Assia Djebar, born as Fatima-Zohra Imalayène, was a French-speaking Algerian author born in 1936 in Cherchell, a small coastal town in western Algeria. Her father was a teacher at the local French school she attended as a young girl. Unlike most Algerian girls, the young Fatima was encouraged to study, and she was often almost the only girl, and the only Muslim, in the classroom. In 1954, she became the first Algerian woman to study at an école normale supérieure in Paris. She engaged with the Algerian liberation struggle in several ways. She wrote her first literary text in 1957 in support of a student strike. It was published under the pseudonym Assia Djebar, an alias she has continued to use. In 1958, she married Ahmed Ould-Rouïs who was a member of the Algerian liberation movement, and they had two children together. The moved to Switzerland and then to Tunisia where Djebar worked as a journalist. They later divorced.
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