Tunisian Writer Faten Fazaa Inspires Women to Read with Dialect Stories

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Faten Fazaa

Tunisian author Faten Fazaa is drawing Tunisians back to reading in a country with a limited number of bibliophiles. Her books, written in Derja, the Tunisian dialect, instead of classical Arabic, stand out with thousands of copies sold per publication, attracting a predominantly young female readership.

During a book signing event in Tunis for her latest work, “Kafichanta,” Faten Fazaa’s fans turned out in large numbers, forming a queue of several hundred people, mostly women. In front of a cafĂ© in Goulette, Tunis, the book signing event captured the attention of numerous female readers.

Wahida, a company manager, attended with her copy in hand, accompanied by her two daughters. “I am a fan of Faten; I read her books because she always talks about things that are real. She is divorced now, she has a lot of problems, and many women in Tunisia are like that, who suffer,” says the reader. For her, Faten’s use of the Tunisian dialect makes her very accessible. “I read French, I read a bit of English, I read Arabic, but our language is easier to read and understand,” Wahida adds.

Safeh Goumedi, a 42-year-old homemaker, discovered Faten Fazaa on social media. “After everyone talked about her on a Facebook group, I went to buy one of her books, and it was love at first sight. I think she describes women’s daily lives in detail, very realistically, what we can feel and don’t say,” she explains. Addressing topics such as mother-daughter relationships, singleness, and homosexuality, the writer tackles various subjects. Her freedom of expression has often made her the target of controversies and cyberbullying in Tunisia.

Soukaina Sghir

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