Malika Oufkir

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Malika Oufkir
Malika oufkir 2006.jpg
Malika Oufkir signs her book, Freedom: The Story of My Second Life, at the 2006 Texas Book Festival.
Born (1953-04-02) April 2, 1953 (age 61)
Marrakesh, Morocco.
Occupation Writer

Malika Oufkir (Arabic: مليكة أوفقير‎) (born April 2, 1953 in Marrakesh) is a Moroccan Berber writer and former "disappeared". She is the daughter of General Mohamed Oufkir and a cousin of fellow Moroccan writer and actress Leila Shenna.

Malika Oufkir is the eldest daughter of Mohamed Oufkir and she is a Berber Christian. Her siblings are Abdellatif, Myriam (Mimi), Maria, Soukaina and Raouf.

History[edit]

General Mohamed Oufkir was the interior minister, minister of defense and the chief of the armed forces. He was very trusted by King Hassan II (and the most powerful figure in Morocco after the King) during the 1960s and early 1970s in Morocco. But after attempting to assassinate the King and Moroccan delegation returning from France on a Boeing 727 jet in a coup d'état in 1972, General Oufkir was arrested and then executed. Malika Oufkir and her family were initially confined to house arrest in the south of Morocco from 1973 to 1977. Then General Oufkir's entire family was sent to a secret prison in the Sahara desert where they suffered harsh conditions for a total of 15 years. After escaping, they were released into house arrest in 1987. In 1991 they were among nine political prisoners to be released. On 16 July 1996, at the age of 43, Malika Oufkir emigrated to Paris accompanied by her brother Raouf and her sister Soukaina.[1]

Malika Oufkir's life has inspired many to advocate for the rights of political prisoners. She and her siblings are converts from Islam to Catholicism, and she writes in her book, "Stolen Lives": "we had rejected Islam, which had brought us nothing good, and opted for Catholicism instead." In the introduction of Malika Oufkir's book "Stolen Lives", the coauthor Michèle Fitoussi writes :"Even though they were so many differences between us, of background, social circles, children, profession and even religion - to me she's a Muslim and I am a Jew - we belong to the same generation...". This clearly states that Malika Oufkir remained Muslim despite performing Christian prayers when trying to escape, but later she fully embraced Christianity. Her mother, however, character remained a Muslim but her siblings are Christians. "In our family," she asserts, "Christmas had always been sacred. Even at the Palace, where Islam was dominant, Christmas was still Christmas" [2] Oufkir married Eric Bordreuil on 10 October 1998. They were married at the town hall of the 13th arrondissement in Paris.

Publications[edit]

Malika published an account of her life in prison, entitled Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail,[3] with Tunisian author Michèle Fitoussi. The book was first written in French, titled "La Prisonniere" with the help of author Michele Fitoussi. This account was later translated into English. [4]

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