“Only dreams sharpen wills, strengthen body and soul, enable man to endure hard times and cope with the difficulties of life…the moment that dreams disappear from our lives, the Universe darkens and humans turn into mere puppets in the wind…In the very beginning, there was Dream. Then, there came space to fit His growing wings yearning to fly away. ”

from “The Wrinkles Of The Walls”, a novel by Zahra Ramij

I) A delicious revenge:

We sat around the table, as we usually do on Sundays, to have breakfast on the first day of the week together. On Sunday, our breakfast is luxurious compared to the other days of the week. We take our time to enjoy the various sorts of drink and food. We have serious discussions, share funny jokes…and share fresh dreams. It is as if we avenge ourselves of the remaining days of the week when we had to drink a cup of coffee and milk and swallow a slice of cake and run off to our days… It is really as if we take avenge that loneliness which every one of us feels when having breakfast a few moments before going out to work.

My little son is keen on narrating his dreams. During the remaining days of the week, we do not allow him to do so, at least not in the morning. Even when he tries to take advantage of lunchtime to tell us his dream, we silence him as we are either too tired or busy watching the afternoon news. He tries his chance again in the evening at the dinner-table. Unfortunately, at that time, we are once again either tired or busy watching news or films or serials on television.

Although his attempts fail (sometimes out of sympathy I ask him to narrate his dreams to me before sleeping) no one can make him change his mind on Sunday. In silent agreement, we find ourselves responding to his desire to tell his dreams, because as soon as he finishes narrating his dream, he asks us to tell what we had seen at night. Thus, we game is on and we indulge ourselves in the narration.

II) My little son’s dream:

We were in the classroom. Hardly had we taken out our school manuals when the French-language teacher said:“Put your books away!”

We obeyed without question and without knowing the reason. The teacher went to the classroom bookcase and took out a set of books that he distributed to us. He read the title of the book: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’’ by J.K. Rowling. He read the opening to the story and we took turns reading aloud.

The story was sensational. We lived the worlds of magic and magicians; the struggle between good and e evil… it was quiet in the classroom except for the voice of the student reading. Then the bell rang. We did not want to leave our seats and we asked our teacher to stay with us and continue reading but he refused. We had to have a break and he had to drink his coffee. Those were his final words.

One of the pupils at the back of the classroom burst out crying. We turned around and were astonished to see that the weeping boy had always been the first to feel joy at the ring of the bell and the first one to run out!

The Arabic language teacher came in after the break, accompanied by a girl holding a set of books covered in red. Hardly had we started taking out our books when she ordered us to put them away and we obeyed. She distributed to us small beautiful books on which were written in golden letters:

“An Anthology of Modern Humanist Poetry”

She started to read the poems in a sweet, gentle voice, a voice as delicious as the rose honey that you buy for us, Mother. She read and our eyes followed along and we were lost in a the magic of her voice, of the images and of the word!

She was astonished and so were we at the silence reigning for the first time over the class. She said: «Congratulations, boys! The examinations are cancelled. »

We ran in delight to hug her. We ran out to the courtyard which in my dream had turned into Cabo Negro Beach with its gentle golden sands and pure blue waters and thousands of beautiful fishes:

As usual, I was digging a deep hole in the sands when a small wave came towards me and filled up the hole with water. I reached into the hole to and found a fish swimming there! A beautiful fish with colours as beautiful as those of a rainbow! I took it out. It didn’t fight. I stroked her smooth back and she raised her smiling head to tell me and said: « I have always dreamt of meeting a friend as different as you. »

I wanted to kiss her but when I got her closer to my lips, a big wave come along and took her away from my hands! I cried out of pain until I wake up screaming.

III) The dream of my daughter who is not born yet:

I dreamed that I was in was in my mother’s belly, listening to some talk which was probably between my mother and my father or between my mother and other women or between my father and other men … I do not know. I remember neither the speakers nor the subjects they spoke of. What is important is that after hearing those people talk about a subject I cannot remember, I decided not leave my mother’s womb!

My mother was breathing hard and pushing her muscles down on me to make me come out but I stuck obstinately to the walls of her womb with the nails of my fingers and toes. My head was in the birth canal, when suddenly; my position was reversed and I found my head next to my mother’s heart and my feet were next to her uterus. My mother cried out in pain at this unexpected reversal.


I felt that a supernatural power was making me resist getting out. I do not know how much time passed while I was resisting and she was pushing: resisting and pushing, resisting and pushing.

I was sweating all over inside and she was sweating all over outside… I had wedged myself in my mother’s womb. It is only then that coldness started numbing my feet and gradually moving towards my head. My mother’s heartbeats were slowing down, my temperature was dropping down, I tried to hear my mother’s heart beats.… when I felt myself swept out in the torrential water, and then I felt your soft touch on my face, Mother, and I woke up to your sweet voice saying: «Good morning, my little bird! »

III) The maid’s dream:

I dreamt I was in the countryside with two girlfriends whom I had never met before. One of them was as black as a ripe olive. The other one was as white as snow. All of us were riding one donkey going out to fetch some grass for the farm animals.

The black girl had the reins and was leading the journey while I was sitting between her and the white girl who was holding on tight to me. She was afraid to fall off as she was sitting on the donkey’s hindquarters. I dreamt I was standing between them on the donkey’s back, stretching my arms in the air, laughing and happy.

At first, I was laughing alone but soon my two girlfriends joined me and we were laughing and singing, waving about our sickles in the air as if to cut off invisible heads! In the distance was the field, the tall green grass was dancing in the wind. Oh! How beautiful is our village and how fertile is its soil! We shall bring back fresh grass to the farm animals. We shall eat to our fill to compensate for the past years of drought!

Suddenly, a dark cloud concealed the field before me. I looked at my white girlfriend’s feet as she was violently spurring the donkey’s flanks. Her feet looked like a camel’s hooves. I jumped off the donkey and ran, shouting back to my black girlfriend: ‘‘watch out! She is a devil! She is a devil! Run before she catches you!”

Soon we were both running, and the white girl on the donkey was chasing after us until the green field appeared before us again. We rushed towards it to find that it was a sea! We threw ourselves in its waters, swimming in a direction that neither of us knew. The girl on the donkey, who I thought was my friend, was afraid of the water.... I kept on swimming away, until I was safe on the other coast. My joy was great when I knew that it was a European coast! How did I know? I have no idea!

So, I am in Europe and no-one has barred my way! What about my black girlfriend? Where was she? In fact, I felt no grief at her loss because if she were with me, both of us would be identified as strangers and caught and sent back across the sea. Here I am in Europe, I am safe. I did not need to be in eternal queues to get a visa; I did not need to risk my life in a rowboat!

I was all alone spinning around on European sands, dancing, laughing, laughing… until I woke to my own loud laughter!

V) The dream of the mother:

I dreamt myself a child anew, walking all alone in a narrow path between the green wheat fields the ears of which have grown taller than me. Walking as if I were alone in the world. Wherever I looked, I saw infinite green fields. Or maybe I was alone in the sea rowing a small boat and surrounded by nothing but the blue water!

At first, I was walking slowly. Then, I quickened my pace until I felt my feet rising above the ground, my body and my arms stretching in the air like a bird in flight… I felt a pure and delicious lightness which was totally new to me. I felt lighter with each breath, until I lost every contact with my body: ‘‘How beautiful those fields below look!’’

Strangely enough, I had this dream many times during all my childhood and teen years. Afterwards, the dream came infrequently until I lost sight of it. I do not see it at night at all, but I have remembered it sometimes in the morning. The morning memory came less frequently until one day it stopped. I forgot that dream and it forgot to visit me at night.
Now, I wonder, « why, after all this time, does the same dream come to me again? »

In fact, it is not quite the same dream. There is a small difference that adds a new flavour, a wonderful flavour, to the dream! In the old dream, I used to fly between Heaven and Earth; whereas, in yesterday’s dream, I was hugging stars and planets… That was astonishing!

Why does this dream come to my mind right now?!...
Why does it come to me so lively, so beautiful?
Did my dream really stop at any time earlier? Or was it me who never made any effort to remember my dream in the morning? Why does it come so clear to my eyes now while my old dreams were usually a blur?


I do not know much about the interpretation of dreams. I do not believe in the popular interpretation that traces any dream to its opposite meaning: laughter stands for crying, crying stands for happiness, death stands for longevity and wedding ceremonies stands for funeral rituals…

In my early youth, when my dreams were great and abundant and when this very dream used to visit me every night, I would search in vain for a booklet to find a logical interpretation for my dreams.

Later, when I fell on better references on the subject, my dreams had already boycotted my nights or rather refused to reveal themselves to me in the morning. So books were of no use.

So, please, is there anyone to interpret these dreams for me?

The writer, Zahra Ramij, is a Moroccan novelist, short-story writer and translator born in Casablanca. She is the author of: The Moan of Water (Short stories), 2000; Is the Sun Really Going Down? (Short stories), 2006; The Wrinkles of The Walls, (Novel) ,2006; Exercises In Tolerance (A play translated from French),2005; Judge Of The Shade (A play translated from French),2005; Just a Woman(A novel translated into Arabic),2005; Rustic Lover(A novel translated into Arabic),2006 . Flashes )Short stories) will be published soon.

The translator, Mohamed Said Raihani, is a Moroccan translator, scholar & short story writer, born on December 23rd 1968 in Ksar El Kébir. He published in Arabic "The Singularity Will " (Semiotic Study on First-names) 2001, "Waiting For the Morning" (Short stories) 2003, "Thus Spoke Santa Lugar-Verde" (Short stories) 2005, "The Season Of Migration to Anywhere" (Short stories) 2006. He is preparing for publication: "Beyond Writing & Reading” (Testimonies).

“Dreams" is the ninth narrative text in the "The Moroccan Dream", An Anthology of Moroccan new short story directed by Mohamed Saïd Raïhani.