Feb 20, 2006

Come Back to Afghanistan, Said Hyder Akbar

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

This is the true story of this teenager who basically grows up in California, but after the Taliban is overthrown his father - who had been a significant person in Afghani's govern't back in the day - returns and is the press person for the new president and then the govenor of Kunar provence. Said spends long summers in Afghanistan, hanging out and helping his dad and generally participating. He's able to help be a translator a lot - which is very cool.

I really enjoyed this book because it gave a good detailed look at recent events, everyday life, and examines the whole US involvement in Afghanistan debacle. Akbar makes the point that the US was never seen as an invading/occupying force as it was/is in Iraq. So if we had really invested forces and money there, the Afghani people would have supported us. But we didn't - we were there for a while, but most of our money and troops went to Iraq, where we aren't welcome.

On the downside, this book is hugely long - 335 pages! And it isn't really a quick read. It def could have been chopped down a bit - but so much is just daily reflections and descriptions of what Akbar was doing and that all adds up to an overall good understanding of what is going on there. So its hard to think about what really could have been chopped without losing some of that.

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