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Kader Abdolah

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Kader Abdolah
Kader Abdolah in October 2008
Kader Abdolah in October 2008
BornHossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani
Arak, Markazi Province, Iran
Pen nameKader Abdolah
LanguageDutch, Persian
Alma materUniversity of Teheran
Kader Abdolah and his daughter Bahar Abdolah.

Hossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani (Persian: حسین سجادی قائم‌مقامی فراهانی), better known by his pen name Kader Abdolah (Persian: قادر عبدالله) (Arak, 12 November 1954), is an Iranian-Dutch writer, poet and columnist. His books, written in Dutch, often contain Persian literary themes. He regularly appears on Dutch television as well.[1]



Kader Abdolah is one of the descendants of Mirza Abu'l-Qasem Qa'em-Maqam, the Iranian politician during the Qajar period who was also affiliated with art and literature.

Kader Abdolah had long wished to become an author. He used his political passion to begin his career after the Islamic revolution in 1979 by writing articles in the leftist political newspapers.[2]

In the 1980s, he wrote two novels which were published illegally because of the political constraints: What are the Kurds saying? and Kurdistan after the resistance party.

When he immigrated to the Netherlands, he felt as if political issues were no longer relevant to his life and he fell into a state of depression because he had thought of political activities as the essence of his life. Learning Dutch and to write in the language is therefore described by him as a political tool for fighting. Literature had turned into the incentive for a new fight.[3]



Kader Abdolah studied physics in Arak College of Science (today's Arak University [although the Dutch and French articles say a different school]) in Arak, Iran, and graduated in 1977. After graduation he served his mandatory military service in the Iranian Navy in Bandar Pahlavi (today's Bandar-e-Anzali). During the revolution, he joined the left-wing movement opposing the Shah—and later the Khomeini—regimes. He fled to the Netherlands as a political refugee in 1988. In 2006, he was writer in residence at Leiden University. Today [when?] he lives in Delft, writing under a pseudonym composed of the names of two executed friends.

Het huis van de moskee (The House of the Mosque) catapulted Abdolah onto the Dutch bestseller lists. In 2007 it was voted second best Dutch novel ever in the Netherlands in an online survey organized by NRC Handelsblad and NPS.[4] The English translation was released worldwide in January 2010.[5]


  • 1993 – De adelaars
  • 1995 – De meisjes en de partizanen
  • 1997 – De reis van de lege flessen
  • 1998 – Is dit mijn recht, mijn lief?
  • 1998 – Buitenspiegels: verhalen over Nederland
  • 1998 – Mirza
  • 1998 – Short Shorties
  • Kader, Abdolah (1999). El viaje de las botellas vacias. Galaxia Gutenberg/Circulo de Lectores.
  • 1999 – Les jeunes filles et les partisans
  • Kader, Abdolah (2000). My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-060-59872-3.
  • 2001 – De koffer
  • Abdolah, Kader (2001). Il viaggio delle bottiglie vuote. Iperborea. ISBN 978-8-870-91096-4
  • 2001 – Een tuin in zee
  • Abdolah, Kader. Scrittura cuneiforme. Iperborea. ISBN 978-8-870-91118-3
  • 2001 – Andere ogen: Een frisse blik op
  • 2002 – Kélilé en Demné
  • 2002 – Sophia's droë vrugte
  • 2003 – Portretten en een oude droom
  • 2003 – Karavaan
  • 2005 - Het huis van de moskee (The House of the Mosque)[6]
  • 2006 – II viaggio delle botiglie vuote
  • Kader, Abdolah (2006). El reflejo de las palabras. SALAMANDRA. ISBN 978-8-498-38034-7
  • 2007 – Voetstappen
  • 2008 – De boodschapper: een vertelling / de Koran: een vertaling. A two volume set: De boodschapper: een vertelling ('The Messenger: a narration') about the life of the prophet Mohammed, and de Koran: een vertaling ('The Qur'an: a translation'), Abdolah's Dutch translation of the Qur'an
  • 2008 – Das Haus an der Moschee
  • Abdolah, Kader (2009). DZAMIJSKA KUCA. Dereta – Beograd.
  • 2010 – Mohammad, der Prophet
  • Abdolah, Kader (2010). Ritratti e un vecchio sogno (Narrativa). Iperborea.
  • Abdolah, Kader (2011). Calila e Dimna (Narrativa). Iperborea.
  • 2011 – De koning
  • 2011 – De kraai
  • 2012 – IL re
  • 2012 – How Europe is changing ISBN 978-0-615-46655-2
  • Kader, Abdolah (2013). Il corvo. Iperborea. ISBN 978-8-870-91522-8
  • 2014 – Papegaai vloog over de IJssel
  • Kader, Abdolah (2014). The King: A Novel. Librairie Klincksieck. p. 401.
  • 2016 – Messenger, The: A Tale Retold
  • 2016 – Salam Europa!
  • Abdolah, Kader (2016). Un pappagallo volò sull'IJssel (Narrativa). Iperborea.
  • Kader, Abdolah (2016). A parrot flew over the Ijssel. Iperborea. ISBN 978-8-870-91466-5
  • 2016 – Qur'an the ISBN 978-9-462-38023-3
  • 2018 – Het pad van de gele slippers
  • Kader, Abdolah (2018). Uno scià alla corte d'Europa. Iperborea. ISBN 978-8-870-91494-8
  • Kader, Abdolah (2018). Le Messager. Editions Gallimard.
  • 2020 – The House of the Mosque ISBN 978-1-847-67240-7
  • Kader, Abdolah (2022). Il faraone d'Olanda (Narrativa). Iperborea.

Honours and awards



  1. ^ "Freedom Can Be a Nightmare: An Interview with Kader Abdolah". Words Without Borders.
  2. ^ Dynarowicz, Ewa (2018). "A Migrant Writer's Manifesto: Kader Abdolah as a Public Intellectual". Dutch Crossing. 42 (1): 77–95. doi:10.1080/03096564.2017.1363023. S2CID 149034013. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  3. ^ "قادر عبدالله؛ قصه ایرانی به زبان هلندی".
  4. ^ "'De ontdekking van de hemel' beste Nederlands boek". trouw.nl. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Kader Abdolah". Berlin International Literature Festival.
  6. ^ Akbar, Arifa (8 January 2010). "The House of the Mosque, By Kader Abdolah trans Susan Massotty". The Independent. London.
  7. ^ "Iran: Kader Abdolah: In the kitchen of the writer". UCL.
  8. ^ "E. du Perronprijs 2000" (in Dutch). Tilburg University. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Kader Abdolah – De koning en de kraai". Nederlandse Grondwet (in Dutch). Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations). Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Kader Abdolah "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres"". French Embassy in The Hague. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  11. ^ Luc van Kemenade (October 2008). "Universiteit eert Kader Abdolah met eredoctoraat" (in Dutch). Elsevier. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Kader Abdolah schrijft Boekenweekgeschenk 2011" (in Dutch). Stichting Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek. 13 April 2010. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.

Further reading

  • "READINGS AND TALKS: KADER ABDOLAH". New Yorker. New York, United States. 5 February 1979. ISSN 0028-792X.
  • Shirazi, Said (20 February 2006). "Losing Persian, Finding Iran: PW Talks with Kader Abdolah". Publishers Weekly. ISSN 0000-0019.