A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner --an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women's rights in the Muslim world.Read more...
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A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner--an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women's rights in the Muslim world.
Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia's large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family's honor. They are still in hiding.
Despite a decade of American good intentions, women in Afghanistan are still subjected to some of the worst human rights violations in the world. Rod Nordland, then the Kabul bureau chief of the New York Times, had watched these abuses unfold for years when he came upon Zakia and Ali, and has not only chronicled their plight, but has also shepherded them from danger.
The Lovers will do for women's rights generally what Malala's story did for women's education. It is an astonishing story about self-determination and the meaning of love that illustrates, as no policy book could, the limits of Western influence on fundamentalist Islamic culture and, at the same time, the need for change.
- ISBN-13: 9780062378828
- ISBN-10: 0062378821
- Publisher: Ecco Press
- Publish Date: January 2016
- Page Count: 384
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Norland, a New York Times correspondent, meticulously relates the tale of Ali and Zakia, who became Afghanistans most famous couple after marrying in 2013 without parental permission and thereby endangering their lives. In so doing, he opens a window onto their countrys fierce resistance to change, particularly regarding the status of women. Mohammad Ali and Zakia, whose fathers owned adjoining fields outside Bamiyan, a city in central Afghanistan, first met as children. They fell in love as teenagers, but his heritage as a Shiite and ethnic Hazara and hers as a Sunni and ethnic Tajik posed seemingly insurmountable barriers. In Nordlands telling, the pair emerge as fully rounded characters even while serving as symbols of Afghan cultures stifling restraints. From the couples initial elopement to their unexpected elevation to media prominence in 2014due to the authors reporting and a media-savvy New Jersey rabbi with connections to the Afghan Ministry of Womens AffairsNordlands storytelling remains gripping, with more than a hint of Shakespearean drama. The couples survival, in the face of familial and societal condemnation, provides a happy if incomplete resolution. Far less uplifting is Nordlands reporting on the overall situation for women in Afghanistan, a country that Massouda Jalal, former Afghan minister for womens affairs, calls the worst place in the world to be a woman. (Jan.)