Fatiha Morchid

Ima’aat (Gestures)



Dar Attakafah, Casablanca 2002


Ima’aat By Fatiha Morchid

Fatiha Morchid was born on March 14, 1958. She received her doctorate in medicine in 1985, and has specialised in pediatery since 1990. Unlike most Moroccan poets, who generally came to poetry from the academic study of literature, Fatiha Morchid came to poetry from science, which is perhaps why she seems free from a certain tendency to conform to academic poetic norms, or to indulge in obscurity and experimentation.

The impression one gets from reading the poetry of Fatiha Morchid is that of a Moroccan woman standing at the edge of a big ‘Borgesian’ mirror that not only duplicates reality in its minutiae, but creates and transforms it. One sets out on a journey from the edge of ordinary everyday reality, but slowly finds oneself turning to the world beyond – a world starting at home and extending into the so-called ‘unhomely’, which according to Hanna Arendt designates “everything that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light”. Such a world can be none other than a Moroccan woman’s world, an upside down world where the day starts at sunset, promising profound interior revelations that belie the apparent weakness in daily feminine resignation, and turn the latter into a challenging stoicism:


By sunset

Her day rises

It no longer matters

Who the person is

That will ride

Her horse


Ready is she

To die


Reading Morchid’s poetry is discovering the mysterious reservoir of power from which Moroccan women tap their strength to survive in a harsh, unfriendly reality. This is perhaps what gives Morchid’s poetry its sense of urgency – the speakers of her poems do not seem to have any time at all for the usual elitist preoccupations.


In addition to practising medicine, Fatiha Morchid researches and presents medical tv-programmes for the Moroccan channel 2M TV.


By Norddine Zouitni

Morocco – Poetry International Web Mar 20, 2010



Poems From Ima’aat :


Do not say “absence tastes like madness”
Close your eyes
Wherever you are
You will find me . . .
Immovable as the sea
Wandering about
In the ebb and flow

Never absent.



I rise from under the ruins
Climb my pride
And reach to the surface . . .
The zenith of pain
From memory I build up a fortress
. . . and from monotony.
I wrap myself in expectations from above
Before I resume . . .
My falling.




I and the sea here
Your breath
In a cell-phone
. . . carries me
a sail,
without astrolabe
and the horizon your eyes . . .