A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fatima Oufkir, 1935-2013, Has Died

In 1972, General Mohammed Oufkir, Morocco's Minister of Defense, tried to overthrow King Hassan II; several attempts by the Air Force to shoot the King's plane down failed, and Oufkir "committed suicide." The quotes are most likely merited.

General Oufkir's career was over, but his wife and children had a couple of decades of hell ahead of them. They were kept under house arrest in desert prisons until 1991; some of the children grew to adulthood in detention, before pressure from human rights groups led to their freedom.

His widow, Fatima Oufkir, has died at the age of 78. (Link is in Arabic.) She had written a memoir (book and links are in French), and a memoir by her daughter Malika (who was a prisoner from age 9 to 28) has appeared in English.

More on the family at Oprah Winfrey's website, probably my first link to Oprah in nearly five years of blogging. But for the English-only readers, there you go.

RIP for a lady who suffered with her family through no clear fault of her own.

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