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Mohamed El Bachiri wins the 2017 Equality Prize

Mohamed El Bachir, a Moroccan author living in Belgium./Ph. DR
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The book A jihad of love by Belgian-Moroccan author Mohamed El Bachiri has just won the 2017 Equality Prize, reports literature website En Lettres. The award was received during the fifth edition of the 2017 Equality Festival, held in Gand, Belgium, from the 14th to the 16th of December.

Living in the Molenbeek district, Mohamed El Bachiri had lost his wife Loubna Lafquiri, a mother of three children, during the Brussels attacks on March 22nd, 2016. The Zaventem airport and a subway train at Maelbeek station had been targeted by the attackers. Following these tragic events, the writer posted a video, calling to «respond to terror with love».

This appeal has been met with many positive reactions and has gone viral on the Internet. The same month, A Jihad of Love was published by Lattès. In this book, Mohamed El Bachiri puts in writing a moving account, including his own poems.

Relayed in letters, the writer had expressed to the Belgian press his wish that «Molenbeek become the epicenter of a message of love, tolerance and openness». For Mohamed El Bachiri, «it is important to know our history and the history of the other, which is ultimately our story, that of humanity».

Written in Dutch, the first version of this book was a great success. More than 80,000 copies have been sold. Subsequently, it was translated into German, English, and then in French.

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