Sufi Mysticism and Dreams in Nabil Ayouch’s <em>Ali Zaoua, Prince of the Streets</em>

  • Christa Jones
Keywords: Sufism. travel, childhood, dreams


This article examines the poetics of childhood in Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch’s Ali Zaoua, Prince of the Streets, focusing on dream culture, sea travel, and elements of Sufi mysticism. In Ali Zaoua, symbols such as eyes, a compass, Twin Towers, sea travel, and an imaginary island with two suns visualize an Islamic dream culture. Ayouch presents the cruelty of life on the streets marked by violence, filth, and concrete, yet the film celebrates a dream culture by focusing on fantasy, images of a spiritual voyage, poetry, and Sufi mysticism, which eclipse the harsh, socially realistic portrayal of the lives of homeless children.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2013.0019

Author Biography

Christa Jones

Christa Jones is Assistant Professor of French at Utah State University. Her research centres on French-language literature and cinema and has been published in journals such as French Review, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Dalhousie French Studies, Expressions Maghrébines, Francofonia, Nouvelles Études Francophones, and Women’s Studies Quarterly, among others. She is the author of Cave Culture in Maghrebi Literature: Imagining Self and Nation (2012).

How to Cite
Jones, C. (2013). Sufi Mysticism and Dreams in Nabil Ayouch’s <em>Ali Zaoua, Prince of the Streets</em&gt;. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 5(2). Retrieved from