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“Horses of God” is the Mahi Binebine’s masterpiece shows us the genesis of the tragic 2003 attacks in Casablanca allowing us to enter the mind of one of the bombers. It will be the ghost of the latter to tell us his story.
Horses of God
Escaping the poverty, silence and violence of their fathers, the total absence of hope: this is what Yashin, Hamid, Nabil, Fouad, Khalil and Azzi, six children born and raised in Sidi Moumen, shantytown of Casablanca forgotten by every God. One day Hamid, Yashin’s elder brother, falls victim to Ahou Zoubeir, a charismatic fundamentalist leader who “knew the right words, greedy words that were fixed in memory and, unfolding in it, swallowed up the debris that clogged “; this is how religion comes to offer discipline to the six friends, a path that has finally been traced, an unexpected opportunity for social redemption, despite calling them to martyrdom.
When you have nothing to lose
“Horses of God”, inspired by real events, shows us in detail the transformation of 6 young boys, from street criminals to real martyrs. Mahi Binebine shows us throughout the novel how full of attraction Paradise is for those who have nothing to lose. Both 6 kids live in a neighborhood where success and dreams can only be an engine for escape and where if you haven’t seen someone die it’s because you are blind.
In the seabed it is easy to be enchanted by the lights of the hungry monkfish and so will the 6 friends, convinced of the goodness of the “saint” Abou Zoubheir. A beautiful light that will illuminate their path to bring them to destruction shortly after. It is tender to see the simplicity and ingenuity of the children as they follow their benefactors like puppies in love with their own butcher. Those are the passages in which the psychological work done by the fundamentalists is most visible, a disturbing transformation of reality in the minds of those 6 children.
Strong and deep
Mahi Binebine’s novel is one of the last great masterpieces of Moroccan literature, managing to also become an authoritative testimony of the radicalization process. A novel that will keep you glued to its pages, a story that can really help to understand the phenomena of Islamic terrorism that have been populating Europe and beyond for years. Hard and profound, Nabil Ayouche’s film “Les chevaux de dieu” was based on it.
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