July 28, 2017

In the only good news anywhere this week, illustrator Ehsan Abdollahi has been granted a visa!


Edinburgh-bound, motherfucker.

Guys! Gals! We did it! We won!

Last week, we wrote about Ehsan Abdollahi, and his frustrating attempts to obtain a travel visa in advance of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. At the time, things seemed grim. Not only had the UK’s Home Office denied Abdollahi a visa, they appeared to have denied him the right to appeal the decision. So grim!

But now the clouds have broken, and to our great and pleasant surprise the Edinburgh International Book Festival is reporting that the Home Office has reversed its decision and granted Abdollahi his visa! Huzzah!

Delaram Ghanimifard, Abdollahi’s contact at Tiny Owl, his publisher, offered these heartwarming thanks:

We hope that for us, and for other publishers, this will set a precedent for artists wanting to come to the UK in the future. Stories help us understand different cultures and people as well as find our own similarities with them. Through meeting the artists that create these stories, children’s own literary and imaginative landscape grows and a greater understanding between cultures is developed. We believe that stories act as bridges – so from Ehsan and all of us at Tiny Owl, to everyone who helped us to keep building these bridges, thank you.

We couldn’t have said it better.

These days, it seems that those of us trying to obtain some level of tolerance, civility, mutual aid, and solidarity can’t catch a fucking break. Life reveals itself as a unending sequence of gut-punches, face-piesshin-kicks. But, once every great while, something good happens because enough people demand a less horrendous reality. A round of applause for them.



Simon Reichley is the Director of Operations and Rights Manager at Melville House.