At the reception at Brussels Town Hall, Amar will hold a talk about his work and the problems with freedom of expression in his country, followed by a conversation with journalist Béatrice Delvaux (Le Soir).
The Moroccan author and journalist Ali Amar is Brussels and the International House of Literature Passa Porta’s new writer-in-residence and ICORN guest writer. Brussels city of refuge has recently signed a cooperation agreement with four universities of Brussels where they will organise workshops, debates, lectures and seminars with Amar. It will give students a unique chance to learn from a renowned and experienced journalist, author and human rights advocate. It is the Dutch-speaking VUB and University College HUB and the French-speaking ULB and Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles.
Reception on Wednesday 12 February at 19:00, Salle de la Milice – Brussels Town Hall Free entrance. Advance booking is recommended.
In the media:
Flanders Today: Brussels, a refuge for persecuted writers
Ali Amar is a Moroccan writer and journalist. In 1997 he co-founded the Casablanca weekly 'Le Journal hebdomadaire', which he edited until its closure in January 2010. It was the first independent journal banned by the Moroccan regime.
Amar is the author of the bestseller "Mohammed VI, le grand malentendu" (Mohammed VI, the big misunderstanding), published in France in 2009 by Calmann-Lévy. The book was censored in Morocco. His book reveals the reality of the first ten years of the reign of the Moroccan king. His second book "Paris-Marrakech: argent, pouvoir et réseaux" will be published at the end of January 2012 again by Calmann-Lévy editors. It depicts the incestuous ties between Moroccan and French elites against the Arab revolutions.
Amar holds a degree in economics and a Masters in International Journalism from the City University London, UK. He has been persecuted frequently in his home country because of his "engaged pen" and his thorough inquiries into the Moroccan monarchic system.
Brussel City of Refuge
The International House of Literature Passa Porta is member of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network). Passa Porta aims to make a concrete contribution in the fight against the unacceptable situation of so many writers. Some 1000 writers worldwide are known to be pestered, threatened or imprisoned due to their writings. It is difficult or impossible for them to write or speak.
The City of Brussels actively supports the project by making an apartment available where the writer can live. It presents Brussels as a hospitable, open metropolis, committed to freedom of expression and human rights. The four universities of Brussels - ULB, VUB, Université Saint Louis and HUB - are supporting the writers during their stay.
Previous guest writers in Brussels and Passa Porta
2011-2013 Boris Korkmazov from the Cherkessia-Karkachay region
2009-2010 Dejan Anastasijevic from Belgrade, Serbia