“As an accomplished journalist and documentarian – her film Beneath the Veil unflinchingly depicted for CNN viewers the humiliations forced on women under Taliban rule – Shah returned to her family’s homeland cloaked in the burqa to witness the pungent and shocking realities of Afghan life.”
“Als versierte Journalistin und Dokumentarfilmerin – ihr Film Beneath the Veil führte den CNN-Zuschauern unbeirrbar die Erniedrigungen vor Augen, die den Frauen unter der Taliban-Herrschaft aufgezwungen wurden – kehrte Shah in die Heimat ihrer Familie zurück, um die beißenden und schockierenden Realitäten des afghanischen Lebens zu beobachten.”
Trotz dieser Lektüre finden sich diese Realitäten aus unerklärlichen Gründen im Mahringer-Gutachten nicht vor.
Imagine that a jewel-like garden overlooking Kabul is your ancestral home. Imagine a kitchen made fragrant with saffron strands and cardamom pods simmering in an authentic pilau. Now remember that you were born in London, your family in exile, and that you have never seen Afghanistan in peacetime.
These are but the starting points of Saira Shah’s memoir, by turns inevitably exotic and unavoidably heartbreaking, in which she explores her family’s history in and out of Afghanistan. As an accomplished journalist and documentarian–her film Beneath the Veil unflinchingly depicted for CNN viewers the humiliations forced on women under Taliban rule–Shah returned to her family’s homeland cloaked in the burqa to witness the pungent and shocking realities of Afghan life. As the daughter of the Sufi fabulist Idries Shah, primed by a lifetime of listening to her father’s stories, she eagerly sought out, from the mouths of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the rich and living myths that still sustain this battered culture of warriors. And she discovered that in Afghanistan all the storytellers have been men–until now.