Biography[ edit ] Birth in exile and return to Algeria[ edit ] Ahlem was born in Tunis. She is the daughter of a militant political activist who was forced into exile during the Algerian liberation war. In the wake of independence, her family moved back to Algeria, where her father, an intellectual and a humanitarian, occupied high positions in the first Algerian government. He launched a literacy campaign all over the territory and supervised the distribution of agricultural land to the poorest.
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Biography[ edit ] Birth in exile and return to Algeria[ edit ] Ahlem was born in Tunis. She is the daughter of a militant political activist who was forced into exile during the Algerian liberation war.
In the wake of independence, her family moved back to Algeria, where her father, an intellectual and a humanitarian, occupied high positions in the first Algerian government. He launched a literacy campaign all over the territory and supervised the distribution of agricultural land to the poorest. At the age of 17, she became a household name in Algeria with the poetic daily show Hammassat Whispers on national radio.
At the time, she was part of the first generation to acquire the right to study in Arabic after more than a century of prohibition by the French colonization. But, at the time, the Algerian society was rebuilding its identity and recovering from a colonial past that resulted in the death of over a million and a half. It was even less prepared to see her do it in the sacred Arabic language.
After she received her B. A in Literature, the board of directors of the University of Algiers refused her enrolment for a Masters under the pretence that her freedom of expression had a negative impact on students. She was also expelled from the Union of Algerian Writers for not conforming to the political line of her time. They were married in in Paris and settled there. Ahlam pursued her university studies at the Sorbonne, where in she obtained a doctorate in Sociology. Her thesis explored the misunderstanding and malaise between both sexes in the Algerian society.
During the fifteen years she spent in Paris, Ahlam contributed to various magazines, and during time stolen from her new role as a mother of three young boys, wrote fragments of what turned out after four years to be a novel.
It will be the revelation. This novel, written in a style highly poetic and with political bravado, will have a phenomenal success throughout the Arab world. The love story is set between an armless painter and the daughter of his former commander encountered in Paris 25 years after the war. The novel evokes the disappointment of the post-war generation, which echoes the disappointment of a generation of Arabs.
To date, more than one million copies have been sold across the Arabic-speaking world excluding pirated editions which vastly outnumber the legal editions in the Arab world.
This novel also has the merit to reconcile the Arab reader with the Arabic language and reading. Each part of the trilogy, now a classic, is a bestseller in its own right throughout the Arab world. This prize was founded by the American University of Cairo, which will translate the novel in English and publish it in It is a break up manual for women, which will bring Ahlem closer to a female audience Nessyan. The story evokes the struggle of a young Algerian teacher whose father, a singer, is killed in the nineties by the terrorists who stand against any form of art and joy in society.
Defying terrorism, she embarks in a singing career. She then has to flee her country and during her exile she meets a wealthy and mysterious man who tries to seduce her.
The novel addresses the challenge of standing up not only to terrorism but also to the crushing power of money and the media. The launch of the novel will turn out to be a huge literary and media frenzy event the writer will join on this occasion the group Hachette, which acquires the rights to publish her entire work in Arabic. As of January , the author is followed by more than 9 million fans on Facebook and , on Twitter.
Chaos of the Senses