Afghanistan: Hope and Beauty in a War-Torn Land

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Bucher, 2008 - History - 189 pages
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Journalist Ursula Meissner wants to shake us up about Afghanistan and help its people. Her photographs and stories tell of a land at a crossroads, of the magic of an unknown country and the horror of recent events, as well as of the bravery of its women; from the roses and fields of poppies at the foot of the Hindu Kush to a pair of red high-heeled shoes that are a symbol of hope. Even after decades of violence Afghanistan has preserved its magic.

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I think this is a beautifully presented book, an important book because it gives a close-up insight into Afghanistan. It is the most pictorial coverage I have seen in Australia. It obviously took immense courage and great steadiness of character to write.
Ursula Meissner made sixteen trips to Afghanistan between 1986 and 2008. First she travelled with the Mujahideen and later with guides and interpreters under the protection of the German aid program. The written commentary tells the story of the country from the time of Najibulla through the rise of the warlords and the Taliban to 9/11 and its aftermath. You feel you are looking at the facts of this country for once and not just the approved or received view. Afghanistan is seen in many of its aspects. We are looking at a country where most people are illiterate and so are bound to local conditions and the whims of local leaders. I found it very informative and just what I was looking for in my search for an understanding of Afghanistan and its people.
Sally Morrison (Australian author)


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