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Young Moroccans hungrier than ever for English books, literature

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Moroccans are increasingly hungrier for English books, as this year’s International Book Festival reflected a growing demand for English literature especially among young people, echoing a growing shift away from French dominance.

During this year’s International Book Fair held in Rabat, booksellers, consumers, and authors have expressed their satisfaction with Moroccans embracing English books alongside the traditional preferences for Arabic and French works.

Zakaria Aitoruaies, a Moroccan author of English books, expressed satisfaction with this palpably growing trend in a statement to Hespress English, emphasizing that “this is an indication of Moroccans’ linguistic openness.”

Aitoruaies believes that the future demand for English books in Morocco, as well as the audience, “is promising,” drawing this conclusion from his experience since publishing his first book back in 2019 up to the present.

In this regard, a panel titled “Creating and Publishing in English in Morocco. What Future?” was organized on Tuesday at the International Book Fair in Rabat, discussing the real niche English has found between the French language spoken by the Elite and the Moroccan Arabic spoken by the lay people.

The panel brought together experts, including booksellers and writers, to reflect on the history of English books in Morocco, and to assess new publishing needs in English.

During the panel, Aitoruaies highlighted that “young Moroccan people are interested in English as a form of linguistic rebellion, given the fact that French in our context still carries colonial connotations.”

However, Yacine Rettnani, the director of La Croisée des Chemins publishing house, reflected on the increasing demand for English books in Morocco through underscoring, in a statement to Hespress English that, “this trend only mirrors what occurred 40 years ago with French writings.”

He explained that “this surge in demand for English books could foreshadow a similar trend in the future for another language, probably Moroccan Darija, just as it did four decades ago with French, and currently with English.”

The panelists expressed satisfaction with the demand; however, they all emphasized that “it would not replace French or any other language.”

In this regard, Yassine Adnane, a Moroccan writer and TV presenter, emphasized “the importance of maintaining other languages as they contribute to the richness of our identity as Moroccans.”

The rising popularity of English books in Morocco is delighting not only Moroccan booksellers and authors but also their English counterparts. This trend was felt at the International Book Fair, where the UK stand featured a few authors interacting directly with eager consumers.

Many enthusiastic Moroccan readers of English books, interviewed by Hespress English, expressed their desire to improve their language skills by reading English books, leading to a growing appetite for more English work.

Our observations at the fair, supported by bookseller insights, confirm that this increase in demand for books in English draws Moroccan youths in the first place.

Despite the growing interest, some Moroccan readers reported difficulties finding English books in the Moroccan market. This highlights the pressing need for intensified efforts to meet the increasing demand and satisfy consumer expectations.

Yet, it seems that Moroccans welcome the shift towards English and the growing awareness of its importance, as they see it opening up broader prospects.

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Étiquettes : , , , , , Last modified: mai 18, 2024
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