Assia Djebar, whose real name is Fatima Zohra Imalayène, was born June 30th 1936, in Cherchell (Algeria).
She is a novelist, essayist, playwright, historian, poet and filmmaker. Assia Djebar, nominated for the Nobel Prize of literature, was the first Arab woman to be elected to the French Academy in 2005.
She is the first Muslim and the first Algerian to integrate the École Normale Supérieure for girls in Sèvres. In 1956 she is excluded for participating in the FLN support strike.
She wrote her first novel, "La Soif" and to not shock her family, she takes a pen name: Assia Djebar
She returned to Algeria during the Independence and teaches at the University abandoning her thesis project on "Saida Manoubia" famous saint of Tunis.
After several stays in her mother's tribe Berkani, she abandons writing for film. Assia Djebar then devoted herself to the preparation of a long semi-documentary. In this film, she questions the memory of the female peasants on the war, integrating episodes in "La Nouba of the Women of Mount Chenoua". A two hour feature film, produced in Arabic and French by Algerian television featuring the music of Bela Bartok.
This film raised contradictory debates in the Algerian media. It was presented in Carthage in 1978 and the Venice Biennale in 1979, where it won the Prize of the International Critics. It is currently being studied in most American universities.
She will continue her cinema work with a feature film documentary "La Zerda ou les chants de l'oubli," presented in 1982 by the Algerian television and won an award at the Berlin Film Festival, Best History Picture in January 1983.
Assia Djebar died February 6th 2015 in Paris.