Occidental College with support from The Markaz presents one of the world's most compelling novelists from the Arab world.
Anouar Benmalek is a Franco-Algerian novelist, poet, essayist who teaches mathematics at the University of Paris Sud. Benmalek is the recipient of some of France's most prestigious literary awards and his novels have been translated into a dozen languages, including English.
He will speak on his most recent novel, "Fils de Sheol" (Child of Sheol). Set in Nazi-occupied Poland, the narrative traces a character's family, and the Holocaust itself back to German Southwest Africa (present day Namibia), where beginning in 1904 the German colonial powers launched a war of extermination against the Herero and Nama people. Benmalek explores the ways in which the twentieth-century's first genocide, until recently nearly unknown, laid the groundwork for the extermination campaigns against the Jewish and Roma peoples in Europe itself. The title of Benmalek's novel, sheol (Hebrew for pit, grave or underworld) evokes images of the mass graves which men, women and children were forced to dig before they were killed. But it also suggests that by violently subjugating the continent of Africa, the European powers were digging their own grave and transforming themselves into children of sheol.
Click below for a map to Choi Auditorium, located in Johnson/McKinnon Hall, in the center of campus.