Fouad al-Tikerly

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Fouad al-Tikerly (Arabic: فؤاد التكرلي) (August 22, 1927 – February 11, 2008) was a prominent Iraqi novelist and writer, best known for his groundbreaking novel al-Rajea al-Baeed, translated into English as The Long Way Back.[1] Al-Tikerly was one of the last surviving members of a group of well known Iraqi novelists from the 1970s.[1]


Al-Tikerly was born in Baghdad in 1927.[2] At school he became friends with Abdul-Wahab al-Bayati. He graduated from the University of Baghdad's law school in 1949.[1] Employed at the Ministry of Justice of Iraq for 35 years,[1] he became a judge in 1956 before later becoming head judge of the city of Baghdad's Court of Appeals.[1] While in this position he acquired a notable reputation for fairness.[1]

Al-Tikerly moved to Paris in 1964 in order to pursue postgraduate legal studies;[1] he later returned to France briefly during the 1980s.[1] He retired from the law in 1983 in order to devote more time to writing novels.[1]

al-Rajea al-Baeed (The Long Way Back), published in 1980,[1] depicts the suffering and trials afflicting four generations of a Baghdad family under several oppressive Iraqi government regimes in the years after the fall of the Iraqi monarchy, including that of Saddam Hussein.[1] Al-Tikerly's novel was one of few to openly criticize the Iraqi government without repercussions.[1] Al-Tikerly had no political affiliation, and was not connected to the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party or the regime of Saddam Hussein.[1]

Al-Tikerly moved to Tunisia in 1990 after the death of his wife.[1] He later remarried the Tunisian novelist Rachida Turki.[1]

The government of the United Arab Emirates awarded al-Tikerly with the Owais Prize for Arabic-language novels and literature in 2000.[1]


Fouad al-Tikerly died of pancreatic cancer at a hospital in Amman, Jordan, on February 11, 2008, at the age of 80.[1] He and his family had been living in Jordan for the previous three years in order to escape the violence which swept Iraq following the 2003 Iraq War.[1] He was survived by his wife and their son, as well as three daughters from his previous marriage.[1]

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani praised al-Tikerly "as an author and judge as well a president's adviser after the tyrant regime [i.e. Sadaam Hussein's] was ousted."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Famed Iraqi novelist Fouad al-Tikerly dies of cancer in Jordan hospital". Associated Press. International Herald Tribune. February 11, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  2. ^ Iraq renowned novelist Fouad Al Tikerly ends journey