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Intercultural love story in a Europe in decline

She Alone

Fikry El Azzouzi

‘She Alone’ is a contemporary love story. While working as a dishwasher Ayoub falls in love with Eva. The resulting relationship surprises and confuses them both. We look through Eva’s eyes at a former Moroccan street urchin that Western society is so frightened of. All the prejudices rear their head. When it is apparent that Ayoub does not fit the stereotype, Eva actually becomes interested in a number of aspects of Islam, without losing her own liberal and feminist ideas. In this way ‘She Alone’ becomes a story of a love between Western Europe and Islam, and a confrontation between and a merging of Europe and Islamic values.

Strong meat, but served in a very digestible form
Humo

However, the novel turns out to be set in an unspecified near future. In European cities increasingly violent terrorist attacks are taking place. Extreme right-wing parties take power and it even reaches the point where Islam is forbidden in Belgium. The lovers Eva and Ayoub suddenly find themselves in an extremely sombre future scenario.

‘She Alone’ is a dystopic warning for Europe, and its growing fear of everything that is different.

Full of subtle humour
Gazet van Antwerpen
Writing that commands respect
De Groene Amsterdammer