Download Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad by David B. Edwards PDF

By David B. Edwards

During this robust booklet, David B. Edwards strains the lives of 3 contemporary Afghan leaders in Afghanistan's history--Nur Muhammad Taraki, Samiullah Safi, and Qazi Amin Waqad--to clarify how the promise of growth and prosperity that lively Afghanistan within the Nineteen Sixties crumbled and have become the current tragedy of discord, destruction, and depression. prior to Taliban builds at the beginning that Edwards laid in his prior booklet, Heroes of the Age, during which he examines the lives of 3 major figures of the overdue 19th century--a tribal khan, a Muslim saint, and a prince who turned king of the newly created country. within the mid 20th century, Afghans believed their kingdom can be a version of financial and social improvement that might encourage the area. in its place, political clash, overseas invasion, and civil struggle have left the rustic impoverished and politically dysfunctional. all the males Edwards profiles have been engaged within the political struggles of the country's fresh heritage. They was hoping to work out Afghanistan develop into a extra simply and democratic country. yet their visions for his or her nation have been notably varied, and finally, all 3 failed and have been killed or exiled. Now, Afghanistan is linked to overseas terrorism, drug trafficking, and repression. prior to Taliban tells those men's tales and gives an intensive research of why their desires for a innovative country lie in ruins whereas the Taliban has succeeded. In Edwards's capable palms, this culturally proficient biography offers a enthralling and revealing check out the social and cultural contexts of political swap.

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The two boys looked the same except that the older one had a more confident stride and the younger one was wearing a turban, the loose end of which hung down the back of his newly purchased coat. The camera watched from behind as they strolled along, and then it appeared that the older, bareheaded boy said something to his friend, for the next thing we saw was the younger boy removing the turban from his head, wadding it into a ball, and stuffing it into his pocket. It was a tiny gesture that took only a few seconds on screen, but I have since come to believe that it represented a profound transformation not just for one boy but also for a whole society.

When I first saw Naim and Jabar, I remember being more impressed by the exotic beauty of the Afghan mountain landscape of the boys’ village than by the situation of the two boys themselves. At the time, I didn’t know Introduction / 13 the political controversies that seethed below the surface in Kabul, much less the maelstrom toward which Afghanistan was headed. Nor had I read Thomas’s account of his trip to Afghanistan, and so I couldn’t have recognized the possibility that the scene in Naim and Jabar completed an arc begun in Kabul fifty-some years earlier—from a king remaking his summer palace in the image of a Hollywood film to a poor boy pocketing his turban in order to fit into his own humble version of the modern imaginary.

WTs manifested little discernible interest in Afghanistan or Afghans. Foremost in most of their minds was hashish (which was plentiful in Kabul), inexpensive ratatouilles and omelets to assuage their drug-fueled appetites, and the pleasure of their own spaced-out, casually licentious company. With the exception of those who served and benefited from the WT economy, most Kabulis with whom I came in contact ignored the young Westerners, not so much it seemed because they were shocked by them but rather because they were involved in their own intense love affair with modernity.

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