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Escape from the Taliban (Hardback)

One Woman’s Experiences in Afghanistan

Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Afghanistan War P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 21st Century P&S History > Social History

By Bashir Sakhawarz
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 15 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399042406
Published: 3rd October 2023



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Deeba first left Afghanistan in 2002, fleeing a war torn country and an abusive husband shortly after she was captured by the Taliban and nearly sold to an Arab Shaikh narrowly escaping due to a small twist of fate.

In June 2021 Deeba returned to visit family in Kabul to organise the engagement of her son. Regardless of the Taliban's progress she felt safe to travel after reassurances from the Aghan and US Government's that the Taliban would not be able to take major cities.

One morning, to her surprise, she awoke to the news that President Ghani had escaped and Kabul was in the hands of the Taliban, what ensued was a desperate rush to leave the city to return to the USA enduring bomb blasts and crushing crowds at the airport.

This is a harrowing account of one woman caught in the US withdrawal of Kabul giving a first hand account of what it was like to be a civilian caught up in the chaos as well as giving an invaluable insight in to the life of a woman in Afghanistan.

Deeba’s story offers an up-close and spell-binding glimpse into the very heart of Afghanistan: a full immersion into its cultural, religious and socio-political struggles, the ravages of war on its traditional society, and the hardships of the refugee experience. This account of an educated and courageous woman who dared to speak her truth and resist an oppressive male-dominated culture is an inspiring one, and the world needs to hear more stories like hers. Deeba’s genuine love for her home country, her fierce devotion to family and justice, and her steadfast faith and persistence against horrific odds all endeared her to me. This book simultaneously infuses its readers with a sense of awe for the ever-changing and harsh beauty of mountainous landscapes, bathes them in the kindness and warm generosity of Afghan hospitality, and teaches them what real life was like behind the soundbites of news received in the west from this war-torn country. The language is beautiful, concise and authentic, a superb example of a woman’s true story captivatingly well told by a male author. While empathizing with personal tragedies endured by civilians, the reader is also uplifted by the pervading sense of love for family and friends and the joys of simple traditions, the delicious smells of chapati baking in village tandoors, and the occasional wisdom of Rumi. Perhaps most importantly, this book continually reminds us of the power of personal choice and commitment to justice. I’d read this one again!

Kathleen Koch, Amazon Reviewer

Escape from Taliban is a memoir of a brave woman Deeba who leaves Afghanistan and the suppressing Taliban and raises her children alone and providing them educational opportunities which wouldn’t have been possible under the brutal Taliban government. The memoir is an inspirational story of hope and strength of an Afghan woman.
Bashir Sakhawarz sums in this memoir beautifully the never ending trauma refugees experience. “Of all beings, man is not free. Birds fly away to another sky, animals run to another mountain or jungle, but man can’t go anywhere. Do you think those refugees escaped wars? They carry their prisons with them.”
A must read book for all women, refugees, immigrants, victims of wars and anyone who is interested in learning about the tragic history of Afghan women under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Nagina Azizi, Amazon Reviewer

A beautiful book of Deeba's memories, which are a mixture of her own evolution (from an educated woman, to one without rights and identity, to a free and independent western mother) and the history of Afghanistan (from prosperity to never-ending destruction). The divine descriptions of rural areas will evoke in the reader the scent of the purple flowers of Arghwan Mila's jacaranda trees, while the description of fresh chapatis baked in Tandoors will make you want to try this specialty at least once. Every refugee will recognize his/her Shah Mahmud (a man of hope) and fear that he no longer exists. The book is not a fairy tale, but offers a kind of happy ending: a reassurance for Deebra, while her children are safe, successful and happy.

Danijela Rostohar, Amazon Reviewer

This is a moving and frightening story of a woman's experience in Afghanistan in the face of invasions by the Russians and then by the Taliban and their ideological violence especially towards women. Escape to Pakistan is the outcome and a scary journey across country to the border and ultimate safety. It is written in a clear and unemotional prose which makes its impact serious and compelling.The author an Afghan who lives now in London but has relatives in the USA is a published writer of poetry and prose in Persian and English and an award winner. An eye opening work.

Roger Jefferies, Amazon Reviewer

About Bashir Sakhawarz

Bashir is an award-winning poet and novelist. Since his first poetry collection was awarded first prize for New Poetry by the Afghan Writers’ Association in 1978, has published seven books in Persian and English. His latest novel Maagir The Snake Charmer was entered for the Man Asian Literary Prize by the publisher and was long-listed for the 2013 Economist Crossword Book Award. Other works have been published in: Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the European Society for Central Asia (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), Images of Afghanistan (Oxford University Press, 2010), Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton & Company, 2008), English Pen, Asian Literary Review, Cha Literary Journal, East of the Web, Litro. He is the winner of the 2015 Geneva Writers Group Literary Award for Fiction.

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