coupled with the lack of subjectivity is a marked shift in focus whereas the other texts and films I mentioned above center almost wholly on individuals who either have or do not have back stories—one can of course always imagine what places a would be terrorist into such a position as the female jihadist in Day Night Day Night— Horses of God instead causes the reader to see the slum of Sidi Moumen as a crucible for these kinds of violent acts Even classic literature on terrorism—eg Conrad’s Secret Agent or James’s Princess Casmassima—touches lightly on environment and external factors but only insofar as these relate to the individuals’ adoption of terrorist activities and belief systems Instead what Binebine is doing here and what is Horses of God’s great novelistic and also humanitarian message is that we are all shaped by the environments in which we are raised Yachine’s socioeconomic life filled with a potent combination of abjection boredom malaise and a youthful camaraderie rooted almost wholly in violent outcomes—eg rape murder—does not make him a terrorist Rather these are all factors in the trajectory of a life’s pathway Yachine is both us and yet not us in Binebine’s skilled hands and in prose that is haunting nonjudgmental and compassionate Yachine’s story is a warning a wake up call for society—for if we do not address the underlying socioeconomic issues that ravage the lives of Yachine and his friends then that is but one of many issues to which we are turning a blind eye when it comes to fundamentalism and terrorism These are not things that are external to us they are inside of us all as all of the titles mentioned above also emphasize in their own ways; but it is only in recognizing this sameness along with culpability and beginning to change the world in which we live collectively—without dichotomizing without ostracizing without othering—that we can begin to address the complex network of factors that culminate in such individual and psychical violence on a global battlefield on which we all stand mobi ↠ Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen ´ Mahi Binebine

Mahi Binebine ´ Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen text

Mahi Binebine ´ Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen text Explored issues offering incredible insight into the complex lives of poor boys who are groomed to kill themselves for a cause and commit violent acts in the name of religion Binebine portrays these young men as supremely human victims of powers much larger than themselves and like any Kafkaesue anti hero cogs in an incomprehensible and monstrous machine Starred Publishers WeeklyMoroccan painter novelist and former math teacher Binebine Welcome to Paradise writes with humor and pathos amid the novel’s grinding tragedy but never allows the narrative to veer into self pity or cheap sentimentality The book is based on the 2004 suicide bombings in Casablanca and Binebine’s unblinking eye for detail makes this a haunting tale Library Journ In Horses of God Binebine bases his narrative on the Casablanca terrorist attack of 2003 committed by a number of young men from the village of Sidi Moumen Interestingly Binebine does not blame these young men for committing such a terrible act of violence but he rather accuses the socioeconomic conditions that has made them an easy prey for the religious mafia that takes advantage of their status uo To Binebine the real monster is not these young men but the civil society that is responsible for maintaining these children's status uo the society that does not move a finger to fix this problem Hence Horses of God is a warning against the socioeconomic situation of this marginalised young people that can lead to awful outcomes if this phenomena is not resolvedThe terrible life conditions of these boys makes them the perfect prey for the radicals who manipulates people by their empty promisses of being rewarded in the afterlife Yachine and his friends being a subject to poverty ignorance and violence are easily convinced to embark on this journey as the following passage implies ‘‘No you cannot defeat a man who wants to die And I wanted to fervently Nabil Blackie Khalil Fuad and Hamid wanted to die too Living in Sidi Moumen surrounded by corpses the groveling and the lame the truth was we were almost dead already So really what did it matter a little or less ?’’ p141 What is interesting about this narrative is that Binebine emphasises on the importance of education in saving the lives of these boys Throughout the narrative the reader is informed that all of these boys either dropped out of school or are completely illiterate with the exception of Fuad who attends school due to the efforts of his grandmother Surprinsingly in the day of the attack Fouad did not show up implying that education can have a great impact in detouring young boys such as The Stars of Sidi Moumen from submitting themselves to the Islamist’s influenceThe story begins with Yachine’s childhood in Sidi Moumen playing football with his friends who call themselves The Stars of Sidi Moumen and ends by informing the reader that he constantly visits the place and that nothing had changed instead the situation is getting worse “I often go there at night to watch the shifting shadows take possession of the place as the last lights go out Then I weep in my own way waiting for daybreak The slum hasn’t changed It’s grown even bigger and the shacks that were once separate now form a city A vast city of the living dead I wait and I cry watching the wheel that keeps on turning” and he ends his narrative by stating that he ‘’can see some scrawny kids running after a flat ball without a care in the world the new Stars of Sidi Moumen” suggesting that if nobody does anything to improve the lives of these children they will end up like himself and his friends a victim of the Islamic fundamentalismIn order to understand the reasons these boys were pushed to commit such an act Binebine traces the background of four boys who ended up blowing off themselves in the Casablanca terrorist attack Interestingly the story is narrated from a dead martyr's point of view namely Yachine who looks back at his childhood and the circumstan ces that has resulted in his death As the narrative progresses Yachine’s voice is mature and almost weary from the world— something that makes this read as much than the thoughts of a sixteen year old boy Yachine’s tone makes the reader sympathise with him; his tone conveys a sense of regret not the regret of escaping his degraded life conditions but rather the regret of committing this act of terror as it is manifested in this passage ‘‘From the depth of my solitude when memories of my ruin assail and torment me when the weight of my faults becomes to heavy to bear and my mind is already old and tired I go off wandering in the sky of my childhood’’ p161In order to convey to the reader that he has indeed repented he need a thorough confession in which he faces this mistake Hence as Yachine traces his life story in Sidi Moumen the realisation that he has hurt innocent people only exacerbate his sense of guilt so by the end of the story he reaches that stage of repentance By the end of the story he realizes that he has been lost and he has caused pain all around him “It was tough very tough hearing the children’s laughter seeing their hands and their eyes and their guardian angels dangling from the thread I held I was like a puppeteer I had their destinies at my fingertips Yes it was a butchery it was hell It was the end of the world” p158 His sense of repentance grows even as the story progresses; for example a few moments before he commits the attack he notices children playing at the hotel and he has second thoughts ‘‘I was wrestling with Satan who by some diabolical trick had turned the blond kids playing near the suitcases into the Palestinian boy who’d died in his father’s arms I muttered a sura under my breath then louder but the kids were still Palestinian’’ p157 His inner struggle is manifested in his hesitation as he is approaching death he uestions whether it is the right thing to do ; nevertheless the influence of the Abu Zubeir’s brainwashing turns out to be stronger than his own will He simply knew that ‘‘ there was no way back It was too late to abandon the ship’’ p142While writing Horses of God Binebine visited Sidi Moumen and encountered many youngpeople who inhabit this uninhabitable place As a result Binebine felt the necessity to protect these children from the danger of becoming future radicals His sense of empathy for these children grew even stronger when he has returned to Sidi Moumen in order to shoot the film adaptation with Nabil Avouch conseuently he created cultural centres that encourage young people to love music art and cinema as a way to alienate young people from the impact of terorism To conclude Binebine’s Horses of God is a cry for help wherein he problematizes the situation of the poor marginalized slums and its detrimental effects on its inhabitants as his way draw people’s attention to the gravity of the situation