Mahi Binebine biography

Mahi Binebine

Novelist, Author

1959 –


Who is Mahi Binebine?

Mahi Binebine is a Moroccan painter and novelist born in Marrakech in 1959. Binebine has written six novels which have been translated into various languages.

In 1980 Mahi Binebine went to Paris and studied mathematics, in which he was a teacher for eight years. After that he devoted himself to writing and painting. He emigrated to New York and lived there from 1994 to 1999.

In "Mamaya’s Last Journey" the author is drawing on an episode from his own family history. His brother Aziz was one of the young officers who had taken part in the failed military coup against King Hassan II in 1971. For 18 years, he was imprisoned in the desert camp of Tazmamart, under conditions of unimaginable and almost indescribable brutality. Of the 56 prisoners, only half survived; among them, Aziz Binebine. Mahi Binebine's fellow writer Tahar Ben Jelloun took this story as the basis for his novel This Blinding Absence of Light.

Welcome to Paradise, the English translation of Cannibales was short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2004. Horses of God, also translated by Lulu Norman, was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in 2014. It was made into a feature film in Morocco in 2011, called Horses Of God, directed by Nabil Ayouch and selected for the official Moroccan entry for best foreign language film for the 2013 Oscars.


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  • Morocco

on July 23, 2013

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