Mechraa Bel Ksiri concludes the Short Story Festival.

After a long absence of nearly six years due to various reasons, the Red Star Association for Education, Culture, Sports, and Social Development in the city of Mechraa Bel Ksiri has once again organized its 15th National Short Story Festival with the support of the city’s municipal council.

This edition, which took place over three days from June 28 to June 30, 2024, in the municipal council hall, was named in honor of the late short story writer Malika Najib, a native of Erfoud. She was honored posthumously, with her husband, Professor Abdullah Chihab, present to read some of her creative works.

The festival was attended by critics, short story writers, and cultural figures from various regions of the kingdom, as well as cultural activists from Mechraa Bel Ksiri and its surroundings.

The first day of the festival was marked by speeches from official entities, including the municipal council and the Red Star Association. Beautiful dances from the local “Hayt” folklore, characteristic of the Gharb plain, were also performed. Following this, the results of the Ahmed Bouzfour Short Story Competition were announced. The first prize was awarded to the writer Mimoun Hirsh, followed by Abdul Wahid Al-Ghandouri from Sidi Bennour and Idris Al-Raqibi from Ouarzazate in second and third places, respectively.

Mechraa Bel Ksiri concludes the Short Story Festival

On the second day of the festival, short story enthusiasts had the opportunity to attend the first seminar, held at the municipal hall, titled “Malika Najib and the Short Story.” The seminar featured contributions from critics and professors, including Mohamed Maatassim, who presented “Interactions and Narrative Parallels in the Story ‘The Green Dream’.” This was followed by a presentation by Abdelghani Aref titled “Short Story Writing Between Self and Reality: The ‘Samawi’ Collection by Malika Najib as a Model.” Rajaa Talbi contributed with her paper “Malika Najib: The Tamer of Ideas and Words,” and Mohamed Soulah’s presentation was titled “The Short Story Experience Between Fiction and Text Strategy: The ‘Samawi’ Collection as a Model.” The seminar concluded with Fouad Saber’s presentation, “Paradox and Intertextuality in Malika Najib’s ‘Samawi’ Collection.” The session was moderated by Dr. Thuraya Badawi.

In the evening, story enthusiasts enjoyed a night of diverse short story readings, featuring various storytellers, including Mohamed Souf, Abdel Salam Al-Jabari, Mostafa El Moden, Abdel Jalil El Shafie, Saida Legrari, Safaa El Louki, Said Montassib, Fatima Zahra El Merabet, Rabia Abdel Kamel, Mohamed El Hadi, Idriss El Ouaghash, El Hussein Qessami, Mostafa Ajmaa, Ahmed Shukr, Mimoun Harsh, Fatima El Shiri, Abdel Wahid El Ghandouri, and Mohamed El Shaib.

Mechraa Bel Ksiri concludes the Short Story Festival

The final day of the festival continued with an important critical session titled “The Nineties Short Story in Morocco: Extension and Addition.” Participants included critics and professors such as Said Montassib, who presented “The Nineties Short Story and Overexpansion,” and Omar El Asri, with his talk “The Nineties Short Story in Morocco and the Different Practice of Writing.” Critic Ezzedine El Moutassim contributed “The Nineties Short Story in Morocco Between Extension and Experimentation,” and Professor Jamal El Faqir presented “The Nineties Short Story Between Realism in Writing and Modernization: ‘Smoke of Ashes’ by Mohamed El Shaib as a Model.” The session was moderated by storyteller Mohamed El Shaib.

In conclusion, the awards were presented, and a thank-you speech was delivered by Professor Ben Aissa El Shaib, the president of the organizing association. He expressed gratitude to all participants, both those who took part openly and the behind-the-scenes contributors who worked diligently to make this edition a success despite the challenges faced.

This year’s Mechraa Bel Ksiri Short Story Festival was distinguished by the decoration of the municipal hall’s fountain atrium with paintings by the young visual artist Sara Zafar Allah. The notable absence of the prominent short story writer Ahmed Bouzfour, may he live long, was also felt.


Morocco News

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