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In a Land Far from Home: A Bengali in Afghanistan (Deshe Bideshe)

In a Land Far from Home: A Bengali in Afghanistan (Deshe Bideshe)

Syed Mujtaba Ali

Translated By

Nazes Afroz

Category

Memoir, Non-fiction

Format

Paperback

Price

$6.14 $5.54

In Stock

Excerpt

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$6.14 $5.54

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(Paperback | ISBN 9789385288029 | 336 pages | April 2015)

Summary

An intrepid traveller and a true cosmopolitan, the legendary Bengali writer Syed Mujtaba Ali from Sylhet (in erstwhile East Bengal, now Bangladesh) spent a year and a half teaching in Kabul from 1927 to 1929. Drawing on this experience, he later wrote Deshe Bideshe which was published in 1948.

Ali’s young mind was curious to explore the Afghan society of the time and, with his impressive language skills, he had access to a cross-section of Kabul’s population, whose ideas and experiences he chronicles with a keen eye and a wicked sense of humour.

His account provides a fascinating first-hand insight into events at a critical point in Afghanistan’s history, when the reformist King Amanullah tried to steer his country towards modernity by encouraging education for girls and giving them the choice of removing the burqa. Branded a ‘kafir’, Amanullah was overthrown by the bandit leader Bacha-e-Saqao. Deshe Bideshe is the only published eyewitness account of that tumultuous period by a non-Afghan, brought to life by the contact that Ali enjoyed with a colourful cast of characters at all levels of society—from the garrulous Pathan Dost Muhammed and the gentle Russian giant Bolshov, to his servant, Abdur Rahman and his partner in tennis, the Crown Prince Enayatullah.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

Deshe Bideshe [is] one of the most enthralling books in Bangla literature.’ —Financial Express


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About the author

Syed Mujtaba Ali

A cosmopolitan par excellence and a true internationalist, the legendary Bengali writer Syed Mujtaba Ali from Sylhet (in erstwhile Bengal, now Bangladesh) spent a year and a half teaching in Kabul from 1927 to early 1929. Drawing on this experience, Mujtaba Ali later wrote Deshe Bideshe (Home and Abroad), which was published in Bengali in […]

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