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Said El Haji

Said el Haji was born in Isoefajen, Morocco, in 1976. He moved to The Netherlands with his family at the age of six and grew up in a small town in the south of the country. He studied Dutch literature at Leiden University.

In 2000 his short story Young Hamid won him the El Hizjra Prize for young writers of Arabic descent. El Haji expanded this story about a teenager who begins to rebel against his strict Islamic father into his debut novel published when he was just 24 years old. Critics called De dagen van Sjaitan (The Days of Shaytaan) an ambitious debut. Told in the different voices of the main protagonists, el Haji creates a unique coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, gods and angels, rebellion and loyalty.

In 2002 el Haji presented an experimental television program along with Radio Books author Khalid Boudou. And in 2006 together with another Radio Books author Annelies Verbeke, he edited a collection of stories by promising Dutch and Flemish authors under the age of 35. His second novel Goddelijke duivel (Divine Devil) was also published in 2006 and he is currently working on his third.

Vlaams Nederlands Huis de Buren Radio Netherlands The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

This author's Radio Book:

Said El Haji

The gulf between emigrant parents and their westernised children is an important theme in stories by Said el Haji. For Radiobooks he paints a bleak portrait of a group of disenfranchised Moroccan youth in The Netherlands.

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