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Distributed for Haus Publishing


18 Years in Morocco’s Secret Prison

Translated by Lulu Norman

Distributed for Haus Publishing


18 Years in Morocco’s Secret Prison

Translated by Lulu Norman
A memoir from a political prisoner in Morocco's notorious Tazmamart prison.

On July 10, 1971, during birthday celebrations for King Hassan II of Morocco, attendant officers and cadets opened fire on visiting dignitaries. A young officer, Aziz BineBine, arrived late and witnessed the ensuing massacre without firing a single shot, yet he would spend the next two decades in a political prison hidden in the Atlas Mountains—Tazmamart. Conditions in this now-infamous prison were nightmarish. The dark, underground cells, too small for standing up in, exposed prisoners to extreme weather, overflowing sewage, and disease-ridden rats. Forgetting life outside his cell—his past, his family, his friends—and clinging to God, BineBine resolved to survive. Tazmamart: 18 Years in Morocco’s Secret Prison is a memorial to BineBine and his fellow inmates’ sacrifice. This searing tale of endurance offers an unfiltered depiction of the agonizing life of a political prisoner.

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Biography and Letters

History: Middle Eastern History

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"For all the suffering, this isn’t a depressing book. On the contrary, it is compulsively readable and even uplifting, because the lesson BineBine imparts is one of love and dry-eyed compassion. Faultlessly translated by Lulu Norman, Tazmamart is a deeply moving testament to the strength of the human spirit."


"A powerful tribute to human fortitude and imagination – and perfect reading for incarcerated times."


"This is an incredible memoir, a story of indomitability of the human spirit over adversity, an epic story of survival."

Irish Examiner

"Tazmamart is the poignant and profound account, immaculately translated from the French, of an arbitrary incarceration..."

The Tablet

"This is the true story of Aziz BineBine who, unwittingly entangled in a failed coup against King Hassan II, found himself locked in a small, underground cell in a prison thought to be a mere horror story: Tazmamart. For 18 years, no one knew where the prison’s inmates were. No one knew if they were even alive...Set to become a cult classic of survival literature, Tazmamart is a hellish journey through the abyss of despair – and out the other side."

Institut Français

"Tazmamart is an utterly heartbreaking book which forces you to completely reconsider your own freedom, pointing out the glaringly obvious fact that at any given second, millions of people are living their own inescapable dystopias."

New Welsh Review | Amy Aed

"Binebine’s Tazmamart narrative is less artful than the others, most of which were co-composed with professional writers. Yet that is also what makes Binebine’s the most achingly real."

"BineBine exposes the reader to a system that withholds medicine, personal and communal hygiene, sustenance, light, and any hope of law or freedom. This memoir is the story of all prisoners kept in these conditions as much as it is BineBine’s . . . . The book displays innate gifts within the human, and how, with quiet resistance, the spirit can survive."

Wasafiri Magazine

"..a must read for anyone interested in human rights and Morocco’s hidden past."

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