"Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen"
Digital creation

2 min

"Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen", an audio book published by editions Le Fennec

Mahi Binebine's novel, written after the Casablanca attacks on 16 May 2003 and adapted for the cinema, has just been released in audiobook format in a brand new version performed by actress Sophia Hadi. It is published by editions Le Fennec, supported by the Livres des deux rives programme implemented by the Institut français, and is in selection to win the Audiobook Grand Prize, organised by La Plume de Paon in partnership with the Institut français. The awards ceremony will take place on 4 July 2024 at the Centre national du livre. 

© éditions Le Fennec

Painter and novelist

Born in Marrakech in 1959, Mahdi Binebine began his career in Paris as a mathematician, before deciding in the early 90s to devote himself entirely to writing and painting. His first novel, Le sommeil de l'esclave, was published in 1992 and won the Prix Méditerranée. This marked the start of a prolific career as a novelist, with almost a dozen novels published, including Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen, which recounts the fate of a teenager who took part in the Casablanca bombings in 2003, a landmark book that was adapted for the cinema and translated into several languages. 


The outskirts of Casablanca

Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen is Yachine's first-person account of his life and death. Originally from the poor district of Sidi Moumen, on the outskirts of Casablanca, Yachine was blown up at the age of eighteen during a bomb attack. Written by a returnee, his memoirs recount a childhood spent in poverty, with its moments of joy and violence. A major fresco on the difficulties faced by a section of Moroccan youth, confronted with poverty and a lack of education, Mahi Binebine's work recounts in a dispassionate yet poetic way a trajectory that leads from ignorance to death and destruction. 


A field survey

To write Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen, Mahi Binebine went to the neighbourhood of the same name and discovered a vicious circle that begins with the collection of waste in vast open-air dumps and ends with lies told by dream merchants promising children a place in paradise. After its release in 2010, the novel won several awards and was adapted for the cinema the following year by Nabil Ayouch, under the title Les chevaux de Dieu, which won an award at Cannes and was shortlisted for the Oscars. 


The breath of reading

As part of the Livres des deux rives programme implemented by the Institut français, Editions Le Fennec is offering a brand new version of Les Étoiles de Sidi Moumen in the form of an audio book. Adapted to contemporary uses, which favour the use of smartphones, this format also makes it possible to build bridges between literature and oral tradition, and to reach a wide audience. Actress and comedienne Sophia Hadi delivers a warm and inspired performance that will enable audiences to discover or rediscover this work that is both serious and poetic.