The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/8/2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Twenty-one-year-old Christina Lamb left suburban England for Peshawar on the frontier of the Afghan war. Captivated, she spent two years tracking 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. Returning to Afghanistan after the attacks on the World Trade Center to report for Britain's Sunday Telegraph, Lamb discovered the people no one else had written about: the abandoned victims of almost a quarter century of war. Among them, the brave women writers of Herat who risked their lives to carry on a literary tradition under the guise 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 them from being destroyed by the Taliban; and Khalil Ahmed Hassani, a former Taliban torturer who admitted to breaking the spines of men and 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 make 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 married with a young son and lives in London, England, and Estoril, Portugal

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii
List of Illustrations
Family Tree xviii
Beginnings 1(8)
The Taliban Torturer
Mullahs on Motorbikes
Inside the House of Knowledge
The Royal Court in Exile
The Sewing Circles of Herat
The Secret of Glass
Unpainting the Peacocks
The Story of Abdullah
Face to Face with the Taliban
A Letter from Kabul
Afterword to the Perennial Edition 327(14)
Bibliography 341(2)
Index 343

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