Morocco a look from afar – Literature of North Africa, Religion and the Moroccan Society
An interview with Moroccan author Professor Laila Lalami, UC Riverside
and Professor Kambiz Ghanebasiri, Reed College.
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Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco . She earned her B.A. in English from Université Mohammed V in Rabat , her M.A. from University College , London , and her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Southern California . Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts grant and a Fulbright Fellowship. She was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing (the “African Booker”) in 2006. Her debut collection of short stories, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was published in the fall of 2005 and has since been translated into Spanish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Norwegian. Her first novel, Secret Son, will be published in the spring of 2009. She is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside .
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri was born in Tehran , Iran , and grew up in the United States . He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University . He has taught Islamic studies in the religion and humanities department at Reed College since 2002.
Kambiz was asked by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Religious Endowments in Morocco to lead curricular reform efforts at Dar Al Hadith Al Hassania. The Islamic seminary, which has begun teaching non-Islamic religions and non-Islamic languages as well as philosophy and social sciences, asked GhaneaBassiri to direct academic affairs during the 2006-2007 academic years.
Professor Ghanebasiri, a Carnegie Scholar, currently works on his first book "Islam in America".