Quotes by Tahar Ben Jelloun
- Beauty is first and foremost an emotion.
- Emigration is no longer a solution it's a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they're knocking on doors that are not open.
- For me, poetry is a situation - a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history.
- I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity.
- I have written about the dispossessed, immigrants, the condition of women who do not enjoy the same legal rights as men, the Palestinians who are deprived of their land and condemned to exile.
- I love life in spite of all that mars it. I love friendship, jokes and laughter.
- I write about wounds, the eternal treasons of life. It's not very funny, but it's sincere. My commitment is to sincerity.
- Intellectuals try to keep going. But their situation is very difficult. Those who have had the courage to voice their opposition have often paid a very high price.
- It is through accepting other people in our own countries that we shall come to respect our neighbours and be respected in our turn.
- My hope is that countries like Morocco will have investment to create work, so people don't have to leave.
- New ideas should confront old ideas. We must refer to the example of Europe. People have fought to make Europe what it is today. Freedom is not something that is served up on a plate.
- People must insist on the right to say no, to be alone, to stand out from the herd. Creative artists can say all this in their own way and in their own field, by hard, rigorous work.
- Poetry is a form of mathematics, a highly rigorous relationship with words.
- Poetry is not only a set of words which are chosen to relate to each other it is something which goes much further than that to provide a glimpse of our vision of the world.
- Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl.
- Religion has to stay in the heart, not in politics. It is private.
- The world does not look to us in the Arab world out of a healthy desire for knowledge.
- We must have our say, not through violence, aggression or fear. We must speak out calmly and forcefully. We shall only be able to enter the new world era if we agree to engage in dialogue with the other side.