“School was for me the place of personal development” | EUROtoday

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Islamologist Rachid Benzine has at all times labored for interfaith dialogue. From his youth in Trappes, in Yvelines, this instructor retained a style for change in a interval when clashes over non secular questions grew to become paroxysmal. After having printed in September 2023 a extremely observed novel, entitled The Silences of the Fathers (Seuil), he’s at present engaged on an essay on the struggle of tales.

I would not have gotten right here if…

…if I had not entered the associative area within the Eighties with my associates from Trappes. I used to be 14 years previous and I grew to become vice-president of an affiliation referred to as Issue de emergency. We have been bored, we simply wished a spot with a desk soccer, to make booms and take heed to funk and soul. At first we have been refused, so we organized a march and a sit-in on the city corridor to protest the choice. We have been the primary youth affiliation in Trappes. Very rapidly, we arrange tutorial assist for the little ones. As we have been all minors, adults got here to assist us by occupying the positions of president, secretary, treasurer, and so on. This collective journey was foundational for me. There I met a worker-priest, Jean-Michel Degorce, who arrived with very dedicated left-wing Christians to provide us a serving to hand. I understood that, in an effort to develop, we wanted adults to belief us.

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You have been born in Morocco, in Kenitra. How did your loved ones find yourself in Trappes?

My mother and father got here from the countryside, from a working class background. My father had obtained diplomas and had created an Arabic language studying faculty in a slum earlier than leaving for France to search for work. Friends had discovered him a job on a building web site. Initially, he lived in Sonacotra houses. He had no intention of bringing his household, he simply wished to earn sufficient cash to assist us and return to Morocco. Then my huge sister joined him, she did house responsibilities. She was the one who inspired my father to deliver us right here as a part of household reunification. So he utilized for lodging. My mom had no need to depart her nation, her brothers and sisters. She lastly mentioned, “If there are good faculties for the children, high quality. » In the top, my mother and father by no means left once more. My father spent his entire life right here as a scrap supplier. When he was not working, he took refuge in books, studying poetry, theology and exegesis of the Koran. He was thought of a scholar by his associates.

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