By David B. Edwards
During this robust publication, 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. ahead of Taliban builds at the beginning that Edwards laid in his past ebook, Heroes of the Age, within which he examines the lives of 3 major figures of the past due 19th century--a tribal khan, a Muslim saint, and a prince who turned king of the newly created nation. within the mid 20th century, Afghans believed their kingdom can be a version of financial and social improvement that might encourage the realm. as a substitute, political clash, overseas invasion, and civil warfare 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 determine Afghanistan develop into a extra simply and democratic kingdom. yet their visions for his or her nation have been appreciably diverse, and in any case, all 3 failed and have been killed or exiled. Now, Afghanistan is linked to foreign terrorism, drug trafficking, and repression. prior to Taliban tells those men's tales and gives an intensive research of why their desires for a revolutionary kingdom lie in ruins whereas the Taliban has succeeded. In Edwards's capable palms, this culturally expert biography presents a enthralling and revealing look at the social and cultural contexts of political swap.
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Extra resources for Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad
Ba pesh-i dost o dushman zar gashtom. The song was one of several that Aqcha Poor taught me, and all conveyed the same despondence. In some respects, they were like the songs of another man from Balkh who sang of dispossession—Jalaluddin Rumi, or, as he is known to Afghans, Jalaluddin Balkhi. Rumi’s recurring lament centers on his separation from the Beloved, and Westerners sometimes imagine that he is writing about a human lover. But it is God and the promise of eventual reunification with the Divine that give the poet the strength to continue his labors on earth.
However, Taraki’s father “suffered silently and consoled himself with the signs of brilliance he had traced in his prodigious son. ” As the story progresses, we discover that there was no noble ancestor dispossessed of his rightful inheritance, no hint that the boy who would be president had any prior claim to that title. The only nobility here is the nobility of poverty and toil, which Afghans had never before seen exalted and treated as worthy of praise. In Afghan culture, nobility is inherited and can only rarely be forged through experience.
This was especially true of two of these men—Taraki and Qazi Amin— who were leaders of political organizations that insisted that people’s first loyalties should be to the party itself, which held the authentic hope for the future. Acquiring power for the party became for both sides more important than the ideals the parties stood for, and this focus, over time, became an obsession that ultimately cost them the trust of the people. This sadly has been the legacy of social reform in Afghanistan—a legacy that began with the social experiments of Amanullah in the 1920s and that finally resulted seventy years later in the advent of the Taliban regime, whose overriding ambition is to return the country to an imagined state of original grace before the coming of secular education and other imported evils from beyond Islam’s borders.
Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad by David B. Edwards