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, who was, perhaps, best known for his groundbreaking novel, al-Rajea al-Baeed, which is translated to 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 era.[1]


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

Al-Tikerly moved to Paris, France, in 1964 in order to attend postgraduate law school.[1] He later returned to France briefly during the 1980s.[1] Al-Tikerly retired from the law in 1983 in order to devote more time to his novels.[1]

Al-Tikerly published his most noted novel, al-Rajea al-Baeed (The Long Way Back), during the 1970s.[1] The novel depicted 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 the few to openly criticize the Iraqi government without punishment.[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 to a Tunisian woman.[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 81.[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 Tunisian wife, a novelist as well, 'Rachida Turki' and their son and three daughters from an earlier marriage.[1]

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