A Boy to Be Sacrificed

This short opinion piece by Abdellah Taia in the Sunday NY Times, has got to be one of the most distressing  accounts of a boy’s life I have read in years.

IN the Morocco of the 1980s, where homosexuality did not, of course, exist, I was an effeminate little boy, a boy to be sacrificed, a humiliated body who bore upon himself every hypocrisy, everything left unsaid. By the time I was 10, though no one spoke of it, I knew what happened to boys like me in our impoverished society; they were designated victims, to be used, with everyone’s blessing, as easy sexual objects by frustrated men. And I knew that no one would save me — not even my parents, who surely loved me. For them too, I was shame, filth. A “zamel.”

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His An Arab Melancholia,(2008/2012e) and Salvation Army (2006/2009e), are available in an English translation by Frank Stock.  Le rouge du trabouche, which he mentions, seems not yet to be translated


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