One would be forgiven for assuming that the reader of Farivar's memoir of war, religious fundamentalism and escape is, like its author, a native Afghan. With his mellifluous accent, and Britain-by-way-of-Kabul pronunciation, Christopher Lane superbly echoes the sound of Afghan English without any shade of parody. The result is a deeper immersion in Farivar's story of growing up in the relatively peaceful Afghanistan that predated the Soviet invasion of 1979, his time spent passionately devoted to the Qur'an in a religious school, and his studies at an East Coast prep school and Harvard after his arrival in the United States. An Atlantic Monthly hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 20). (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Confessions of a Mullah Warriorby Masood Farivar
Masood Farivar was ten years old when his childhood in peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan was shattered by the Soviet invasion of 1979. Although he was born into a long line of religious and political leaders who had shaped his nation’s history for centuries, Farivar fled to Pakistan with his family and came of age in a madrassa for refugees. At eighteen,… See more details below
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Masood Farivar was ten years old when his childhood in peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan was shattered by the Soviet invasion of 1979. Although he was born into a long line of religious and political leaders who had shaped his nation’s history for centuries, Farivar fled to Pakistan with his family and came of age in a madrassa for refugees. At eighteen, he defied his parents and returned home to join the jihad, fighting beside not only the Afghan mujahideen but also Arab and Pakistani volunteers. When the Soviets withdrew, Farivar moved to America and attended the prestigious Lawrenceville School and Harvard, and ultimately became a journalist in New York. At a time when the war in Afghanistan is the focus of renewed attention, and its outcome is more crucial than ever to our own security, Farivar draws on his unique experience as a native Afghan, a former mujahideen fighter, and a longtime U.S. resident to provide unprecedented insight into the ongoing collision between Islam and the West. This is a visceral, clear-eyed, and illuminating memoir from an indispensable new voice on the world stage.
This timely memoir looks into the life of a man who has experienced war in Afghanistan from a side not normally reported on by the American media. Farivar explores his experience in the war with Russia that raged from 1979 to 1989, showing how his life circumstances influenced his attitude about war and religion and what jihad really means to someone who is Muslim. Not just a chronicle of war, it is also a coming-of-age story about a child raised by a secular father who as a young man becomes a refugee in Pakistan drawn to radical Islam, joining the mujahideen fighting in his homeland. A chance meeting with an English convert sets him on the path to America, a turn from radicalism, and a degree from Harvard. After years in America, Farivar has decided to return to Afghanistan and a very uncertain future. This invaluable memoir shows the other, non-American side of the Middle Eastern coin, explaining how a normal person can get caught up in radical Islam-not because he is anti-American or anti-West but because he is pro-Afghanistan. Farivar humanizes the experience for us. Recommended for larger public and especially academic libraries, where its discussion of hot-button issues will generate good discussion.
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