|Biographical detail : ||Syrian novelist
A prominent Syrian novelist and former foreign minister, al-Ujaili, master of humane stories published mainly collections of short stories and novels.
Among his 40 published books, al-Ujaili’s best-known works are ‘Basima Between Tears’, ‘Hearts On Wires’, ‘The Obscure’, ‘Unknown on the Road’ and his latest novel, ‘Land of the Lords’. One of the Arab world’s most accomplished writers, al-Ujaili whose first volume of short-stories was published in 1948, and whose translated works have been published in France and Spain, though only a few in English.
Al-Ujaili’s tales illustrate the dilemmas of modern life. He drew on his experiences as a doctor for his plots, and many are located in the Euphrates valley. Some stories touch on how bureaucracy and the police state affect ordinary people. They all have a profound humanity and are written in simple, but forceful Arabic.
Abd al-Salam al-Ujaili was born in al-Raqqa, northeast of Damascus, to a family that was still semi-nomadic. He trained as a physician and was elected to Parliament in 1947. He held a number of ministerial posts, including the foreign, culture and information portfolios, until 1962.