In My Father's Country
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Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, at age three Saima Wahab watched while her father was arrested and taken from their home by the KGB. She would never see him again. When she was fifteen an uncle who lived in Portland, Oregon brought her to America. Having to learn an entire new language, she nonetheless graduated from high school in three years and went on to earn a bachelor's degree. In 2004 she signed on with a defense contractor to work as an interpreter in Afghanistan, never realizing that she w
The book was a wonderful window on a different culture and life in Afghanistan for the people serving there. It made me thankful to live in the US where my sons don't have any say over how...more
i am ver...more
The author, Saima has a kind heart with people and genuinely cares. Her personal relationships that she shared made her seem rather immature but I'm thinking that is due to her experiences as a child where you didn't speak with a...more
I loved the beginning of this book when her father was killed by the Soviets and they were forced to fle...more
The author talks about another i...more
The author was born a part of the Pashtun ethnic gro...more
The search for self is not always as pronounced as Saima's, but I think everyone can relate to her journey in some small way.
One of my favorite moments in the book came as she was sitting in with another (less skillful) translator, who is trying and failing to keep up with an explanation of why a civilian was shot.
Similarly, the contrasts between c...more
Saima was just a little girl in Afghanistan when the Russians were invading. She survived a bomb dropping on the room where she was sleeping, being hit by a bus, and being a woman in Afghanistan. Based on the book, she's an anomaly. Her dad was very progressive, so much so he had a radio show to encourage others to rebel. He was taken by t...more
She closes by providing intercu...more
She writes: "To a Pashtun woman, a husband who doesn't beat her regularly is showing he loves her" or "How do you say 'I love you' in Pashtun?". She writes it doesn't exist. or "Women can't talk in public". A man has to go with her to a shop. Saima doesn't want to submit to the family rules, she defies her fate.
This memoir is very rich, we ar...more
Saima's writing style is far from captivating and is what I describe as being "clunky". Because the paragraphs...more
How often does one read a book in English by a native Pashtun speaker who conveys her own life and experiences as an Afghan-American? Not very often probably. That unique status permitted me to forgive some of the awkward writing -- and also to temper my reactions to the flaws in her telling of her own ongoing story.
Instead, I thank Saima Wahab for IN MY FATHER'S COUNTRY in which she reveals her private struggles as a bi-cultural female in search of meaning and purpose.
I encourage her to keep...more
One thing that I really got out of reading this is a picture of how badly the United States screwed up its operations in Afghanistan, not because the soldiers involved were ill-intentioned, but simply because nobody told them what they needed to...more