Sikander

( 8 )

Overview

This is the new FOURTH EDITION of SIKANDER.

Winner of the Grand Prizes in each of the 2010 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2011 Paris Book Festival, SIKANDER is the tale of the son of a Pakistani middle-class family. It's 1986. Seventeen-year-old Sikander, dreams of studying and living in America, but after a family quarrel, he leaves his Peshawar, Pakistan home. Encountering mujahideen warriors, he joins them in their fight against the ...

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Overview

This is the new FOURTH EDITION of SIKANDER.

Winner of the Grand Prizes in each of the 2010 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2011 Paris Book Festival, SIKANDER is the tale of the son of a Pakistani middle-class family. It's 1986. Seventeen-year-old Sikander, dreams of studying and living in America, but after a family quarrel, he leaves his Peshawar, Pakistan home. Encountering mujahideen warriors, he joins them in their fight against the occupying Soviets in neighboring Afghanistan.

American assistance is stepped up with advanced weapons, like the Stinger missile, and the mujahideen are able to neutralize the Soviet military advantage. After just two years following Sikander's arrival, a Soviet withdrawal begins. Amid the turmoil, Sikander finds love and marries a young, sharp-witted Afghan village girl. With the fighting all but over, the couple decide to move to Sikander's Pakistan home where he hopes to reconcile with his family. But his dream of living in America endures.

It's a dream that is shattered in the aftermath of 9/11 and in seeking to help his Afghan relatives, Sikander, now a successful entrepreneur, finds himself on an unavoidable collision course with the America of his dreams.

SIKANDER takes us from the pricey suburbs of Peshawar to the primitive war-torn landscape of Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, to the placid serenity of Scotland, through the camps of Guantanamo, and finally, corporate America. It is a 21 year journey through freedom and captivity, love and loss, wealth and poverty, dignity and humiliation, and transgression and redemption. A rare glimpse of a non-radical mainstream Muslim's experience of the West, SIKANDER is a journey of growth, self-discovery, and hope. It will touch the humanity of its readers. Along with the two Grand Prizes, SIKANDER has collected numerous other awards inkling Best Fiction in the Hollywood Book Festival and the Beach Book Festival and Best Multicultural Fiction in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards for 2011.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982851128
  • Publisher: Karakoram Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2012
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 478
  • Sales rank: 1,442,571
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Born of refugee parents from India into the newly created state of Pakistan, in 1952, M. Salahuddin Khan of Lake Forest, Illinois, earned a bachelors degree in aeronautics and astronautics from University of Southampton, England. He is a management consultant primarily in the areas of product development and marketing. In 2008, Khan was a Co-Executive Producer of a 12-minute short movie called The Boundary, starring Alex Siddig of Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven, and Star Trek, Deep Space Nine fame. The movie dealt with the issues of civil liberties at a U.S. border crossing in a post 9/11 world. Salahuddin has been published online and in print in such media as the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle and has made numerous radio and TV appearances for his views on Americas relationship with Islam and with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Between 1998 and 2007, the author served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy for NAVTEQ Corp. From 2006 to 2008, he was also the publisher of ISLAMICA Magazine.

In 2011 Khan's debut novel, SIKANDER, won the Grand Prize across all categories in the LA Book Festivala and the Paris Book Festival, along with being named the Best Fiction title in each of the Beach and Hollywood book festivals. It was also named the Best Multicultural Fiction title at the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards. In 2012, Khan was also recipient of the CAIR Chicago Book Award.

Before 1998, Khan was the Chief Technology Officer for Computervision Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Khan is a designer, engineer, artist, writer, inventor (he is named on several US patents), and worldwide traveler.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Live To Read

    Sikander is the main character and, when the reader first meets him, he is full of hope for his future and pretty young. Due to bad circumstances behind his families control, Sikander's family falls on hard times. When Sikander and his father discuss this, they argue and Sikander takes off. Sikander goes to Afghanistan and fights with them against the Soviets, he later marries an Afghan woman. When he returns to Pakistan, he is able to live comfortably. The story takes off from there.



    The reader will love this author's fresh perspective on the Middle Easy and the lifestyle and culture of the area. Sikander's character is upfront and honest, the reader will experience the environment through his eyes, nothing is held back. As a character, Sikander is honorable, brave, and determined. He is very easy to connect with and like, he also appears dynamic...realistic. The secondary characters can make the reader feel as if he/she met them in real life. They round out the story. The events are fast-paced, exciting, and should be interesting to any reader remotely intrigued by history and current events. This book is recommended to adult readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    There are so many misconceptions among Americans in regard to Middle Eastern culture and history - especially since 9/11. Salahuddin Kahn opens discussion about these topics through his fictional tale of Sikander, and delivers his message in a miraculous way. Although it hits on serious issues, the story is captivating, and will definitely leave you thinking and feeling differently than you did before reading. His research and experience definitely shows! I highly recommend this!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    Sometimes a fictional story adds perspective to real world events

    Using an engaging fictional character and story, Khan skillfully takes the reader into the societal, geographical and political warp and weave of Pakistan and Afganistan. Thru Sikander, the author provides a way to see the Soviet invasion (and ultimate expulsion) of Afghanistan, the tragedy of 9-11, the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the "American Dream".....and how the policies of the U.S. may be contradictory to both its stated intentions, and that dream. Reading Sikander may simultaneously answer and generate questions, bring perspective, cultural understanding and allow reasonable contemplation of another point of view.

    This was a read, pause, think, proceed type of book......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Story of a Young Man's Journey Through a Tumultuous World

    Sikander, a Pakistani youth who has led a comfortable upper-middle class life, dreams of one day visiting America, a country for which he has developed a great fondness. But his dreams are smashed when, after a heated family argument, he flees his home and manages to find himself in the midst of a nation's struggle for liberation from an imperialist enemy. But joining the mujahideen warriors in their fight against Soviet oppression in Afghanistan is only the beginning of Sikander's remarkable story that takes him all the way across the ocean to a country which was once only a part of his dreams. It is the same country that is bound to become a nightmarish proving ground for him. Join Sikander on his journey of self-discovery, loss, growth, and personal evolution as he learns what it means to live in a world as tumultuous as this. Sikander is M. Salahuddin Khan's first effort at the craft of a novel. It is perhaps for this reason that the novel will seem even more impressive for its eloquence and quality. This remarkably well-crafted bildungsroman-style story is an excellent start for Khan, though he is no stranger to the field of writing. He has served as publisher for the "highly regarded" Islamica magazine and is respected by his peers at the online writer's community helium.com, where his articles usually rank somewhere in the range of the top five to ten percent. Readers who are partial to coming-of-age novels, stories that involve the culture and character of the Middle East and Pakistan (specifically), or exciting, yet well-grounded works of biographical fiction will especially enjoy the novel Sikander. Also, readers who enjoy fiction related to current national and/or global struggles should definitely look for this novel on bookstore shelves this July.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    A fascinating introduction to a world we all should know more about

    M. Salahuddin Khan writes in the preface to his novel that he wishes to clarify that "the story's setting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the USA is secondary to its core focus being that of an examination of human nature and behavior across the boundaries between cultures" and that he hopes the reader will "enjoy the story."

    Sikander justifies both the author's claim and hope. It is a good story, well told, peopled with believable and intriguing characters, and the underlying motif of a common humanity gives weight and texture without being pedantically intrusive. Sikander Kahn is a young Pakistani youth in 1986 who by chance finds himself fighting in the midst of the Afghan/Soviet war. Years later, again by chance, he finds himself in another strange world. As a shackled, tortured, and humiliated (and innocent)prisoner at Guantanamo, Sikander has survived incredible abuse and loss and in the process achieved a remarkable state of self-awareness "He was who he was¿and his essential self amounted to no more and no less than the sum of his values and the behavior toward which they would guide him. " Further, this perspective has given him new insights about his captors, "as people trapped in their own circumstances."

    But despite the author's caveat, the very best part of Sikander, at least from the stand point of an American reader, is the story's setting. To begin with, Khan has a great eye for natural beauty and everywhere his hero goes, the world springs to life. He compares the breathtaking sheer white peaks of Spin Gar and Hindu Kush to the "tranquil humility" of the Isle of Skye , and his description, as the Khan family watches the twin towers collapse on CNN--"slowly surreally, the south tower started sinking into the ground as if a giant trap door had been opened beneath it by some evil, unseen hand¿" is so visually compelling that one catches one's breath and can hardly read on. Always one knows where in the sky to look for the moon, catches the faint aroma of bougainvillea mixed with the kerosene smells of jet engines, notes the way the half meter end of a turban hangs, the blue of the burkhas, the dust on a car.

    Such important cultural concepts as melmasthia and Pashtunwali are carefully defined in the Glossary but there are often little, throw-away phrases, that reveal a world that is indeed "foreign" to an American. "The Pashtun way was oddly comfortable with the notion of captivity, ransom and release¿thus, if a Pashtun was unlucky enough to be captured, he would be ransomed for the equivalent of fifty or a hundred dollars and let go. It didn't much matter if the captive was fellow tribesman, clansman, or sworn enemy." Equally fascinating is the insight into the relationship between the Pakistani public and military and the Taliban which could not be reversed abruptly simply by American pressure on Musharraf.

    It is, of course, extremely important to remember that we all share one humanity, but Khan has served his readers equally well by reminding us that we must look for and recognize integrity in difference.

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  • Posted November 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Journey You won't soon forget.

    Description:

    In 1986, Sikander is a seventeen year-old Pakistani who dreams of going to America to study and live. But his plans are crushed when he flees his home after a disagreement with his family, which leads him to join a band of mujahideen warriors who are fighting Soviets in Afghanistan. After two years away, the mujahideen prevail, and Sikander decides to return to Pakistan and make a life for himself. Here he falls in love with and marries an Afghan woman while running a successful business. But following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, turmoil ensues in the Middle East, and Sikander must help his wife's family flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan, a dangerous trek that ends in Sikander's capture, torture, and imprisonment by U.S. Forces. The land he's always dreamed of is now a painful scarring nightmare that he may not survive.

    Review:

    M. Salahuddin Khan's first novel is a remarkable coming-of-age journey full of rich detail and remarkable characters. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first received it, but after a few chapters, I knew that I was reading an amazingly crafted and emotionally charged novel. The characters are realistic and well-developed, seemingly taking on a life of their own through the well-written dialogue. The details are vivid and captivating, allowing the reader to experience the Middle East as beautiful one moment and war-torn the next. The plot flows nicely and is very solid, never losing ground and keeping up the fast-pace. The style reminded me of The Kite Runner, another excellent book, and I recommend both to adults interested in the Middle East, biographical historical fiction, or those who just want to read excellent stories about life's journey.

    Rating: Clean Getaway (5/5)

    *** I received this book from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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