Ahmed Sefrioui
Ahmed Sefrioui
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Ahmed Sefrioui (1915-2004). Moroccan man of letters, novelist, and short story writer, and one of the pioneers and leading figures of Moroccan literature written in the French language. He is best remembered for his keen and detailed social and cultural observations of the everyday lives of the people of Fes.\r

Born in Fes to a Berber family, Ahmed Sefrioui started his studies at the Koranic schools, like many of his peers at the time. He then entered a Moroccan-French school; an event that would gain him access to a new realm and initiate him into the world of literature. His writing career began as a journalist for (L'Action du Peuple); a position he would, later on, quit to go on and found Al Batha museum in the city. Sefrioui held the position of a curator in the museum until 1938. He then relocated to Rabat to occupy several positions in the ministries of culture, education, and tourism.\r

His literary breakthrough came in 1949 with the publication of his first work, The Amber of Beads, which consisted of a compilation of 14 short stories recounting the lives of different Moroccan people from diverse walks of life under French colonial rule. He received the Moroccan Literary Grand Prize for his work, making it the first time a Moroccan writer won the award. His second work, and first novel, The Box of Wonders, published in 1954, cemented his position as one of the foremost figures of Moroccan literature. This autobiographical novel summons the native recollections the author once experienced and paints a striking image of Moroccan culture at the outset of the 20th century. His second novel, The House of Servitude, appeared in 1973 while he was in Algeria. In it, Sefrioui pushed the boundaries further and raised questions that dealt with faith, love, and revolution.\r

Although his literary career was not as fecund as some would have liked, Ahmed Sefrioui was, admittedly, a burning torch that lighted the way to succeeding generations, urging them to continue the work he started and explore uncharted territories in the realm of literature.

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