• Biography,  Blog

    “Al-Hashas”: On Identity and Origins of the Name

    “Al-Hashas”: On Identity and Origins of the Name Names reflect history and memory. They are containers of traditions, of hopes and aspirations. This applies to my name as well, my family name in focus here (and we leave my first name, and the family name of my mother, “Azirār” which is Amazigh and literally means “Tall/Long”, for another occasion). My name is poetic when read and pronounced in Arabic, composed of a repeated syllable, the vowel of the second is long, “ā”, written in the Arabic version as an “alif” but not visible in the Latin one: “has-has” – [transliterated as “ḥaṣḥāṣ”] – and not “ha-shas” as it is often…

  • Blog,  Press & Media

    After COVID-19, only a “middle way” can save us

    After COVID-19, only a “middle way” can save us If you visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Palermo, Italy, located in the eighteenth-century Palace Belmonte Riso, in the ancient Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the city centre, a simple work of art, a painting in the stairs that lead you from the first floor to the second, reads “In the middle of” — Nel Mezzo di. It is written three times in big capital letters, in both Italian and English. Until the end of February, before the country-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first floor of the museum was dedicated to the beautiful paintings of the self-made Sicilian artist Paolo Madonia…

  • Articles in Italian,  Blog,  Press & Media

    Cosa significa essere marocchino in Italia

    Cosa significa essere marocchino in Italia Il Secolo d’Italia ha pubblicato il 24 febbraio 2020 un articolo intitolato “Questionario indecente a scuola sui marocchini: «Faresti sesso…». Così schedano gli studenti”. Le domande del questionario tendono a descrivere “il marocchino” come straniero, di cultura inferiore, criminale, bisognoso e ladro delle opportunità di lavoro degli italiani. Il questionario viene somministrato in una scuola superiore di Clusone, in provincia di Bergamo. Una parte della società civile attiva ha risposto criticando questo tipo di questionario in ambito scolastico. L’ambasciata del Regno del Marocco ha risposto con indignazione e sorpresa al questionario, chiedendo alle autorità italiane di reagire al fatto adeguatamente. Io, come cittadino marocchino che vive in Italia…

  • Blog,  Uncategorized

    Love’s Day: A Letter to My Intended Lady

    Love’s Day: A Letter to My Intended Lady Rome My dear, This to mark a note of love for you, as I may never explain it fully, nor experience it fully, nor demonstrate it enough. It is that interior flow of emotions that seem to say that our alchemy works together. Love does not speak enough. I do not speak enough. I cannot speak enough. Love fights, fights terribly, against uncertainty, the future, fear, solitude, jealousy, appropriation, and departure. A real lover tries to live the great feelings he feels but he is in constant fear of losing the lover. A real lover can become a coward, a frail man…

  • Blog

    A Letter on My Birthday: Existential Trials and Becoming Plural

    A Letter on My Birthday: Existential Trials and Becoming Plural Rome – Writing is joy; writing is also suffering; it can be at other times a commitment, a job, a task. In this piece, it is existence summarized in words. Time has its own theology, and since we are timed creatures, it appears, we build our own theology of time. I am now writing this in Copenhagen, on 01 March 2012, at 10:04 at night. I entitle this memoir “Celebrating My 28th Birthday – Celebrating My Individuality.” (This is slightly re-ordered and modified for my 32nd birthday, 02/03/2016). Whatever title I choose for my 28th birthday record, I would fail to catch…

  • Blog

    Three Conversations 1) With a Rebel, 2) With a Modern Skeptic, 3) With a Futurist

    Three Conversations The three conversations presented here are: I. With a RebelII. With a Modern SkepticIII. With a Futurist I. Conversation with a Rebel M.H. Copenhagen. 11 Dec 2011. 8:26:26 PM 1. What is your reference? I am the reference. Thinking is my reference. The world is my reference, but not one person or one book.  World cited references are references to themselves as I am to myself. I reference the world but according to my understanding. That is me. At the end I was given a chance to this world to be myself, not to be the world or anything else. I try to be. 2. You should be pragmatic and concrete? Very true. I try to…

  • Blog

    A Letter to My First Niece Myriam

    A Letter to My First Niece Myriam Dear Myriam, Copenhagen – You may be born at any moment of today or tomorrow, and we are just very happy to receive you to this world which we would like to share with you. It is an elevating feeling to be an uncle, and I can just imagine how great it is to be a father and mother. Your parents must be happy, very happy. Your grandparents are equally awaiting your birth with the love we, their sons and daughters, know of them. I do not want to say much, maybe because I cannot condense what I want to say in few lines.…

  • Blog

    What is Life?: The Process of Becoming ‘Insan’ (Human) in Islam

    What is Life?: The Process of Becoming ‘Insan’ (Human) in Islam *This essay was written during my PhD research stay at the University of Copenhagen, Center for European Islamic Thought, from September 2011 to July 2012. I am thankful to Abdelghani Elkhairat (Untrecht University, the Netherlands) and Soumaya Ibn Roshd (Mohamed I University in Oujda, Morocco) for having read and commented on this text. I am sorry not have been able to expand on some of the issues they raised for the simple reason that I did not intend this essay to be lengthy and highly theoretical. The essay is generic and aims to be so at this stage, that…

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