Friday Finds: Excerpt from ‘My Mother’s Glasses, a Tunisian Prison Memoir’

My Mother’s Glasses (Naẓẓārāt Ummī, 2018) is a prison memoir by the Tunisian writer Ezzedine Hazgui:

A member of the leftist collective “Perspectives,” Hazgui was imprisoned from 1973-1979 in the notorious Borj Erroumi prison and later in the 9 Avril prison. An excerpt titled “The Lenses” was translated by Rana Said and Khadija al-Jani.

It opens:

It was Friday, May 9, 1975. We had just ended a hunger strike a few days earlier. Our demands did not materialize, but our endless strikes did not cease either. It is said that dripping water hollows out stone, so we persisted. Today marks ten years since my mother’s passing.

On a Sunday afternoon, on May 9, 1965, I was on my way home from the Rio movie theater after watching an Alfred Hitchcock film with some of my friends.

I had to stop by Hamam Rmimi Street in Bab Souika to run an errand for my stepmother, Mother Fatma. 

Read the full excerpt at “النسوية والمدينة والفن.”