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Alumni Corner

Ahmad Fuadi: Fulbright Alumnus 1999

Ahmad Fuadi: Fulbright Alumnus 1999 (Courtesy Photo)

Ahmad Fuadi: Fulbright Alumnus 1999

Ahmad Fuadi has fond memories of his time residing in the United States.  Awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1999, Ahmad Fuadi studied at George Washington University and earned a master’s degree in Media and Public Affairs.  When Ahmad Fuadi wrote his first novel, “Negeri 5 Menara” (Land of Five Towers) which is the first novel in a trilogy, he chose the United States as opening setting of the story.  The book won the Readers Indonesia Award in 2010 and since has been published in Malaysia.  Published in January 2011, his second novel, Ranah 3 Warna (Domain of Three Colors), is part of the same trilogy.  In addition to being a successful writer, Ahmad Fuadi has established the “Komunitas Menara” (Tower Community), a charitable foundation that works to provide education to underprivileged preschool aged students.  Currently, “Tower Community” is working to provide underprivileged children in the Bintaro, South Tangerang area with access to free education. 

In addition to promoting your latest work, what are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my film Negeri 5 Menara or "Land of Five Towers" which is adapted from my first novel.  Right now, we are on the scenario making and casting stages. The film is scheduled to be released early next year for all of us to watch.  I am also developing the Tower Community foundation to help provide underprivileged children with free education.  Currently, we have just opened a free school for underprivileged children in South Tangerang.  We want to continue to expand and replicate this school.  Hopefully, there will be people out there who will be motivated to help us either as volunteers or donors.  As for writing, thank God, a second novel has been published and hopefully that too will receive wide public acceptance.  When this novel was about to be published in Indonesia, PTS Litera, a Malaysian publisher, also sought to translate it into Malay.  I have been invited to launch the Malay edition of my book in Kuala Lumpur on April 24, during the International Book Fair.  The English language edition also is in process and will be launched very soon.

The novel speaks about your experience in the United States.  What is the most unforgettable thing that you recall from your time there?

Three years of school and work in America taught me that for a country to advance, the first thing that you must respect is the rule of law.  This includes respect for rules no matter how small they are.  For instance, I did not pass my driver’s license test only because the tires had slightly touched a parking boundary.

What did you learn during your academic years in America that you have applied in your own country?

A lifestyle that puts the rule of law as something that must be obeyed.  That all men may differ in opinion, without having to settle those differences in a physical fight.  This also applies to the simplest things, like getting used to be a little more patient when queuing up.

What are your dreams for the future?

Building "Tower Community" and making it into a great organization.  This includes a broad social movement to support its mission: helping the poor gain access to proper education in Indonesia.  In 10 years, I dream that “Tower Community” will play a big role in the world of education.

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