Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan

Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan


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Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan by Christina Lamb

A gold-inscribed invitation to a wedding in a foreign land led Christina Lamb at the age of twenty-one to leave suburban England for Peshawar on the frontier of the Afghan war. Like the Englishmen in the Great Game of the nineteenth century, she was captivated by the Afghans she met. For two years she tracked the final stages of the mujaheddin victory over the Soviets as Afghan friends smuggled her in and out of their country in a variety of guises — from burqa-clad wife to Kandahari boy — travelling by foot, on donkeys or hidden under the floor of an ambulance.

Among those friends was Abdul Haq, the recently executed Kabul commander, and Hamid Karzai, the new president of Afghanistan, who took Lamb to his hometown of Kandahar, where they rode around on the backs of motorbikes belonging to a group of fighters known as the Mullahs Front. It was these figures who went on to become founding members of the Taliban.

Long haunted by her experiences in Afghanistan, Lamb returned there after the attacks on the World Trade Center to find out what had become of the people and places that had marked her life as a young graduate, and to report for Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

She was now seeing the land anew, through the eyes of a mother and an experienced foreign correspondent who has lived in Africa, South America, Portugal and the United States. Lamb's journey brought her in touch with the people no one else has written about: the abandoned victims of almost a quarter century of war.

Among them are the brave women writers of Herat who risked their lives to carry on the literary tradition of this ancient Persian city under theguise of sewing circles; the princess whose palace was surrounded by tanks on the eve of her wedding; the artist who painted out all the people in his works to prevent their being destroyed by the Taliban; and Khalil Ahmed Hassani, a former Taliban torturer who admits to breaking the spines of men then making them stand on their heads.

Christina Lamb's evocative reporting brings to life these stories. Her unique perspective on Afghanistan and deep passion for the people she writes about makes this the definitive account of the tragic plight of a proud nation.

Author Biography:

Christina Lamb was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year by both the British Press Awards and the Foreign Correspondents Association for her reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan in London's Sunday Telegraph following the terrorist attacks of September 11. She is also the author of the bestselling The Africa House and Waiting for Allah. She is married with a young son and lives in London, England, and Estoril, Portugal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060505271
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/03/2004
Series: Harper Perennial Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 680,634
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Christina Lamb is one of the world’s leading foreign correspondents. Author of Farewell Kabul and New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, she has reported on Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1987. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, she is the author of five books and has won a number of awards, including Britain’s Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times, as well as the Prix Bayeux-Calvados, Europe’s most prestigious award for war correspondents. She currently works for the Sunday Times and lives in London and Portugal with her husband and son.


London, England and Estoril, Portugal

Date of Birth:

May 15, 1965

Place of Birth:

London, England


M.A., Politics and Philosophy, Oxford University, 1987

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