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Love and War in Afghanistan

Klaits, Alexander (Book - 2005)
Love and War in Afghanistan
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Perseus Publishing

Love and War in Afghanistan presents true stories of 15 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 film-makers 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, Turkmens, schoolteachers, mullahs, former Taliban, mujahedin, big brothers, little sisters, captive wives, lovers in flight: Love and War in Afghanistan tells their stories.

Alex Klaits worked in northeastern Afghanistan from December 2001 to September 2003, undertaking humanitarian and reconstruction programs with Child Fund Afghanistan and the Christian Children’s Fund.

Gulchin Gulmamadova-Klaits has worked for a variety of international aid organizations in her native Tajikistan, including CARE International, the Central Asian American Enterprise Fund and the Asian Development Bank. She 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. In addition to her native Pamiri, Gulmamadova-Klaits speaks Russian, English, Tajik and Dari.


Stories of great beauty from a land lost to war.


Book News
The authors, both experienced field workers in the region, spent their honeymoon collecting 14 narratives of ordinary people who survived multiple invasions and civil violence, only to endure a medieval theocracy that stepped into the resulting vacuum of governance. While edicts that denied basic human rights were imposed and enforced, these people lived as they could, maintaining families and friendships and dealing with the day-to-day issues of food and shelter. Most knew and cared nothing about politics or rhetoric; but some were tortured, and many lost a part of their everyday life and themselves in the violence around them. The result is both rich and disturbing, the closest many readers will come to living and loving others in the midst of an earthly inferno. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Authors: Klaits, Alexander
Statement of Responsibility: Alex Klaits and Gulchin Gulmamadova-Klaits
Title: Love and war in Afghanistan
Publisher: New York : Seven Stories Press, c2005
Characteristics: 303 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Subject Headings: Afghanistan History Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 Personal narratives Afghanistan History 1989-2001 Biography Afghanistan Social life and customs
Additional Contributors: Gulmamadova-Klaits, Gulchin
LCCN: 2005003151
ISBN: 1583226753
Branch Call Number: 958.1045 K
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