Berber Lady recites iconic Polish poet’s verses in Amazigh

Photo: Uniwersytet Śląski

This Berber Lady has not only proved her artistic and linguistic talent translating part of Juliusz Słowacki’s “Balladyna” theatrical play into her native Berber language of Amazigh, also known as Tamazight, but she has also mustered the courage to recite it in Polish in front of the Polish Ambassador to Morocco.

Nadia El Aissaoui is a proud young Berber and a student of Monika Oksztul, a teacher of the Polish language delegated by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange to teach the language of a renown Polish poet Juliusz Słowacki at the Ibn Zhor University in the city of Agadir, Morocco.

As it happened last Friday, Nadia, one of her students, gave a show of both acting prowess and linguistic dare performing the blood-freezing chapter of Słowacki’s “Balladyna'' where the titulary queen Balladyna has just stabbed to death Alina — her main contender for young Prince Kirkor’s heart. In the story, the women vie against one another picking up raspberries and whoever picks up more of the blood-scarlet fruit, wins the prince’s heart.

Ms El Aissaoui performed in front of Polish Ambassador to Morocco Krzysztof Karwowski and her peers, many of whom were former scholarship and students’ exchange programme beneficiaries. The diplomat and the rest of the audience showered Ms El Aissaoui with loud applause.

Nadia El Aissaoui studied the Polish language and culture at the University of Silesia in Katowice (UŚ), one of a number of Polish universities that offer scholarships to Moroccan students.

For the first time, Ms El Aissaui presented a fragment of “Balladyna” in Amazigh at the Translators Tournament of the School of Polish Language and Culture of the UŚ in August 2020.