Author: Saima Wahab
Publish Date: April 24, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a history lover.
- You're a memoir lover.
From Amazon.com: " Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, at age three Saima Wahab watched while her father was arrested and taken from their home by the KGB. She would never see him again. When she was fifteen an uncle who lived in Portland, Oregon brought her to America. Having to learn an entire new language, she nonetheless graduated from high school in three years and went on to earn a bachelor's degree. In 2004 she signed on with a defense contractor to work as an interpreter in Afghanistan, never realizing that she would blaze the trail for a new kind of diplomacy, earning the trust of both high-ranking U.S. army officials and Afghan warlords alike.
When she arrived in Afghanistan in the winter of 2004, Saima was the only college-educated female Pashto speaker in the entire country. She was stunned to learn how little U.S. and coalition forces knew about the Pashtun, who comprise 40% of the population and from whom the Taliban arose. The blessing of the Pashtun is essential, but the U.S. army was so unaware of the workings of this ancient, proud, insular ethic group, that they would routinely send Farsi interpreters into Pashtun villages. As a Pashtun-born American citizen, Saima found herself in an extraordinary position—to be able to explain the people of her native land to those of her adopted one, and vice versa, in a quest to forge new and lasting bonds between two misunderstood cultures."
My Two Cents:
I think that books like In My Father's Country are incredibly important for people, particularly Americans to read. The United States has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for the past 10 years. There are still a lot of people who don't really understand a lot about the current state and even fewer understand the historical context behind present-day Afghanistan.
I like to mix a bit of non-fiction into my reading. I love the stories of people who have gone through really tough circumstances and are faced with the extraordinary. Ms. Wahab definitely fits that bill. She's definitely a person that you just really have to be in wow of. The book follows her as a young child in Afghanistan as the Russians are attacking the country. She comes to the United States as a teenager.
I read a lot of this book with my mouth wide open. It's hard to believe that Wahab would go back to Afghanistan as a translator. On one hand, she could have just stayed in the United States where she was safe. She goes back to Afghanistan though, which puts her in a very vulnerable position. Translators often are sent to places that can be pretty dangerous. On top of that, they are relied on very heavily and have tons of responsibility. It would be a lot for anyone to take on. Yet Wahab perseveres. She takes on every challenge with a game face. I found so much in her character to admire.
I think that history lovers and memoir lovers alike will both really enjoy this book. You will get totally absorbed into Wahab's story!
Bottom line: A great memoir about a tough place!
Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Tuesday, April 24th: Book Addict Katie
Wednesday, April 25th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, April 30th: Bibliosue
Tuesday, May 1st: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, May 2nd: My Book Retreat
Thursday, May 3rd: A Bookish Affair
Monday, May 7th: Book Dilettante
Tuesday, May 8th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Wednesday, May 9th: Book Club Classics!
Monday, May 14th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, May 15th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, May 16th: Lit and Life
Thursday, May 17th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, May 21st: Chew & Digest Books
Tuesday, May 22nd: Twisting the Lens
Wednesday, May 23rd: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
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