(En anglais). The Moroccan Arabic malhun poem "The modernist and traditionalist girls". Transcription in Latin script and English translation

"الزْمْنيّة والعْصْريّة"


(“Two girls: a traditionalist and a modernist”)


A malhun Moroccan Arabic poem



Sidi Hassan Ben Touhami Al-Yaâkoubi


A 20th century malhun poet.


For a fragment of biography in Arabic, see:




Transcribed in Latin script and translated into English


Mohamed Elmedlaoui.

July, 31 2022



A note about the poem


In addition to the artistry of composition as expressed in poetic figures and storytelling techniques, as well as virtuosity in verse as reflected in stanza setting and rhyming, in strict accordance with the constraints of a quantitative meter, the poem conveys, as to its semantic content, interesting ethno-cultural values.

Like Hamman Story poem already translated (the link at the top of this document), the poem “The modernist and the traditionalist” reflects what could be considered as a structural feature of the Moroccan society’s global thought and awareness in the twentieth century and up to nowadays: a typical structural conflicting duality of modernism and traditionalism in education, politics, personal status (woman condition in particular), techniques, cooking and eating, costume and wearing, social relations in family and at work, way of life at home and outdoors.


For a PDF version of the full document, click on the following internal link:








Mohamed Elmedlaoui      



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