June 30, 2017
Assia Djebar’s 81st Birthday
Many women achieve greatness, but few become “Immortal.” Assia Djebar was the first woman from the Maghreb to be given the "Immortal" title, as a member of the Académie Française.
Born Fatima-Zohra Imalayene on this date in 1936, the Algerian novelist, translator, and filmmaker used the pen name Assia Djebar. She was the first Algerian woman to be admitted to the country’s top literary university, the Ecole Normale Superieure. Djebar published her first book at 21; by the time she was 30, she had written 4 novels in French. She quickly became one of North Africa's most influential writers.
A feminist, Djebar wrote about women's independence and encouraged Algerian women to forge their own paths and find their unique voices. She believed that education was the key to giving women a voice in society, and in 1962 began teaching history at the University of Algiers. Her work inspired many women to express themselves freely.
Today’s Doodle reflects a scene from the first chapter of Djebar’s novel Fantasia, in which she explores the history of Algeria through her experiences as a young girl.