Al-Ahdal back to Sana’a [Archives:2002/51/Front Page]

December 16 2002

Yemeni novelist, Wajdi al-Ahdal has returned to his home country last Thursday after spending a few months in exile where he sought political asylum as his life was threatened by religious fanatics and tribal members who pledged to kill him.
The al-Watan Saudi-based newspaper indicated in its last week’s edition that al-Ahdal had expressed his happiness and said that he was greatly touched by the stance of the German intellect, Gunter Grass who initiated the talk to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to return al-Ahdal from exile.
Gunter Grass was awarded the first class Legion of Merit by the President of the Republic in the field of Arts and Science.
During his meeting with the president, Mr. Gunter Grass raised al-Ahdal’s issue and stressed on the importance of tolerance.
Wajdi al-Hadal is the writer of the story Qawarib Jabalia, (Mountains boats), who ignited a wave of criticism by Islamic fundamentalists in the country.
Al-Ahdal has already published at least seven short stories and novels. He gained the first rank in the Arab Youth Ceremony in Egypt in 1998. He was also awarded the al-Afif Cultural Prize for the best short story in 1997. He was also presented the President’s Award for short story in 1999.