Born in Zerhoun, Morocco in 1951. He has worked in the press and has directed several cultural publications. Political activist and trade unionist, he was persecuted and jailed several times before being appointedMinister of Culture in the first Moroccan Government of Alternance in 1998. He has published some ten collections of poems, short stories and novels. Some of his books have been translated into several languages, especially Spanish. With his novel L’arc et le papillon, he received the 2011 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.