“The last one” by Fatima Daas

This article is also available in: Italiano

“The last one” by Fatima Daas is an autobiographical text about a lesbian and Muslim girl who particularly struck me.

The last one

Not a debut novel but a liturgical book, not an intimate diary but a confession, a song, a prayer. “My name is Fatima”, thus begins each chapter of The Last One; sometimes, to her name, the alter ego author of the protagonist adds the surname: “My name is Fatima Daas”. And gradually enriches her biography with details.

Fatima Daas, the mazoziya, the youngest of the family, the one who should have been a boy like Ahmad, her father, had hoped. Her two sisters were born in Algeria. She is the only one to be born in France, with a Caesarean section. Her mother, Kamar, is a teacher in her Kingdom: cooking. But above all Fatima is a Muslim, devoted and a slave to her religion. Her religion in which she would like to find approval, a way to be accepted as a homosexual without having to give up her faith.

I love you

There are mainly two reasons that led me to purchase and read this book: I wanted to do something for the month of Pride for some time (all of June) and because I’m sure, partly also because I was told, that there are many people who share “condition”, history and thoughts, extraordinarily similar to that of Fatima Daas. It goes without saying that for the latter reason, telling this text is not the same as any other for me; I read too many situations, stories and thoughts that reminded me of some of my knowledge that helped me to get closer (as far as possible for a straight and cis man) to their condition, their thoughts, their doubts and all the sufferings they have in their hearts. It is not right that those who are born different from others should undergo all this, we are all creatures of Allah / God and it was he who chose how to shape us, what to make us think and what to make us love; it is absurd that a person born like this must always be labeled, it is abominable that these labels are so pressing in their head that they do not allow them a normal life and are always forced to think how to behave, what to say and what to show. Cases like this remind me of that extraordinarily great phrase that Mohsin Hamid, one of my all-time favorite writers, wrote years ago:

Civilizations encourage the flowering of our hypocrisies. And in doing so they undermine the only plausible promise of globalization, which is that we will all be free to invent ourselves. Why, exactly, cannot a Muslim be a European? Why can’t a non-religious person be a Pakistani? Why can’t a man be a woman? Why can’t a gay person be married?

Bastards. Spurious. Half-Blood. Forsaken. Deviants. Heretics. Our words to say hybridity are often insulting. It shouldn’t be. Hybridity is not necessarily the problem. It could be the solution. Hybridity means something more than mere mixing between groups. Hybridization reveals that the boundaries between groups are false. This is fundamental, because creativity comes from heterogeneity, from the rejection of a deadly purity. If there were only one human being, our species would become extinct.

“Discontent and Its Civilisations” by Mohsin Hamid

Love, however, is the purest feeling that exists and even just thinking that you are judged by your partner’s gender is something that makes me feel bad inside, something that shouldn’t exist, but which is still a plague in many parts. around the world, including Italy, where if you kiss someone of the same sex you risk being beaten in the middle of the street. I admit it: at one time I too was one of those who, albeit only in words, exploited homosexuals as a scapegoat and as a “glue” between other religions, but now I am deeply ashamed of it and I understand more and more how mean something is , a gratuitous malice towards those who have no guilt and maybe are already suffering because maybe they just want to be accepted and “normal”.

The Last One

I cannot say that I fully understand your situation, but I love you and I will try to facilitate your journey; love is always more sacred than hate. Especially in a moment like that of Pride, you have to be proud of who you are and especially for two reasons: there is nothing more beautiful and pure than love and you are not just that. Define yourself as you wish, but also glorify the person, also glorify your path, your life and your achievements (and Pride, let it be clearer than ever, is an achievement), glorify your love, glorify all the good you do in this world; these are the things that Allah / God really loves, not who you sleep with. If you do, you will be proud of yourself and you will find that, in’sh’Allah, the good you certainly do is far greater than the evil that some believe you may have done. I love you and am close to you, I hope to make your journey easier, in’sh’Allah.

The text

Returning to the text, “The Last One” by Fatima Daas is a very particular text with a hybrid style between poetry and prose that will allow the reader to get even closer to the soul of the author, getting in touch with her thoughts. , with her suffering and with the extraordinary delicacy she used to tell her story. The work of the translator, Giorgia Tolfo, was extraordinary because it perfectly returns the rhythm and sensations of the original novel, showing what it is, as we are rightly told in the introduction, more a sort of song or prayer than a autobiography. Something unique that, fragment of life after fragment of life, will welcome us more and more in the head and heart of Fatima Daas, trying to truly understand the heaviness of all this for a convinced Muslim. A sort of “confession and supplication” which I believe and hope has lightened the soul of Daas and which is now waiting to be read.

The Last One
Fatima Daas

Book that surprised me for its beauty even though, thanks to its delicate notes, it is able to awaken even more the conscience and the heart. Highly recommended work and which could end up in the top 2022, it is about 170 pages but it is so pleasant and intense that it can be read in the space of a morning.

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