Fatiha Morchid was born on March 14, 1958. She received her doctorate in medicine in 1985, and has specialised in pediatery since 1990. Unlike most Moroccan poets, who generally came to poetry from the academic study of literature, Fatiha Morchid came to poetry from science, which is perhaps why she seems free from a certain tendency to conform to academic poetic norms, or to indulge in obscurity and experimentation.
The impression one gets from reading the poetry of Fatiha Morchid is that of a Moroccan woman standing at the edge of a big ‘Borgesian’ mirror that not only duplicates reality in its minutiae, but creates and transforms it. One sets out on a journey from the edge of ordinary everyday reality, but slowly finds oneself turning to the world beyond – a world starting at home and extending into the so-called ‘unhomely’, which according to Hanna Arendt designates “everything that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light”. Such a world can be none other than a Moroccan woman’s world, an upside down world where the day starts at sunset, promising profound interior revelations that belie the apparent weakness in daily feminine resignation, and turn the latter into a challenging stoicism:
Her day rises
It no longer matters
Who the person is
That will ride
Ready is she
Reading Morchid’s poetry is discovering the mysterious reservoir of power from which Moroccan women tap their strength to survive in a harsh, unfriendly reality. This is perhaps what gives Morchid’s poetry its sense of urgency – the speakers of her poems do not seem to have any time at all for the usual elitist preoccupations.
In addition to practising medicine, Fatiha Morchid researches and presents medical tv-programmes for the Moroccan channel 2M TV.
Ima’aat. Poems. Dar Attakafah, Casablanca 2002.
Waraqun ‘Ashik Poems and paintings by Ahmeh Jarid. Dar Attakafah, Casablanca, 2003.