A Fort of Nine Towers
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And in this splintered country there is extreme brutality. There is no such place as a safety zone. The Taliban provide some measure of stability no bombs are exploding , but women can only leave the home covered in a burqa and with a male escort. However everyone is afraid to leave the house for fear of transgressing a Taliban edict. The author, as a teenager, is savagely imprisoned for over a week due to his hair style. After the invasion in October Kabul residents are ecstatic, once again, to be able to listen to music which was forbidden by the Taliban.
The author does not detail the years after This book is about the prior years. It is written with wonderful eloquence of the conversations and encounters in this most devastated on nations. We come away from this book with a clarity, and to some extent, a hopefulness. It is a searing account of his upbringing. The author writes very lyrically with a great deal of soulfulness. Jul 28, Nahil Sherzoy rated it it was amazing. I say this because it gives a crystal clear perspective of life in Afghanistan during the civil war and, the aftermath.
Akbar's journey is harrowing yet unforgettable. This book needs to be read in schools around the world bc I believe it will change people. It will open their eyes to the true history of Afghanistan and the suffering and injustices that have been endured. These stories will stay with me forever. Jun 30, Scott Rhee rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir , nonfiction , afghanistan , religion. It's difficult to even imagine what life is like in a country ravaged by constant civil war, government coups, and militant uprising.
Certainly, the United States is not perfect. We have our own sources of strife and political upheaval, but we can all pray to our respective deities that the horrors of Afghanistan have not yet found its way to our city streets on the scale that Afghanis face on a daily basis. When a trip to the store for milk means possibly never seeing one's family ever again, c It's difficult to even imagine what life is like in a country ravaged by constant civil war, government coups, and militant uprising.
When a trip to the store for milk means possibly never seeing one's family ever again, checking one's Facebook or Twitter status or catching the new Brad Pitt movie becomes increasingly insignificant. Sadly, for many Americans, Afghanistan burst onto the radar in a big way on Sept. We all suddenly learned a lot more about Afghanistan that day, but it was unfortunately behind a filtered lens of retribution and anger.
Many of us forgot or chose to ignore the fact that our war was not necessarily with the Afghani people but rather the backwards-thinking cave-dwelling militant fundamentalists led and financed by Osama bin Laden. Even the majority of Afghani citizens detested bin Laden and the group known as the Taliban. Qais Akbar Omar's beautifully written memoir "A Fort of Nine Towers" joins a steadily-growing oeuvre of literature about Afghanistan targeted toward American readers.
Like Khaled Hosseini's novel "The Kite Runner", Qaisr's memoir is a personal account of his experience growing up in the tumultuous country of Afghanistan, and specifically the city of Kabul, made all the more powerful by the fact that it is non-fiction. Growing up, young Qais it rhymes with "rice" saw the aftermath of the Russian invasion and the rise of the Mujahadin, a group of rebels who may have started with good intentions but quickly devolved into the killings and bombings for which it became notorious.
Qais and his many siblings were forced to watch as family members and friends slowly left the country or were killed by sporadic bombings and gunfire. Qais's father, a well-to-do carpet seller, was forced out of business when his factory and shop were destroyed by a fire caused by a stray missile. The Omar family soon found themselves nomads, wandering the desert and going from city to city to find food and shelter. In later years, Qais watched as the fundamentalist group known as the Taliban hated by most Afghanis as uneducated country folk came to power and created strict laws that may have reduced crime but also increased misery.
Imagine the Westboro Baptist Church taking over the U. The most striking thing about Qais's account is the love and familial bonds that kept the family going. Indeed, the charity and open arms that the Omar family encountered from distant relatives and even total strangers is what keeps the reader turning the pages and keeps the bleakness and utter despair of the family's situation from becoming too daunting.
View all 3 comments. Jan 20, Mahrose Nawaz rated it it was amazing. This book will leave you speechless. Jul 19, Jeanette rated it it was amazing. This is Qais detailing his life in Afghanistan from about until just recently. No further synopsis, just a reaction. Finally, I have some idea about the real crux of Afghanistan's instability and decades of war.
Civil War prime actually, with more than just a couple of opponents is only one set of factors. And not based in just religious differences at all, but also in tribal, economic, cultur Whew!
And not based in just religious differences at all, but also in tribal, economic, cultural, mores and manners clash. Sounding like a beautiful physical environment in different climates, and filled with families of close attachment and dedication to blood connection- STILL, there is such uncertainty underpinning all. The journey that this family takes to stay together, stay alive, and try to leave Afghanistan itself- well, it is beyond my describing ability. Three steps backward for even one forward.
Readers need strong stomach to get through times when Qais and his father get caught in different factions' nets. While trying to retrieve from their own former home yet. It's a memoir that purely glows with sharp eyes and poetic imagination within the most difficult of harrowing and impossible to foresee outcomes.
This book was not recommended to me but found without any previewing or trailer read on the "New" shelf and taken without any idea that it would be this illuminating. This is a must read to Middle Eastern Palestine, Syria, Libya absolutely base conflict understanding, as well as Afghan War perception.
It's not just from the outside in or ideologue movement, or faith based difference; it's far more complex. If there was a sixth star rating, this one would get it. Mar 13, Melinda rated it really liked it Shelves: His family is torn apart by the destruction war brings as well as its hideous atrocities committed against its own people based on religious and tribal differences. Afghanistan is a country misunderstood and its culture is sufferin "I have long carried this load of griefs in the cage of my heart. Afghanistan is a country misunderstood and its culture is suffering at the hands of discord.
Qasis writes with honesty and openness. His story is affecting as well as inspirational serving an example of resilience. A family among many impacted by the endless and long suffering of a country at odds. A must read for all to become aware of what is happening in this country often under a veil of intrigue. Jul 10, Denise rated it it was amazing. I read a review of this book that said, "if you read only one book this summer, make it this one".
I heeded that advice and I am so glad I did. The author, Quais Akbar Omar, writes of growing up in a country that has been ravaged by war for years. His writing style is simple and beautiful, poetic at times. The tale that he tells of his familiy's survival adventures are amazing, horrifying, inspiring and unforgettable. His father and mother are nothing short of heroic. I always thought of Afghan I read a review of this book that said, "if you read only one book this summer, make it this one".
I always thought of Afghanistan as a violent, war torn country, but it is easy to forget that the majority of the people there, just like anywhere, just want to make a living, raise their families and live in peace. It is sad that the fanaticism and aggression of a few, make the lives of innocent people so hellish.
I loved this book. I hope lots of people read it. Jun 28, VaultOfBooks rated it liked it. By Qais Akbar Omar. But there is an entire world out which lives on an entirely different plane — a world where people live in limitations, in a seemingly endless scarcity of resources. When such tales of despair come across, it surprises as well as pains the heart making it yearn for the one on the other side.
It is this hope that drives us as inhabitants of this planet to strive on. A Fort of Nine Towers is one such tale of hope. Since this is a non-fiction almost book, there is no question about the plot. But the writing is not amateurish, which is a very good thing. It so happens that in novels such as this, the narration becomes a rant or a description of pangs. The absence of this characteristic is the best thing about A Fort of Nine Towers.
Author of “A Fort of Nine Towers” visits BU CELOP
Such emotions range across the populace but only after being ravaged by a war for so long. But wicked people like him bring shame to us Hazaras and to the Mujahideen. The antagonism of the situation is only because of the method used, but the cause, in itself, probably stems from a genuine cause. The only problem I found was with the character sketch.
A Fort of Nine Towers - Wikipedia
No doubt, that this is a non-fiction book piece; definitely the characters cannot be larger than life. Yet they can be created to reside in memories. This required some extra effort from the author, even more so because the narrative is non-fictional and from a first person perspective. The characters in this novel are sketched in what could probably be known as a weaker manner.
Another issue would be that of connectivity to the reader. A major chunk of the details mentioned in the novel are of the nature that the reader might skim through them. What such detailing or lengthening can do is make the reader lose interest at certain junctures while reading.
Had it been a little more concise, it would have been much more impactful. We are looking for perceptive readers who can write well, and we are eager to provide lots of free books in exchange for reviews. Shot us a mail at contact vaultofbooks. View 1 comment. Apr 11, Diane Yannick rated it really liked it. Afghanistan was constantly besieged by civil wars and horrendous Taliban actions during the decade from Quais describes many of the atrocities he witnessed, yet he holds on to his love for his homeland and his family.
Kites, rug weaving, and family love contrast with the brutal savagery of the fighting and Taliban rules. Quais' family is constantly trying to find safe places to live until they can return to what's left of their home. Going to school was often not an option but the fam Afghanistan was constantly besieged by civil wars and horrendous Taliban actions during the decade from Going to school was often not an option but the family's love of books and learning never wavered. His descriptions of the words and actions of his mother, father and grandfather were often breathtakingly beautiful.
His descriptions of the countryside were full of sensual details. The scenes where Quais is learning to knot a rug are simply gorgeous. There is humor interspersed like his escapade with the dog and the pomegranates. This book is a special inside look at Afghanistan written by an Afghan who experienced more than most of us could ever imagine. It is not told with bitterness or even a speck of self- pity but rather with an underlying optimism that as a family they could survive whatever hardships came their way.
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They always remembered what was: " In the time before the fighting, before the rockets, before the warlords and their false promises, before the sudden disappearance of so many people we knew to graves of foreign lands, before the Taliban and their madness, before the smell of death hung daily in the air and the ground was soaked in blood, we lived well. So Quais Akbar Omar looks back on his childhood as he writes his family's story. At the end, he tells us: "I have long carried this load of griefs in the cage of my heart. May 17, Natalie Pavlis rated it it was amazing Shelves: once-is-never-enough.
I have not been so moved by a book in a long while. Nine Towers contains within its' pages stories of the best and, sadly, the worst of humanity. His story has given me a new perspective on Afghanistan. For anyone who loves the books of Khalid Hosseini, this book is a must read! But, it is all the more beautiful, heart- wrenching, and hopeful compared to Hosseini's novels because it is true. Jan 21, Nadia added it. Reading Qais Akbar Omar's very personal tale of strength and fortitude is also a lesson in Afghanistan's tumultuous history.
He explains, in heartbreaking detail, what it means to live through a civil war. Very glad he's shared his story with the world. Shelves: first-reads , goodreads-wins , war , favorites , non-fiction , historical , favorite-books , survival , memoirs , auto-biographical. A Fort of Nine Towers is Qais Akbar Omar 's heartbreaking and inspiring true revelations about the turmoil and trauma he, and his family, experienced over the course of 12 or so years of great upheaval in his homeland of Afghanistan.
This novel is truly eye opening, life changing, and searing to the heart, but is told with no embellishment, no tools to create unnecessary drama, the stark and honest tone of Qais 's story is rending to the heart and spirit. At many points, the reader has to wonder h A Fort of Nine Towers is Qais Akbar Omar 's heartbreaking and inspiring true revelations about the turmoil and trauma he, and his family, experienced over the course of 12 or so years of great upheaval in his homeland of Afghanistan.
At many points, the reader has to wonder how Qais survived all he did, and how he came out of it with such a strong connection to his homeland, his family, and his own sense of right and wrong. This story is one that will show you a glimpse of life in a country, Afghanistan, that many have misconceptions about, and reminds us all that people are people no matter where they are born, what they believe, and underneath it all, most just want to be free to live a life of peace and freedom from violence and war.
An exceptional story by an exceptional writer, who just happens to be an exceptional human being. Afghanistan, after years of Socialist influence, is in political turmoil, but Qais and his family are optimistic that the change will bring with it positive changes in his country. Qais lives in his Grandfather's home, a compound of rooms that house his large extended family, many uncles and their wives and children.
He looks up to his father, a well respected former boxer and a physics teacher, who also sells and trades precious antique hand-knotted rugs. His family then returns to a Kabul of rockets, capricious snipers and civil war as armed factions fight for power. Mr Omar has written a book of hellish encounters—he recounts meeting predatory Talibs, and a fighter who grows roses in severed heads—and familial love.
The Daily Beast:. Good Reads:. The surprising, stunning book that took the publishing world by storm: a coming-of-age memoir of unimaginable perils and unexpected joys, steeped in the rhythms of folk tales and poetry, that is as unforgettable as it is rare—a treasure for readers. Philadelphia Inquirer. At a time when American troops are leaving Afghanistan and U. The book, by a young Afghan, Qais Akbar Omar, is an extraordinary memoir that portrays his coming of age during a time of madness.
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