Asis Aynan (and my work)

Last week, writer Asis Aynan wrote an article for the weekly VPRO Boekengids (Book Guide) about his life and work as a writer and book lover, with reading suggestions for the summer season. He talks, among other things, about his friend and poet Chacha (1955-2016), as this summer it has been four years since he passed away. He still often listens to his music. The water color portrait next to the soundtrack, in which you can hear Chacha sing, accompanying himself on the lute, was made by me and shows Chacha in younger days. This portrait now has a special place on Aynan’s home wall.

Asis Aynan posing with ‘Vallende Tijd’, in front of Chacha’s portrait.

Asis Aynan, together with translator Esther Tollenaar, the initiator of De Berberbibliotheek (Berber Library), which consists ten classics by authors with a Berber background that had not yet appeared in Dutch, such as Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, Tahar Djaout, Taos Amrouche, Kateb Yacine and Mohammed Choukri. The series is a multimedia project and is published by Jurgen Maas.
Asis Aynan. The cover of the tenth and last book of the series, Vallende Tijd, was illustrated and designed by me. Vallende Tijd contains a selection from the work of the four greatest poets from the Rif (North Morocco). Poets Mohammed Chacha, Ahmed Ziani, Fadma el Ouariachi and Mimoun el Walid have devoted their lives to poetry in their native language, at the risk of rejection and banishment. In the poems love is sung, migration is loathed and emancipation is screamed for.

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