A Space for an Impossible Dream

“I saw, in my dream, that I was stark naked with my hair hanging down and freely to my buttocks. I lay down on my back, stretched out my arms to allow the warm yellow pebbles to press against my body and it was such a delicious sensation. Water was flowing near me, submerging me, and I seduced him: Come to me! The tongues of the sun were teasing my face… and I fell asleep. I was alone there, with no eyes to peek at me. The fortune-teller told me: “Water is Safety and Nudity is Purity”. ”


He went out , loudly insulting everybody, starting with his old parents who brought him into existence in this wretched world, and ending with his sister who got married to an old French man and traveled abroad with him, thereby breaking a promise she made.

He remembered what she told him in the airport:
-I married this old man only for your sake. Give me one month to get your documents ready so that you join me abroad. Believe me!

He believed her. Now, many monotonous, dark months later and still her promise is only words. He was tired of seeing his mother coming home at the end of every day loaded with cast-off’s from her master’s house. He was tired of seeing his father crouching in the corner of the room smoking so much dope that he looked like a scarecrow. He was tired of standing all day long at the end of the street selling packs of cigarettes. He smoked many more cigarettes than he sold, and spent much time watching the passers-by going about their days. He sat down next to Hammou, the watchman, and gossiped with him about everybody. He flirted with girls as they walked by him, these girls who looked to him were barely dressed. They responded to his flirtations with a despising look as if he were a rotten, repulsive dish.

On of the radio, a tenth-rated singer’s voice is snoring out both her sexual lust and deprivation:
-Woman, hug him tight and kiss him…

Fire burst out in him, he felt hunger for many things. A monstrous desire was hiding somewhere inside him howling savagely, fiercely … his eyes follow the buttocks of the women who walk past him, tempting him. Wherever he turned, there were protruding breasts in tight blouses. Desire burned in him, pressing down on his nerves violently, without pity, without sympathy for his needs.

He drinks his black coffee to avoid any act of folly for which he may be sorry, even the imam of the mosque has been so many times caught in the act of glancing at the girls and feeling his genitals under his round belly with one hand and counting the moaning beads of his chaplet with the other. You have all your excuses, dear imam, it is Eve who got Adam out of Eden and can get him easily out of his wits…

He looked at Hammou and said nervously: ‘‘This is violence exercised on us, on men. I will hold a banner on which I will write some day’’ Stop Violence Against Men’’. And I will cross all the streets stretching it out high above my head. They wonder about the origins of crimes of rape! You don’t know them, you pimps and prostitutes…’’ Such girls are lucky to have been born in this country. They cannot tell A from B. Just by revealing their thighs and legs and putting on alluring make-up, all the doors of the world open to them!

He was angry watching each one of the young girls from next-door having long conversations on their mobile phones. Some of these girls even had a car and intended to buy a flat instead of remaining in these neighborhood, instead of carrying on living in these rotten caves called “houses”.

When his sister came home so long ago to tell them that she would marry an old French man, her father was angry. He vehemently opposed the idea of a Christian man getting married to a Muslim girl. He raged for weeks, saying it is inconceivable but, all of a sudden, he changed and began to talk about morality and immorality, God and Hell… as for her mother, she cried and cursed the day that she had gave birth to a girl and wished for the days when girls used to be buried alive. However, everything changed so quickly; the old furniture changed in the old flat where they coexisted with rats, cockroaches and spiders: only Dracula was missing. Now, the old man, the father, wears a suit and a tie instead of his old worn-out djellabahs. He smiles like a fool and burst with pride. His daughter brings him millions of dirhams. Satisfied, he whispers while lying on his back:
-He who has got a daughter has a winning number.

He keeps praying to God to protect her from all the evils of the worlds. Even her mother developed the habit of baring her arms before the neighbors to give a clearer view of the bracelets and rings in order to enjoy seeing their eyes protrude under the shining golden effect of her newly-bought jewelry. She would glance at her younger daughter and say:
-How much longer will he oppose his sister’s marriage. She shall marry the old French man whether he agrees or not. Besides, he should not contemplate killing her and spend the rest of his life in jail. What for? Moral values? Honour? Traditions? He knows nothing about all these things. He only heard about it in his grandmother’s tales before going to sleep. That is why he should wipe it off his mind. He should take off that old face and put on a cheeky one the way everybody around here does.

Her brother started to search for Koranic verses in an attempt to find some balance with his new role and to search for acceptance of this marriage in religious text. His neighbours talked long and loud away about it, but finally they swallowed their tongues. As for him, he felt no obligation to justify his acts to anyone. We are born free.

He kept saying loudly so that the neighbors could hear:
-It’s only a matter of days. Then, you will never see my face again.
He was dreaming of his conquests of blond girls. He knew that his fellow citizens, poor or rich, care about nothing but glorious victories in bed. He will, in pidgin Arabic, tell his friends next door about his adventures with the milky-skinned girls.

He picked up the cigarette box that he uses as a counter and got ready to make his way home. He met the postman and asked him if he bears any news for him from France. The postman answered negatively without glancing at him.

He went in , loudly insulting everybody starting with his old parents, who were at the source of his existence in this wretched world and ending with his sister who…



The writer, Malika Moustadrafe, is a Moroccan novelist and short-story writer born in 1970 in Casablanca. She is the author of: "Sore Soul, Sore Body ” (Novel) 1998, and "Thirty-Six" (Short stories),2004. She died in September, 2006, at the age of 36.

The translator, Mohamed Saïd Raïhani, 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 getting ready for printing:"Beyond Writing & Reading " (testimonies) and "Kais & Juliet" (An E-Love Novel).

" A Space For An Impossible Dream" is the eleventh narrative text in the "The Moroccan Dream", An Anthology of Moroccan new short story directed by Mohamed Saïd Raïhani.