Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan

By Fariba Nawa

When veteran reporter Fariba Nawa again domestic to Afghanistan—the country she had fled as a baby along with her kin through the Soviet invasion approximately two decades earlier—she came upon a fractured nation remodeled by way of a multibillion-dollar drug alternate. In Opium Nation, Nawa deftly illuminates the adjustments that experience overtaken Afghanistan after a long time of unbroken struggle. Sharing outstanding tales of poppy farmers, corrupt officers, expats, drug lords, and addicts, together with her haunting stumble upon with a twelve-year-old baby bride who used to be bartered to repay her father’s opium money owed, Nawa bargains a revealing and provocative narrative of a homecoming tougher than she ever imagined as she courageously explores her personal Afghan American id and unveils a startling portrait of a land in turmoil.

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I ask. “A few, yet issues have been extra centralized lower than those commanders. you would like a bit a dictatorship to get issues performed the following. Bashir did much for schooling, permitting ladies to check with boys. Piram Qul’s partial to morality. The demonstrations truly reinforced Piram Qul, since it united his supporters and so they went out to vote for him. Now that he’s in Parliament, it doesn't matter what anyone says, he appears to be like the opposite direction. ” the help employees don't give you the impartial voice i used to be searching for yet quite a realistic outlook on Takhar’s political panorama. I’m uncomfortable with their pragmatism. the belief that Afghans want an iron fist to be governed reeks of colonialist racism. yet is an iron fist precious for any kingdom that has been at conflict for thirty years? For the sake of protection and balance, do Afghans need to tolerate a pace-setter who seizes their land, rapes their ladies, and, just like the Taliban chief Mullah Omar, forces an outmoded code of justice that invitations the general public to cheer on executions in activities stadiums? lots of my Afghan colleagues and pals inform me that Afghans aren't prepared for democracy simply because they're illiterate and feature lived below a monarchy for hundreds of years. A king—who, to them, is similar to a prophet—is had to keep an eye on the tribes and ethnic rivalries that divide Afghanistan. i feel approximately this query all through my travels and are available to the realization that Afghanistan wishes a robust chief, person who has the desire and braveness to make difficult judgements. yet that chief is usually a revolutionary democrat who enforces a federalist approach that enables neighborhood freedoms. Piram Qul, Amer Bashir, and rulers like them could be a doable temporary repair, yet Afghans—no subject how uneducated—deserve a benevolent and reasonable chief. Piram Qul is in Rustaq on a holiday from Parliament while I meet with the voters’ Council. I ask for a gathering with him and am speedily asked to teach up at his guesthouse. We meet within the past due afternoon and speak till the sunlight units. the fellow defined to me as an unforgiving brute indicates me a distinct facet. His expressive eyes sparkle whilst he talks. He’s comfy and sort and exudes sincerity. His ironed turban completely frames his face; his outfitted pirahan tomban and vest are spotless. I comic story that his other halves needs to take excellent care of him. “Yes, they do,” he replies with a smile. “But I’m now not a dictator. I provide them freedom. ” “How many other halves and youngsters do you could have? ” “Six better halves and twenty-three kids: 13 sons, twelve daughters. My other halves are close to my age. The youngest is thirty-five, and I’m forty-five. i need to get all my childrens trained. My oldest daughter simply comprehensive highschool. Is there any approach you will discover for my little kids to get scholarships to check in the US? ” he asks heavily. “I can get info on scholarships for you if you’d like,” I inform him. I don’t indicate to him that twelve and 13 upload as much as twenty-five, now not twenty-three. He says it’s challenging to recollect his children’s names occasionally simply because there are such a lot of of them.

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