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April 24, 2002

Khomeini opera

Tariq Ali was born in 1943 in Lahore, in what was then Britishcontrolled India. He was educated in Pakistan and then at Oxford. His opposition to the military dictatorship in Pakistan during the 1960s led to permanent exile in Britain. He was active in the anti-war movement in Europe during the late 1960s. Ali is a longstanding editor of New Left Review and has written more than a dozen books on history and politics. His forthcoming book is The Clash of Fundamentalism: Crusades, Jihad, and Modernity (Verso, 2002).

He also has been working on two sets of novels. Three novels of the Islamic Quintet have been published by Verso: Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, The Book of Saladin, and The Stone Woman. They portray Islamic civilization in a way that he says run counter to the standard views. His Fall of Communism trilogy has seen the publication of Redemption and Fear of Mirrors. Ali s creative output extends to scripts for stage and screen. A short play of his on Iraq was recently performed at Cooper Union in New York. A veritable all rounder , as they say in South Asia, he is currently working on an opera on Ayatollah Khomeini.

Thanks to Zara Houshmand

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