Love and War in Afghanistan

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Overview

Love and War in Afghanistan presents true stories of fourteen ordinary men and women living in Northern Afghanistan. In a quarter-century of uninterrupted war, the people of Afghanistan have endured foreign invasions, ethnic strife, a fundamentalist Islamic totalitarian regime, and the unending crossfire of rival warlord factions. The country remains an object of fascination for journalists, academics, and filmmakers from around the world. In the midst of it all it is a startlingly powerful experience to ...
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Love & War in Afghanistan

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Overview

Love and War in Afghanistan presents true stories of fourteen ordinary men and women living in Northern Afghanistan. In a quarter-century of uninterrupted war, the people of Afghanistan have endured foreign invasions, ethnic strife, a fundamentalist Islamic totalitarian regime, and the unending crossfire of rival warlord factions. The country remains an object of fascination for journalists, academics, and filmmakers from around the world. In the midst of it all it is a startlingly powerful experience to discover, here, the voices of the Afghan people themselves.
Young lovers who elope against the wishes of their kin; a mullah whose wit is his only defense against his armed captors; a defector from the Soviet army; a woman who is forced to stand up to gangsters in Tajikistan—their dramatic stories emerge in their own unforgettable words. Whether in the sudden awakening of mercy in a Taliban militiaman, the lingering contempt of a woman for her husband’s first wife, the pain and confusion of flight into exile, or the resourcefulness of a child who must provide for an entire family, the real focus of these narratives is the strength of solitary individuals faced daily with their own vulnerability.
Men, women, orphans, widows, widowers, Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Turkmens, schoolteachers, mullahs, former Taliban, mujahideen, big brothers, little sisters, captive wives, lovers in flight: Love and War in Afghanistan tells their stories, putting human faces onto a country torn by war.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Klaits is an American who has served multiple tours in Kyrgyzstan through the Peace Corps; spouse Gulmamadova-Klaits is a native of Tajikistan who has also served in aid organizations. In April 2004, two weeks after their marriage, the two traveled to the northeastern Afghanistan provinces of Kunduz and Takhar to collect stories of love. Most of the accounts came in Dari, in which Gulmamadova is fluent. What is remarkable about what they found, and what makes this collection ingenious, is the way that the 23-year-long civil war emerges indirectly from every tale of love-requited, unrequited, passionate, chaste, familial, extra-familial, arranged, delayed, tragic, random-and the parallel psychic burdens love and war place on the tellers. Recounted in the first person with just a name (often changed) as heading, the narratives read like compelling blog entries and cover a wide range of ages, education levels and occupations. They are frank (but not graphic), often wonderfully digressive, and are told by equal numbers of men and women. It's difficult to imagine a more welcoming entry into northern Afghan culture, or a more touching set of relationships formed, and maintained, under horrific circumstances. Author tour. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this fascinating book, the authors, who have been involved with various nongovernmental aid organizations in Afghanistan, present the stories of 14 ordinary people living in the region today. Their stories, collected in 2004, reflect experiences spanning a quarter century. Modern Afghanistan is a kaleidoscope of different nationalities and linguistic groups. In recent decades, the country has been decimated by civil wars and foreign invasions. The Soviet invasion in 1979 and the ensuing occupation of Afghanistan tore apart its sociopolitical fabric and led to the ascendancy of a coterie of Islamic fundamentalist groups that fought one another in a vicious civil war. The Taliban movement filled the resulting power vacuum. Supported by Pakistan and its allies, the Taliban imposed a harsh system of governance that denied basic fundamental rights to the Afghan people and ran the country as a reactionary medieval theocracy. Notwithstanding the cruel nature of this regime, life somehow went on in Afghanistan. The authors' fieldwork experience in the region allows us to receive this unique insider account of today's Afghanistan: a child who must provide for an entire family, a Soviet army defector, a Taliban militiaman's change of heart. The book summons a picture of Afghanistan that one cannot get from afar. Recommended for public libraries.-Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583227275
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2006
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

ALEX KLAITS has worked for several international aid organizations in northeastern Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Washington, DC. GULCHIN GULMAMADOVA-KLAITS holds a BA in economics from a university in Dushanbe, Tajikistan although her studies were interrupted when she fled her hometown to escape the country’s civil war.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    One of my favorite books ever

    This is a riviting look inside life in afghanistan. I have read it more than once

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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