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Title: Fort of Nine Towers, A
Authors: Omar, Qais Akbar
Genre: Non Fiction
Pages: 389
Year: 2013
Language: English
Description: Qais Akbar Omar's young life coincided with one of the most convulsive decades in Afghan history: civil war, the rise of the Taliban, and the arrival of international troops in 2001.

'A Fort of Nine Towers', named for the place his parents first sought shelter from war, is the story of Qais's family and their remarkable survival. When the fighting came, this group of tenacious and deeply loving people was buffeted from one part of Afghanistan to the next, 'like kittens in the jaws of a lion'. They set up camp on the plains, in the Buddha caves of Bamiyan, and later with Kuchi nomads, before they were finally able to return to Kabul - where in many senses their trials were just beginning.

As he shares this long journey, through terror, heartbreak, and sudden moments of joy, Qais's spirit never ceases to shine. This is an extraordinary book about a beautiful and civilised country ravaged by war, and about the power of stories to embolden, console, and bind a family together, in the face of almost unimaginable odds. [Taken from book cover.] [Small font]

Comments from Groups:

All the group liked this book. A gripping autobiography of life in Afghanistan through a child's eyes. Doubtless Bay 001

We all loved this book. It enlightened us all. A very accessible way to understand what is happening in Afghanistan. Wellington 079

Very popular! Auckland 287

Everyone really 'enjoyed' this book and found it very insightful into life in war-torn Afghanistan. Some found that parts were not advised for bedtime reading! Good discussion on the night with everyone thankful for life in peaceful NZ! Nelson 031

Loved it. Great read, very interesting. Auckland 355

We all enjoyed this book and had a good discussion at our meeting. We loved his writing. Dunedin 006

We all enjoyed this book immensely; a very full account of his life with a good description of the different 'tribes' within Afghanistan. Christchurch 049

Recommended to anyone wanting understanding of the oppression of the people of Afghanistan and their consequent distrust of 'liberating countries'. Napier 023

Everyone thought this was a great book. It was well written and portrayed a very 'rounded' look at Afghanistan's various warring factions. Havelock North 012

This book was loved by everyone. We believe it is a better read than 'Kite Runner' - a high recommendation. Many members felt they finally understood the background to how Afghanistan is where it is today. Morrinsville 001

Categories: Non fiction, War theme, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Inspirational, Political, Religion, Social commentary/perspectives, Afghanistan, Popular Book with Groups, Small font

Reviews

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By: WELL 183 2018-10-24 14:57:07
5 
This is a most informative and enjoyable true story about a large extended family of carpet-sellers who lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, in the late 20th century. Written by the eldest son,(Qais),and told in his voice as he grows from childhood to adulthood. The writing style is poetic and visual, and the settings range from beautiful to barbaric, as does the behaviour of humans at intervals. The strongest threads in this account are the warmth of family relationships and the ability to survive shocking experiences as each wave of political extremism washes over and around these wonderful people....

By: WELL 183 2018-10-24 14:47:53
4.5 
The whole group enjoyed the book. It was shocking and confronting, but also educational and uplifting. We enjoyed the prose, the honesty and the language very much. Our discussion was about the Taliban, religion, wealth, carpets, family, courage, patience, war, futility etc. which made for an interesting session.

By: HAMIL 024 2018-10-24 14:44:35
4.5 
After some spirited discussion, we decided that, "This has been a stimulating, informative, inspiring and heart-warming book that has opened our eyes to the capacity human beings have to do evil to each other".

By: AUCK 381 2018-10-24 14:00:46
5 
Everyone enjoyed this book. It was billed as insightful, engaging and written without any self-pity of heavy emotional overlay. A clear presentation of a hard-to-believe narrative that left us all in deep awe of the author. Thank you.

By: AUCK 085 2018-10-24 13:51:54
4.5 
A moving and poignant read, giving an exceptional insight into Afghanistan.

By: AUCK 281 2018-10-24 13:45:42
5 
The most amazing read so far! We were all shocked and saddened to hear what Afghanis have been through. A MUST read for everyone to help understand the unrest in that part of the world.

By: WELL 012 2018-10-24 13:41:35
4 
Our group enjoyed this book despite its horrific content (at times). We thought it could have been further edited, however the principle with which it is written was strong. A context on the political history could be useful as a ready reference.

 
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