View Full Version : Come Back to Afghanistan, Said Hyder Akbar

10-07-2007, 08:13 PM
Subtitled, "A California Teenager's Story."

It's a fascinating recounting of a well connected Afghani's family that fled their home country during the war with the Soviet Union and ended up living in the San Francisco Bay area of California, finally to return after the fall of the Taliban.

The author was raised in the United States and had no memory of his family's homeland. When Karsai came into power his father was compelled to return and assume a position in the government of Afghanistan, first as Karsai's press secretary, then as governor of his home state of Konarha, infamous for being a Taliban stronghold and suspected place of refuge for bin Laden (to this day, actually.) Said Hyder Akbar was determined to return with his father and spend his summer vacations getting to know the homeland he never new.

So yeah, it kind of has an underlying shtick of "jaded Americanized boy experiences culture shock" with often a slightly annoying, "gee whiz" quality as he tries to describe his experiences in a way that might relate to your average American kid. But it's not a kid's book, decidedly written for adults.

Despite that, I found it to be a real page turner and the inside glimpse of Afghanistan, albeit from a somewhat privileged and politicized viewpoint, made it a worthy read.