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Messages - Afroza Akhter Tina

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Speaking Skill / Re: 12 fun speaking games for language learners
« on: August 25, 2018, 12:06:37 PM »
I loved the idea of True/False Storytelling.Thank you for sharing all these fun speaking games to practice Speaking!

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Postcolonialism / Re: key concepts in Postcolonialism
« on: August 11, 2018, 03:28:15 PM »
Thank you for sharing the concepts Madam.I love reading post colonial literature the most.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Re: Ielts speaking
« on: August 11, 2018, 03:16:47 PM »
Thank you madam.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Re: Extempore Speech Topics
« on: August 11, 2018, 03:16:25 PM »
Yes Madam,contextual learning is important indeed!

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Re: 4 Basic Types of Speeches
« on: August 11, 2018, 03:15:22 PM »
Thanks to all.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Pronunciation Development / Improving pronunciation by training ears
« on: August 06, 2018, 11:40:28 AM »
Many English learners work hard to improve their pronunciation skills.

If you are not making as much progress as you'd hoped, you are not alone. You may be surprised to know that a number of teachers do not know how to effectively teach this skill.

Judy Gilbert is a pronunciation expert. She has written many books on the subject.

A few years ago, Gilbert gave a talk at the New School, a private university in New York City. She explained that, for the past 50 years, most English language teachers have not been trained to teach pronunciation.

For years, teachers mainly demonstrated the pronunciation of individual sounds, such as the "wh" sound in the word "what." But individual sounds are only one part of pronunciation, as we noted in an earlier Education Tips story. Other elements include rhythm, intonation, and stress – the loudness you give to part or all of a word or words.

These qualities together make up the system of spoken English. In everyday speech, some words and sounds are almost always pronounced fully and clearly, while others are reduced and less clear.

William Stout teaches English as Foreign Language at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He has been leading pronunciation workshops for 10 years.

He says the goal in improving your pronunciation should be communicating to be easily understood, not removing your accent, which is often difficult or impossible.

Learning how to listen

Stout says one of the most important things you can do to improve your pronunciation is to learn how to listen to English effectively. And, a big part of doing this is to recognize and understand reduced English words when you hear them.

Stout says his pronunciation workshops mainly center on training his students' ears to listen for these things.

"Someone might say, 'What do you want to get him for his birthday?' And in this case, even beginner students can usually hear the content words -- what, get, birthday – and they can guess the meaning. But the words in between are reduced."

And you can hear how some words join together to sound almost like one word. For example, the words "get him" sound like "geddum." The letter "h" in "him" disappears and the vowel sound in that word is shortened. And the letter "t" in "get" changes to a "d" sound.

In everyday speech, some words are almost always reduced. These words can include pronouns, helping verbs (such as "can" or "do"), conjunctions, articles and prepositions.

Other parts of speech are almost always pronounced clearly, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

Stout says that knowing these rules can help you train your ears more effectively. And, this can help you reproduce the sounds of everyday English speech so that you are more easily understood.

Using songs, limericks, and jazz chants

Stout enjoys using songs and song-like material in his classes. These things reproduce the natural rhythm, intonation, and stress of conversational English.

Listening to songs, says Stout, can help speed up your progress.

"I think songs are a nice way to practice and I've found that students who like to sing in English generally improve their pronunciation very quickly."

In class, he plays a song or other example of natural speech, and asks students to write down what they hear. Then, the class talks about which words were reduced and how.

Listen for reduced words and sounds in this limerick:

There was an old man from Tarentum

Who ground his false teeth ‘til he bent them.

When they asked him the cost

Of what he had lost,

He said, “I can’t say, 'cuz I rent them.”

Did you notice the reductions? There are many. One example is the dropped "h" in the pronouns "his," "him" and "he." Note that the word "'til" means "until" and "'cuz" means "because." In English conversation, Americans often shorten the words just as the limerick does.

Stout also uses jazz chants, a method popularized by book author and songwriter Carolyn Graham.

Listen for the stressed words in this jazz chant:

Where does John live?

He lives near the bank.

Where does he work?

He works at the bank.

When does he work?

He works all day and he works all night.

It's a bank. It's a bank. It's a great, big bank.

Here are two suggestions for using these methods.

Tip #1: Start now

William Stout says as you listen to fast-paced English in songs, films, and other natural speech, try to notice all of the words that are reduced. Then….

"…work on imitating just one phrase or a sentence several times. But my main advice is not to wait. And you can improve your pronunciation at all levels of proficiency…and the sooner you start to notice the patterns of English pronunciation, the sooner you're going to improve. And, that way, you don't develop bad pronunciation habits that are hard to change over time."

Tip #2: Take chances

Stout advises that you let go of the fear of not sounding like "yourself" when you're practicing English conversation.

"A big part of how we define ourselves, a big part of our identity, is in the way we talk, the way we sound. But, sometimes, we just need to take on a new personality in the way we speak in a different language and we should just take chances. I think that's an important aspect is being willing to take chances and sound different to yourself."

And again, improving your pronunciation is not about completely removing your accent.

"I find that most Americans like to hear an accent – so long as they can easily understand what the person is saying."

Remember, the goal is to be understood – not to sound like a native English speaker.

The link:

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Please find an interesting article below which focuses on self-assessment and share your ideas.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Extempore Speech Topics
« on: August 05, 2018, 03:02:01 PM »
My three favorite animals.
What you would find in my closet. Make something up.
Why your mom/dad is special.
A day that stands out.
The best surprise ever.
If I had a million dollars to give away.
If cats/dogs ruled the world.
A trip to remember.
My favorite day of the year.
If I could design a school.
Why books are important.
Three surprising facts about me.
How to plan a party.
A job I'd love to have.
A day in my life.
If I could travel through time.
My favorite book.
An important lesson I've learned.
What I've learned from cartoons.
The smartest cartoon character.
Three things I'd change if I ruled the world.
Why sports are important. I'm no good, so I'll tell you how bad I am.
Why I deserve an allowance.
If I had invented school.
The best theme park rides.
Whom do you admire most?
What is your favorite animal?
How to achieve your dreams.
How to save money.
Three things that scare me.
Great things about snow days.
Things you can make out of snow.
How to spend a rainy day.
Great things about the ocean.
Things I'll never eat.
How to be a slacker.
Why I like my town.
The best parts of a parade.
Interesting things you see in the sky.
Things to remember when you're camping.
An experience with a bully.
Red vs Blue
Sky is the Limit
Old is Gold
Wall Clock
Two Sides of a Coin
Freedom Brings Responsibility
Students & Politics
Women Education
Common Wealth Games
I want to fly
Slumdog Millionaire
Politics As a Career

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Re: Ielts speaking
« on: July 30, 2018, 12:13:33 PM »
10 Tips to stay focused in an interview

You have the qualifications, the experience and know you’re the right fit for the job. But you find yourself losing focus when facing the interviewing panel. It’s time to realign as unwavering focus sends out a powerful message to prospective employers.

Try these 10 tips to stay focused during an interview and land that job you want:

1. Before you enter

The minutes before an interview are the toughest. One is never quite sure of what to do – social networking, a chat with a friend or flip through a magazine? Anything that shifts your single-mindedness is a bad idea. Get your thoughts in sync with your goal. Why are you here? How important is this job to you? Asking yourself these questions can help you realign.

2. Focus on your skills

In order to concentrate during the interview, think of one or two things that you would like your interviewer to remember you for. Is it your knowledge, communication skills or project management achievements? Zeroing in on a few things will keep your brain alert and fixated.

3. Review your notes

You have already done your research and rehearsals. Review your notes mentally before you face the interviewing panel. Recall the keywords in the job listing, your major achievements and your strengths. But don’t fret if you can’t mentally rehearse everything. You need to be confident, not nervous.

4. Think happy thoughts

You may find this clichéd but good thoughts will relax your mind and release happy hormones. A calm and happy employee is always a welcome addition to any team and company.

5. Stay calm

An interview room can be intimidating for the person being interviewed. But stress can inhibit your ability to think clearly. Ensure you remain calm and collected. This will help you to listen better and best answer questions.

6. Sit up straight

An upright and alert posture will keep your mind sharp. Slouching or leaning on the chair not only makes you feel lethargic but also makes a poor impression on the interviewer.

7. Switch off the cell phone

Make sure you switch off your cell phone in order to avoid any distraction. Constant pinging sounds or a phone call will derail your thoughts and you won’t be able to focus.

8. Participate in the conversation

If the interview is one-sided, it indicates that you’ve lost your way. The interviewer will appreciate you if you are able to have a conversation and make your point clearly. Remember, that apart from hard skills, the interviewer is also looking for soft skills.

9. Don’t lose patience

Realize that the interviewer may use tactics to put you in an uncomfortable position or trick you by looking unhappy or dissatisfied with your answers. Don’t lose patience. Try controlled breathing and remind yourself why you are in that room.

10. Make up for a mistake

If you feel you messed up - either you mumbled or went off track – try and revive the situation. If you need more time, ask the interviewer a question so that you can gather your thoughts.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / Re: Ielts speaking
« on: July 30, 2018, 12:11:27 PM »
Thank you dear Madam for the useful link.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

English / E-Teacher Scholarship Program-2018
« on: July 21, 2018, 10:05:50 AM »
Dear All

The E-Teacher Scholarship Program for Fall 2018 term will start  from September 25, 2018.  Please find attached the Application form along with the Participant Flyer.

The last date of application is July 23, 2018.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Listening Skill / 10 Steps To Effective Listening by Dianne Schilling
« on: July 21, 2018, 09:56:51 AM »
Here are 10 tips to help you develop effective listening skills.

Step 1: Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.

Talking to someone while they scan the room, study a computer screen, or gaze out the window is like trying to hit a moving target. How much of the person's divided attention you are actually getting? Fifty percent? Five percent? If the person were your child you might demand, "Look at me when I'm talking to you," but that's not the sort of thing we say to a lover, friend or colleague.

In most Western cultures, eye contact is considered a basic ingredient of effective communication. When we talk, we look each other in the eye. That doesn't mean that you can't carry on a conversation from across the room, or from another room, but if the conversation continues for any length of time, you (or the other person) will get up and move. The desire for better communication pulls you together.

Do your conversational partners the courtesy of turning to face them. Put aside papers, books, the phone and other distractions. Look at them, even if they don't look at you. Shyness, uncertainty, shame, guilt, or other emotions, along with cultural taboos, can inhibit eye contact in some people under some circumstances. Excuse the other guy, but stay focused yourself.

Step 2: Be attentive, but relaxed.

Now that you've made eye contact, relax. You don't have to stare fixedly at the other person. You can look away now and then and carry on like a normal person. The important thing is to be attentive. The dictionary says that to "attend" another person means to:

    be present
    give attention
    apply or direct yourself
    pay attention
    remain ready to serve

Mentally screen out distractions, like background activity and noise. In addition, try not to focus on the speaker's accent or speech mannerisms to the point where they become distractions. Finally, don't be distracted by your own thoughts, feelings, or biases.

Step 3: Keep an open mind.

Listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she tells you. If what she says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but don't say to yourself, "Well, that was a stupid move." As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusements, you've compromised your effectiveness as a listener.

Listen without jumping to conclusions. Remember that the speaker is using language to represent the thoughts and feelings inside her brain. You don't know what those thoughts and feelings are and the only way you'll find out is by listening.

Don't be a sentence-grabber. Occasionally my partner can't slow his mental pace enough to listen effectively, so he tries to speed up mine by interrupting and finishing my sentences. This usually lands him way off base, because he is following his own train of thought and doesn't learn where my thoughts are headed. After a couple of rounds of this, I usually ask, "Do you want to have this conversation by yourself, or do you want to hear what I have to say?" I wouldn't do that with everyone, but it works with him.

Step 4: Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.

Allow your mind to create a mental model of the information being communicated. Whether a literal picture, or an arrangement of abstract concepts, your brain will do the necessary work if you stay focused, with senses fully alert. When listening for long stretches, concentrate on, and remember, key words and phrases.

When it's your turn to listen, don’t spend the time planning what to say next. You can't rehearse and listen at the same time. Think only about what the other person is saying.

Finally, concentrate on what is being said, even if it bores you. If your thoughts start to wander, immediately force yourself to refocus.

Step 5: Don't interrupt and don't impose your "solutions."

Children used to be taught that it's rude to interrupt. I'm not sure that message is getting across anymore. Certainly the opposite is being modeled on the majority of talk shows and reality programs, where loud, aggressive, in-your-face behavior is condoned, if not encouraged.

Interrupting sends a variety of messages. It says:

    "I'm more important than you are."
    "What I have to say is more interesting, accurate or relevant."
    "I don't really care what you think."
    "I don't have time for your opinion."
    "This isn't a conversation, it's a contest, and I'm going to win."

We all think and speak at different rates. If you are a quick thinker and an agile talker, the burden is onyouto relax your pace for the slower, more thoughtful communicator—or for the guy who has trouble expressing himself.

When listening to someone talk about a problem, refrain from suggesting solutions. Most of us don't want your advice anyway. If we do, we'll ask for it. Most of us prefer to figure out our own solutions. We need you to listen and help us do that. Somewhere way down the line, if you are absolutely bursting with a brilliant solution, at least get the speaker's permission. Ask, "Would you like to hear my ideas?"

Step 6: Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.

When you don't understand something, of course you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, "Back up a second. I didn't understand what you just said about…"

Step 7: Ask questions only to ensure understanding.

At lunch, a colleague is excitedly telling you about her trip to Vermont and all the wonderful things she did and saw. In the course of this chronicle, she mentions that she spent some time with a mutual friend. You jump in with, "Oh, I haven't heard from Alice in ages. How is she?" and, just like that, discussion shifts to Alice and her divorce, and the poor kids, which leads to a comparison of custody laws, and before you know it an hour is gone and Vermont is a distant memory.

This particular conversational affront happens all the time. Our questions lead people in directions that have nothing to do with where they thought they were going. Sometimes we work our way back to the original topic, but very often we don't.

When you notice that your question has led the speaker astray, take responsibility for getting the conversation back on track by saying something like, "It was great to hear about Alice, but tell me more about your adventure in Vermont."

Step 8: Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.

If you feel sad when the person with whom you are talking expresses sadness, joyful when she expresses joy, fearful when she describes her fears—and convey those feelings through your facial expressions and words—then your effectiveness as a listener is assured. Empathy is the heart and soul of good listening.

To experience empathy, you have to put yourself in the other person's place and allow yourself to feel what it is like to be her at that moment. This is not an easy thing to do. It takes energy and concentration. But it is a generous and helpful thing to do, and it facilitates communication like nothing else does.

Step 9: Give the speaker regular feedback.

Show that you understand where the speaker is coming from by reflecting the speaker's feelings. "You must be thrilled!" "What a terrible ordeal for you." "I can see that you are confused." If the speaker's feelings are hidden or unclear, then occasionally paraphrase the content of the message. Or just nod and show your understanding through appropriate facial expressions and an occasional well-timed "hmmm" or "uh huh."

The idea is to give the speaker some proof that you are listening, and that you are following her train of thought—not off indulging in your own fantasies while she talks to the ether.

In task situations, regardless of whether at work or home, always restate instructions and messages to be sure you understand correctly.

Step 10: Pay attention to what isn't said—to nonverbal cues.

If you exclude email, the majority of direct communication is probably nonverbal. We glean a great deal of information about each other without saying a word. Even over the telephone, you can learn almost as much about a person from the tone and cadence of her voice than from anything she says. When I talk to my best friend, it doesn't matter what we chat about, if I hear a lilt and laughter in her voice, I feel reassured that she's doing well.

Face to face with a person, you can detect enthusiasm, boredom, or irritation very quickly in the expression around the eyes, the set of the mouth, the slope of the shoulders. These are clues you can't ignore. When listening, remember that words convey only a fraction of the message.

Dianne Schilling is a writer, editor, graphic artist and instructional designer who specializes in the development of educational materials and customized training programs for business and industry. She holds a masters degree in counseling and is a founding partner of WomensMedia.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Writing Skill / Writing Diary To Improve English Writing Skill
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:22:24 AM »
Writing a personal diary is one of the best options if someone wants to improve English writing skill.

The advantages are:

1.    You write an entry EVERYDAY (7 days a week without excuses).
2.   You can write more or less depending of your free time, inspiration or mood.
3.   You can write about anything you like (Daily experiences, thoughts…).
4.   While writing your diary you are also keeping a record of the work done.
5.   You can check your progression looking back at what you wrote in the past.
6.    If one day you don’t know what to write about, just write about what you did during the day (Because you always do something, don’t you?).

It’s easy to create the habit to write when you keep a personal diary.

Try to write at the same time every day. For example…

1.   Just before going to sleep.
2.   Just after waking up.
3.   During your lunch time.
4.   While in the bus.
    …among many others…

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

World Literature / Turning Thirty by Abdellah Taïa
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:14:58 AM »
On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, the narrator recounts three near-death experiences and his journey from Morocco to France. With nods toward Dostoevsky and Genet (echoing the Lazarus scene between Raskolnikov and Sonya in Crime and Punishment), he experiences a crisis of existential vertigo.
I’m afraid.
I’m not afraid.
I’m strong, very strong, indestructible.
As a child, adolescent, I was sick. Sick but alive.
Today, in Paris, I’m alive but sick.

I feel weak. I’m no longer able to sleep at night, so I think about Isabelle Adjani, about her singing voice. I’m ashamed, having spent years in France, seven years already, that Adjani’s voice has replaced my mother’s in my head. No, no, it’s not that I’ve forgotten her, my mother, no, it’s simply that everything in me comes from her, everything that I am is marked by her, her indelible imprint. I suffocate.

I am my mother with the voice of Isabelle Adjani murmuring, humming a song. “Pull marine.”
I died. Three times.
The first time.

In the middle of a summer afternoon, in Salé, in my neighborhood, Hay Salam, the angel of death took my soul, but only for a few seconds. I saw myself from above, a sleeping body, peaceful and blue. Did he have pity on me, this terrible white angel? Did God make a mistake? They ended up giving back my anxious soul at the end of those few seconds during which they discussed my fate in front of me, my days and years yet to come, my fate despite myself. And they departed for other destinations. I opened my eyes. Everyone at home was taking a nap, except my father. He was in my mother’s place, at my bedside. He had understood, seen what had happened. He gave me his hand, I took it, I got up, and we went out into the streets, barefoot, to lovingly reacquaint ourselves with life and light again.

The second time.

I was playing alone at a dead-end of Block 15. On the cusp of adolescence and already abandoned by my childhood friends. Not knowing any better, I touched a high-voltage electric pole. Electrocution. I lost consciousness. It was instant blackness, beyond myself, without memory. For how long? I don’t know. When I came to, I saw that the entire neighborhood (dozens and dozens of people, a crowd) was in our house. Crying for me. Even screaming for me. It was unfair, departing at such a young age. I got up suddenly. A man said, “Quickly, quickly, wash his feet, hands, and face with hot water . . . quickly, quickly . . . but not with cold water, mind you!” An ambulance arrived a bit later. The crowd of neighbors carried me carefully, slowly. They took me to Avicenna Hospital in Rabat. I was proud that I was going to be cared for in the most important hospital in Morocco. I was happy, for once people were truly going to believe me, take my strange body and its maladies seriously. My heart and its beating greatly intrigued the doctor, a white-skinned man, a Fassi. He took an x-ray, put his hand on my chest, on my heart, for a long, long time, he saw something that was happening in me that I had never had access to, he understood my body differently than I did, which intrigued me. He caressed my cheek. Played with my hair. And, before leaving, he leaned toward me and murmured a secret in my ear. He said, “Between the two of us . . . you have a strong heart, a heart for life. . . . You will live a long time, my son! Get up!” He saved me, and I still remember his name quite well: Doctor Salah El-Hachimi.

The third time.

To get away from Hamidou, with whom I was in love although he didn’t know it, I went to risk my life on the other side of the sea wall of Rabat’s beach, toward the wild, pitiless waves. I stepped on a large, slippery rock. An enormous wave immediately plucked me with sweetness and violence to transport me to another world in its company. I didn’t close my eyes, I was conscious, and in this movement toward the depths of the ocean and of death, I understood, I saw.

. . . Hamidou wasn’t worth the effort, this sacrifice, it wasn’t worth going to the trouble of changing his opinion about me. He didn’t see me. I didn’t exist for him. He had told me a few minutes beforehand: “You have normal skin, it’s missing something . . . how strange!” Hamidou didn’t love my skin. He didn’t love me. I didn’t believe in loving myself. Love, I read somewhere, is often criminal. . . . I was still with and inside the wave. Just before it smashed onto the rocks, I don’t know by what miracle, I grabbed something—a branch, I think. I grabbed it, held on, and waited for it to pass, to subside. Then I got out of the water. I was on the sea wall, walking. It was the month of August. The souk was on the beach. And there I was all bloodied, wounded in the chest, the arms, the knees, the nose. Blood red. People stopped to look at me. I wasn’t afraid, didn’t think I looked ridiculous, I wanted Hamidou to see me that way, for him to panic, to take pity on me, to regret his indifference toward me, to cry, to beg for forgiveness for the wrong he had committed against me, to be touched, to love me, finally. . . . And at that instant, instead of seeking revenge, I would have said to him: “Goodbye . . . farewell . . . I finally belong to myself, remain with myself . . . I’m alive despite you, without you, far from you. . . .”

Two years ago, in Paris, Tristan came into my life. Today he’s almost six years old. A little man. The little prince. I pick him up outside his school four days a week. I take him back to the large house, as he calls it, a huge apartment next to the Blanche subway station. I play with him. I make him do his homework. I give him his bath: he is completely naked before me, unself-consciously nude. Together we watch cartoons, The Lion King, Finding Nemo. Sometimes I tell him Moroccan stories, about my terrible young childhood, I teach him words in Arabic. We pretend to fight, sometimes for real. We cry, scream, mock each other, kindly, meanly. Each day he gets a little bigger, grows rapidly like a flower that one waters with care, with love. He grows before my astonished, wondering, happy gaze. Even when he annoys me, even when he acts like a little macho man, Tristan remains a little sun for me. The Parisian sun that will never burn my skin.

I repeat in my head what he’ll say to his friends later, perhaps to his children: “When I was little, my babysitter was Moroccan, his name was Abdellah.” Three hours a day, I play a small role in his life, in his future, and that makes me proud in spite of myself. I feel like I’m accomplishing a mission with him. I accompany him.

Tristan is not my son. Tristan is a little angel who sometimes cries like that, for no reason, he cries in my arms, I console him tenderly, but I never know about what. I’m envious of his innocence, his pure outlook on the world. He doesn’t know. He still doesn’t know. Ignorance is bliss!

There are some truths about me and about the world that I hope are never known. I reflect too much. I complicate everything, everything. I think, I think, a permanent bottleneck in my head. Ideas and images I don’t know what to do with.

I’m so tired of myself, of being me in this hurried life. I look for something that will come, that is slow in coming. I should take a step, just one more, I should renew myself, find or summon the energy. I have plans: they tell me I always must have some in order to find a daily rhythm, a connection between the visible and the invisible.

The meaning of life, of my life, escapes me.

Others seem to be happy. Are they truly happy? What makes them happy? Why do they know where to go and I don’t?

My name is Abdellah: the slave, the servant of God. I freed myself from Morocco’s constraints (but really?). All that remains is to escape myself.

I looked for loneliness. I found it, and it’s insufferable. I’m permanently myself, unable to forget who I am. My consciousness of my being has accrued over time. An anguished consciousness. I know what’s happening inside myself, my beating heart, beating unevenly on occasion, my ears whistling, blood sometimes hot, sometimes cold, the air that produces a strange music while entering and leaving my nostrils, my cracking bones, my changing skin, the feuding ideas in my head, the jostling images in my eyes, and my sexuality that cries out its desire, yet I do not obey it.

The past few months, I’ve been haunted by the idea that I might go crazy someday. That seems easy to me today, to switch over to another mind-set and completely forget its other skin. I always loved the insane ones in Morocco. They seemed to be in harmony with the country. Are they still?

Death and madness possess me.

Last July, Dostoevsky and Genet became my favorite writers once again. They speak to me. We’re afraid together. We go hand in hand toward life, tormented and sometimes miraculous, together, alone, each in his own terrible and delicious solitude. They can do nothing for me. I am possessed by them.

I must change my first name. Karim? Farid? Saïd? Habib? I am neither generous, unique, happy, nor loving. Wahid, then? Yes, definitely, at this moment I am Wahid, solitary and proud, susceptible and unhappy.

I’m headed toward something in Paris, that luminous and exceedingly quiet city. I walk toward my fate, and each day I have the impression that I’m not deciding anything. I’m not my own master. I took a step, coming to Europe, and I was swept up in the infernal movement of Western time. Everything passes quickly, all is quickly forgotten, everything is orderly, apparently clean, everything in its place. Everything is parceled out.

Today, I know, I pay the price.

It began with a slight despondency, nothing serious. I got over it, I had to get over it. Now it’s started again, it’s coming back but in another guise: crises of anguish, of panic. A red image, a taste in my mouth, a hemorrhage in my head. I anticipate falling. I see myself fall, a motionless body in the Parisian street that passersby pay no attention to. I wait and wait. But I don’t fall. I’m still upright. I don’t know where my strength resides in me, I don’t know how to locate, guide, channel, define it.

The past few months, I’m no longer myself, I don’t recognize myself. I look at my face in mirrors, I look at my feet, my hands, my nails, my hair, my skin, and each time I ask myself the same question: Whose are they?

In psychiatry, what has come over me, is happening to me, has an exact name: depersonalization.

Does becoming an adult mean being able to find the medical name for one’s neuroses?

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be thirty years old. This I’ve decided: I’m going to enjoy looking at myself in the mirror, I’m going to masturbate deeply, aroused by my image. Thus will I be able to rediscover myself, perhaps, body and soul creating anew the sacred union of my being.

Tomorrow I’m going to be on another path, a way that leads to this other number: thirty-one.

I dream, I close my eyes for a few seconds, I close them violently, masochistically. I go blind. I open them, I’m elsewhere, myself in another age, older, in an indefinable time. This other world will certainly exist in my forties. I imagine it. Each day I create a long movie about it.

I’ve known this since my childhood. I’ll be a forty-year-old man. Not sooner. Forty years in order to finally say, comforted, lighthearted, perhaps free: i am the man of my desires.


Translation from the French By Daniel Simon

Abdellah Taïa (b. 1973, Rabat) is the first Moroccan and Arab writer to publicly declare his homosexuality. Editions du Seuil has published five of his books, including L’armée du salut (2006; Eng. Salvation Army, 2009), Une mélancolie arabe (2008; Eng. An Arab Melancholy, 2012), and Lettres à un jeune marocain (2009). His novel Le jour du Roi was awarded the prestigious French Prix de Flore in 2010, and his latest novel, Infidèles, came out in 2012. Taïa’s work has been translated into several languages, and he also appeared in Rémi Lange’s film The Road to Love (2001). His American publisher is Semiotext(e).

Daniel Simon is a poet, translator, and the editor in chief of World Literature Today. His newest book project, Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, which he compiled and edited, was published in April 2017.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

World Literature / Re: a short story
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:10:08 AM »
A nice story indeed! Thank you for sharing it Ma'am.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

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