Horses of God | Granta

  • Published: 04/04/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847085139
  • 135x20mm
  • 160 pages

Horses of God

Mahi Binebine

Translated by Lulu Norman

On the outskirts of Casablanca, next to the dump, is the shantytown of Sidi Moumen, where Yachine and his ten brothers grew up in the aimless chaos of drugs, violence, unemployment, and despair. The barefoot boys started their own football team – the Stars of Sidi Moumen. They played amongst the rocks, detritus, and buried skeletons of the dump but they dreamed of becoming the best football players of all time. Then their dreams changed. Yachine’s older brother Hamid started growing a beard and attending religious meetings with Sheikh Abou Zoubeir. Week after week, the sheikh beguiled the Stars of Sidi Moumen into believing that there was a better world in the afterlife, where their faith in Allah would be rewarded. They needed only to choose between dying gloriously and together, or living disgracefully and alone. For Yachine and his brother, the choice was clear.

A spare, toughly poetic novel... A stark and profound contribution to contemporary literature on terrorism

Tina Jackson, Metro

Binebine movingly portrays the path from disillusionment to violence... A timely reminder of how poverty crushes hope and breeds hatred

Lucy Popescu, Independent

This novel [offers] incredible insight into the complex lives of poor boys who are groomed to kill themselves for a cause and commit violent acts in the name of religion... Honest [and] intimate

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Author

Mahi Binebine was born in Marrakech in 1959. He studied in Paris and taught mathematics, until he became recognised first as a painter, then as a novelist. Between 1994 – 1999 he lived in New York, when his paintings began to be acquired by the Guggenheim Museum. He now lives in Marrakech with his family.

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