Moustafa Safouan

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Moustafa or Moustapha Safouan (born May 17, 1921) is an Egyptian psychoanalyst living in France.


Born in Alexandria, Safouan was the son of a teacher and trade unionist who was imprisoned for several years for his political activity in 1924. After studying philosophy in Alexandria, and unable to gain a place to study at Cambridge University in the aftermath of the war, he went to Paris to study philosophy in 1946. After entering analysis with Marc Schlumberger, he underwent a training analysis with Jacques Lacan in 1949. He attended Lacan's seminars in the early 1950s, though was forced to stay in Egypt for several years after Nasser came to power. Returning to France in 1959, he was sent by the Lacanian Société Française as a training analyst to Strasbourg.[1]

His book Why are the Arabs Not Free argues that Arabic culture and politics are held back by the lack of regard given to vernacular Arabics.


  • Le structuralisme en psychanalyse, 1968
  • Études sur l'Œdipe: introduction à une théorie du sujet, 1974
  • La sexualité féminine dans la doctrine freudienne, 1976
  • L'échec du principe du plaisir, 1979. Translated by Martin Thom as Pleasure and being: hedonism, from a psychoanalytic point of view, 1983.
  • Jacques Lacan et la question de la formation des analystes, 1983. Translated by Jacqueline Rose as Jacques Lacan and the question of psychoanalytic training, 1999
  • La parole ou la mort: comment une société humaine est-elle possible?, 1993. Translated by Martin Thom, with an introduction by Colin MacCabe, as Speech or death? Language as social order: a psychoanalytic study, 2002.
  • Four lessons of psychoanalysis, 2004
  • Why are the Arabs not Free? the politics of writing, 2007


  1. ^ Interview of Moustapha Safouan by Colin MacCabe, Accessed 23 April 2012

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