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El Habib Louai

El Habib Louai

SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association is delighted to welcome El Habib Louai to the Northwest for a series of readings and talks at various venues in August, 2013. We invite you to attend and spread the word. (Download poster here.)

SICA “works at the intersection of creativity and spirituality to advance and celebrate activities that grow out of the development of the human soul.”

El Habib Louai is a Beat Scholar from Agadir, Morocco, and is working on translating the poems of Allen Ginsberg and other U.S. poets into Arabic.

Saturday, August 10th Habib will perform a poem as part of the annual concert by the Jim O’Halloran Quintet at Bradner Gardens at 1730 Bradner Pl S,  Seattle. 6:30PM.

Sunday, August 11th, he’ll discuss the Beat poets from a Moroccan perspective at Spring Street Center, 1101 15th Avenue, Seattle. 12:30PM.

Monday, August 12th he’ll be the featured reader at the North End Forum at the Wedgwood Ale House, 8515 35th NE, Seattle. 8:30PM.

Thursday, August 16th, he’ll discuss the Beat poets from a Moroccan perspective at the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center near Sedro Wooley, WA. 7PM.

El Habib Louai received his B.A in English literature and linguistics from the University Of Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco, in 2007. A number of his poems have been published in various online magazines and journals, such as Indigo Rising Magazine, troubadour21, Eunoia Review, Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Istanbul Literary Review, Sagarana and Camel Saloon. He was the representative and organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change cultural event in Agadir, Morocco in 2011, and is currently translating the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and other U.S. poets into Arabic.


Additional information from Habib:

I have been admitted to a doctoral program in language, culture and literature at the university of Mohamed 5 in Rabat, Morocco.

I will officially start my PhD classes on November 2013.

I have been granted a scholarship by Chicago School of Poetics to take a course on hybrid texts.

I have also been granted Aimee Grunburger scholarship to participate in summer creative writing program at Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa University.

The topic of my dissertation: My PhD dissertation will basically explore the degree of influence that both Moroccan writers and the Beat Generation writers might have had on each other’s styles of writing, aesthetic sensibilities and conscious investigation of some issues and themes, subjects which were previously harbored as taboos, obscene or even blasphemous in the Moroccan social and cultural context. Arguably, there is a tendency to believe that most of the literary forms, modes of representation, styles of creative composition and techniques of self-expression originate from an inevitable influence exerted by Western literary and philosophical figures on their Eastern counterparts within a specific cultural and historical context. This dogmatically Eurocentric perspective is eventually adopted with regard to the cultural encounter which took place between the Beat Generation writers and the Moroccan writers of the sixties. My project therefore investigates the intricacies of such an encounter and the limits of such Eurocentric perspectives by arguing that the cultural encounter between the Beat Generation writers and the Moroccan writers of the late sixties is not a lateral cultural affair; rather, Moroccan writers have indeed influenced the overall literary preferences of the Beats and in fact engaged, whether consciously or unconsciously, in a creative exploration of their concentration on such topics like the complex relationship between psychedelic drug effects, alternative sexual tendencies and literary creativity. Although the Beat generation as a social and literary movement has originally emerged in the United States, its subsequent aesthetic evolution was effectively and largely contributed to by their frequent travels to different parts of the world. The Eastern culture has always been fascinating for the Beat Generation movement because of its preponderating interests in unconventional, sometimes exotic, ways of experimenting with human nature, rejection of materialism, religious beliefs and established social and cultural practices. Undeniably, these distinctive forms of cultural expression have already inculcated themselves in the texture of Moroccan social practices of the late sixties and early seventies. Tangier has been dubbed during that particular historical period as an ‘Interzone,’ which in a striking manner incorporated a wide range of cultural practices and social interactions introduced by expatriates, curious writers, poets and artists, anthropologists and international deputies. Judging from the confused historical situation within which this encounter took place, I shall therefore argue that the Moroccan writers of late sixties and early seventies are not totally passive receivers of the Beat styles of writing since most of the foundational theoretical assumptions of their socio-cultural movement already figured in the writings of Mohamed Choukri and Mohamed Mrabet for instance. Consequently, the fact that Tangier was a ‘melting pot’ of its own time resulted in a multiplicity of visions, creative tendencies and stylistic preferences with regard to the treatment of actual social issues of the time. My argument revolves around the awkward predicament of the encounter which took place between The Beat Generation writers and Moroccan writers of the sixties and its eventual effects on the forms and styles of literary expression as exemplified in the writings of Mohamed Choukri and Mohammed Mrabet and a number of their contemporaries. The relatively short visit of some of the Beats, mainly William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Brion Gysin, to Tangiers should not be hastily regarded as an ephemeral moment in their literary life; on the contrary, serious critical inquiry should be carried and sufficient theoretical research should be made to inform the general and specialized reader of the literary and aesthetic productivity this encounter generated. My dissertation sets for its first and foremost aim the investigation of the implications of this encounter as it informs the general theoretical assumptions and aesthetic preferences of the Beat Generation writers and Moroccan writers of the sixties. I believe that there is something to Tangier and its cultural scene with all its writers which inspired all those writers who undertook the hardships of travel from the other coast.

About The Subud International Cultural Association (SICA)
SICA is a global nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas that provides programs and services to individuals and organizations working in the fields of art, culture, and creativity for the development of human values across all fields of human endeavor. SICA believes the development of individual talent is critical to building love and respect among people everywhere. SICA was begun by members of the World Subud Association in 1983.