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Oum Nasser MAMINA SIDATY


Oum Nasser Mamina Sidaty is a very young Mauritanian poetess, descended from a famous line of Bedouin griots.

Her poems unfold in a field of intense existential tension. The "I" of the poems, that of a brilliant young woman, is literally torn between belonging to a very strong, magnified culture, the nomadic Bedouin culture whose heritage she carries, and an indefectible aspiration to a free, modern life.

The tension is accentuated by the fact that Oum Nasser, while seeking to emancipate herself from the coercive aspects of Bedouin society, magnifies its culture: she is famous in Mauritania for being the first Mauritanian finalist in a major international reading competition, where she generated both enthusiasm and controversy.


I'm a young woman whose roots lie in the desert and nomadism.
But I'm a city girl, in spirit and origin.
And I'm in constant search of myself and freedom.
The nomadic way of life in the desert expanses seems to open up a seemingly limitless horizon of questioning and search for meaning. Yet this way of life also teaches fear, inculcates hypocrisy, requires you not to be yourself, to maintain a specificity that doesn't necessarily represent you, in whole or in part. And only accepts you if you adhere to its logic and renounce your right to choose in favor of laws and customs rooted among its members.
I chose a different path and decided to set off into the vast universe in search of my dispersed self.
Since wandering, rather than leaving, characterizes the Bedouin, my poems expose the pain of a young generation who, to put an end to their suffering, seek to leave to end their conflicts with society, the land and the harshness of life.
I repair myself by writing and expressing what I live and the existential anguish that invades my soul. I encourage my spirit to think of its salvation and redeem the inertia, rigidity and morality police that restrict the mind and imprison the soul.

Oum Nasser Mamina Sidaty

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