First Language(s): Arabic
Second Language(s): English, French
Chourouq Nasri is an associate professor in the department of English Studies at Mohamed Premier University — Oujda, Morocco. She has authored numerous publications on topics related to literature, media and visual culture. She also published three short stories: “Anna” in “ID. New Short Fiction from Africa” (2018), “Outside Riyad Dahab” in “Hotel Africa: New Short Fiction from Africa” (2020) and, “A Bus Ride to Ouad Nachef” in “Kohl Journal” in 2019.
What was your favorite book as a child?
When I was little, I was fond of fairy tales. Snow White, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and Sleeping Beauty were stories that I read again and again and never got tired of. As a child, I was amazed to think that Cinderella who lost both her parents still had a chance to be happy. I loved the timelessness of the story and the magical elements that enabled characters to defeat misfortune and adversity. Of course, looking back at those stories, I realize how misogynistic they are. Heroines are submissive docile women and female villains are strong and assertive. I remember how I once used a sarcastic tone when I read the final passage of Snow White to my puzzled eight-year-old niece. We both suddenly understood that it was ridiculous to be asleep for seven years and only awake at the kiss of a charming prince!
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I love stories and poems and for many years I have expressed this love in different ways, by teaching literature and by initiating a creative writing class in the faculty I work in. I have also told stories in an artistic way through plays and visual works of art. However, all this did not help gratify my insatiable passion for stories and poetry. That is why I decided it was time I defy my fear of the white page and acknowledged my need to create stories and poems.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
One of the most adventurous experiences I ever lived was the making of a documentary film about eight years ago. I taught a documentary film class in a professional undergraduate program and I thought that the best way to make students understand the difference between documentary film and journalistic reporting was by making them contribute to the creation of a documentary film. I had no experience in filmmaking but I loved that cinematographic genre and I wanted to make one that tells students stories and includes their emotions with all their complexity. I/we finally made “Seeds of Dream,” a film about film-making and the importance of having dreams.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I always listen to music while reading. The combination of jazz or classical music and reading offers me a unique and pleasurable experience. Music also helps me ignore the background noise that can be very distracting and thus increases my concentration. Moreover, the incredibly deep and complex emotions and “sensations” I feel as I listen to music separate me in a way from the real world and carry me away into an imaginary world where everything seems possible.
Issue Spring '21