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“In the heart of my father”, meeting with the author Nadia Aoi Ydi

“In the heart of my father”, meeting with the author Nadia Aoi Ydi
“In the heart of my father”, meeting with the author Nadia Aoi Ydi

“In my father’s heart” is Nadia Aoi Ydi’s first novel. In the space of approximately 200 pages, the author pays a vibrant homage to her father and at the same time shows us a whole cross-section of the history of people who immigrated to France from Morocco. We met her.

How would you introduce this book to someone who hasn’t seen it?

Nadia Aoi Ydi: This work is a tribute to my father who left his native Morocco for France in the 1970s, in search of a better future. I express my deep gratitude to him for being a present and loving father, but also for having instilled in me values ​​such as courage and sharing, in an exemplary manner.

What is the genesis of the book? How did this idea and this desire to write come about?

Nadia Aoi Ydi: One day I told him: “I swear that one day I will write a book to tell the whole world what a wonderful father you are!”. I see him getting older and I felt it was the right time.

What was the process of writing the book? Did you investigate together with your father to reconstruct the story of his life and tell it?

Nadia Aoi Ydi: I spent time listening to my father share sometimes touching episodes from his life. It was no easy task to question him. Some topics remain on the surface while others are explored in depth, which makes the book authentic.

In the story you write about feeling a visceral need for your father to understand you. Is this the approach you wrote about?

Nadia Aoi Ydi : The work approaches several topics such as the arrival of a father in the 70s, family regrouping, the richness of the double culture, our family ties, also enriching our voyages towards our stories of holidays of ‘summer.

Is it possible for you to enter your father’s heart? Or will there always be an unfathomable part?

No, that wasn’t my intention, but as I wrote and listened carefully, I realized the deep sensitivity that resides within him. I realized it was because we shared similarities. He recognized himself in me during his youth.

For you, is there any particular importance or resonance in having a North African woman in France tell her father’s story?

Of course we can come in. It’s sad to hear otherwise, but unfortunately it happens. A daughter needs to feel loved and appreciated by her father. It is an essential relationship for fulfillment. A loving father means transmitting to his daughter a foundational love that will build her.


Do you have other plans for the future to tell the story of your father or other figures linked to your roots?

I have already immersed myself in writing my second book, at the same time I organize literary events not only to talk about my book, but above all to listen to others. I realized that this theme, linked to gratitude towards our parents, touches hearts and I want to create moments of sharing.

The summary of the book:

In 1970, 18-year-old Ahmed left the Rif region for France with the hope of a better future. Having arrived from Morocco, he finds himself in a small makeshift shack on the outskirts of Paris. There a work suit awaits him, a symbol of his determination to work hard to succeed.

Valiant and altruistic, Ahmed came to build his life and began to build that of others. This is why he chose a simple life.

Ahmed is my father and has inspired me all my life. He unites us with a special bond. Bearer of his story and witness to part of his life, story.


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Source: Madmoizelle

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