Translated by Phoebe Bay Carter. Mohammed al-Idrisi was ten years old when he ran away from home – and from his whole village. He’d been fatherless since he was four. He had hardly any memory of the man who’d been killed in one of those army skirmishes that broke out outside of Hoceima following the Rif Revolt, which the army had squashed nine years earlier. The father died without getting to see his son through childhood, and it was only a matter of months before the mother had remarried to a widower with two sons of his own, whom she raised alongside Mohammed. Later, little Mohammed started hearing the rumors about his mother’s new husband – that in a fit of rage, he had beaten his first wife until she died in his arms. The adults said it was nothing but talk, but Mohammed knew all too well that it was the truth and nothing but the truth. For six long years endured his stepfather’s violence, until he could take it no longer.
Enjoyed reading this chapter.