THE WORLD'S TOP Authors Yemen - Kamal Al-Solaylee ANNIVERSARY Issue 2013 JPG






Kamal Al-Solaylee




Born in the British Crown colony of Aden (now a city in Yemen), Kamal Al-Solaylee’s father was a wealthy property owner.  When the British were forced out in 1967, the family’s properties were confiscated, and anglophiles such as his father were exiled from the country along with the British.  The family moved to Beirut, but when it became a very dangerous place, relocated to Cairo.  With the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981, a new wave of Islamic extremism arose in Egypt, and the family returned to Yemen.


Kamal Al-Solaylee, aware at this time that he was gay, knew he would not be able to live in Yemen.  He was awarded a scholarship to attend university in the UK, ultimately receiving a PhD from the University of Nottingham, specializing in psychiatry and madness in Victorian England.  He then immigrated to Canada.


Dr. Al-Solaylee has had experience as a university professor and has written and edited for various publications.  He is currently an assistant professor and undergraduate program director at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto.  His book, Intolerable:  A Memoir of Extremes, is the story of his family’s life in the various Middle East countries in which they lived.  Spanning six decades, it is in part a personal coming-out story and part political and cultural analysis of the region.  The book played a large role in helping Mr. Al-Solaylee understand his family’s transition from a secular way of living to one of Islamic fundamentalism.






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