HAIKU IN NORTH AFRICA
On the African continent north of the Sahara, haiku has taken root most deeply in the countries of the Maghreb, especially Morocco and Tunisia, where the principal cultural, religious, and literary influences are Islam and the Arabic language and poetry. Haiku is a recent addition to Arabic literature, the first large collection of Japanese haiku translated into Arabic having appeared only in 2010. In fact, a spirited debate continues as to whether the composition of haiku in Arabic is possible at all. However, a thriving haiku contest for young people that began in the 1980s as well as contacts between Maghrebi and Japanese haikuists and an international haiku conference in Morocco in 2016 are evidence that there is a strong popular basis for haiku in the region.