Back to childhood

Back to Childhood (Arabic: الرجوع الي الطفولة) is a biography of Moroccan writer Layla Abu Zeid about a woman who has been in Moroccan society for a long time, excluded and silent, as well as exposing herself to her privacy.

Back to childhood
AuthorLayla Abu Zeid

"When I wrote my first article in the late 1960s, I didn't even dare to sign it in my real name," the author says in the introduction about herself. When I wrote my first novel, I left the heroine's town unnamed, because it was my town. In other words, I had to wait many years before I dared write my autobiography. Even when I did so, I did not do it on my own, but because Professor Elizabeth Verna, a well-known American expert on Middle East affairs, asked me, in addition to being directed to a foreign audience, to allow me to correct possible preconceptions about Islam and Muslim women. "[1]

The meaning of the novelEdit

The true significance of the novel is that the author lived through a period in which the feminist side was suppressed in the literary sphere and wanted to break that barrier, highlight its side and achieve equality. Another reason is to motivate aspirants who have been prevented by obstacles and problems from achieving their goals. Laila Abu Zeid lived through her childhood in the colonial and post-independence period, which was difficult for the Moroccan people, yet she continued to progress to what it is now. The reason she chose the title of the novel "Back to Childhood" was because she wanted to remember the mother's element she had in her childhood and lost in her eldest.[2]


The novel's summary consists of four sequential and integrated chapters, each of which presents part of the journey back In one chapter, Leila tells about her childhood and about her father's imprisonment in Rabat for leaking information from the French Department of Patriots, using his job as an interpreter in the French administration. After that, to talk about her mother Fatima's suffering and move her between Safro and Rabat weekly to visit her husband, The author presents the attitudes faced by the mother in which she portrays the control of Moroccan women's customs and traditions at the time, as illustrated by the unfolding scenes she experienced from her husband's family s property, which she had finally returned to her on the pretext of her husband And Leila moves in a class to take up her entry stage to French school and talks about her friends, Her games, her memories at Grandma's House, her grit, her endless songs and tales She also speaks of the persecution she suffered in preventing her from fasting by the supervisor and other situations, Leyla tells of her transition to the White People, her father's release and his rejoining of the patriots and about her mother's help to him with news and arms before he was remanded in prison, Then, after the return of Mohammed V and the independence of the country, Pasha appointed him to the city of Bani Melal, And about his return to prison life after being caught at a liberation meeting And his wife and daughters found out about his mistress at a court hearing, which invited them to miss him for a few hearings, He was surprised after the expiration of his sentence and his departure from prison that his daughter Leila had held one of the positions of the opposite State in her approach to his principles. The house became an unfinished arena of discussion between the two parties, and Ahmed Abu Zeid dies without answering Layla's questions. to make the real events told by the author from Lila a powerful woman who has been able to overcome the past by stepping out of her experience and resorting to writing to empty her interior.[3]


  1. "الرجوع الى الطفولة".
  2. "رواية رجوع إلى الطفولة – ليلى أبو زيد". قهوة 8 غرب | قهوتك بطعم الكتب (in Arabic). Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  3. "تلخيص رجوع الى الطفولة". موضوع (in Arabic). Retrieved 2022-06-24.