Shelagh's extended conversation with Kamal Al-Solaylee


Kamal Al-Solaylee was born into an affluent, cosmopolitan family in Yemen in the 1960s.  From a very early age, he knew he was gay.  As his family circumstances changed and political shift happened throughout the Middle East, Kamal faced a difficult decision: keep his sexuality a secret or embrace who he was and leave his home and his family.


Kamal knew that education was his ticket out.  He moved first to England and later Canada, where he became a journalist and academic.  As time passed, Kamal's life bore less and less resemblance to his family's: while Kamal was experiencing cultural and personal freedom in the West, his family were shifting to a life defined by hardline interpretations of Islam.

Kamal Al-Solaylee tells the story of his life and his changing relationship with his family in his book Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes.  Shelagh's conversation with Kamal was too long to fit within an episode of The Next Chapter, but too fascinating to keep to ourselves, so we offer the extended version to you here.

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