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The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A journalist explores his family’s history to reveal the hybrid cultural and political landscape of Pakistan, the world’s first Islamic democracy

Shahan Mufti’s family history, which he can trace back fourteen hundred years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammad, offers an enlightened perspective on the mystifying history of Pakistan. Mufti uses the stories of his anc...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Other Press
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The author presents the history of Pakistan as it parallels the history of his family. The title and opening paragraphs imply that there will be a full sweep, but most if it relates to Pakistan (established 1947) as a nation. There is some content on the British colonial era, a bit on the partition and less on earlier times.

Rather than a chronology, the author presents content (both personal and national) as he learns about it. He starts by describing his earliest consciousness of history throug...more
I am usually quite wary of non-fiction and the quiet boredom it instills in my story-loving soul but I bought this book after hearing of Shahan Mufti at the Lahore Literary Festival 2014. The annual book fair in Lahore offered a 15% discount on it, and the cover promised to reveal “a story of Islam, Pakistan, family and war.” I walked off with a staggering bill and a few other books. (For those of you who don’t know, the book costs Rs. 2695 in Pakistan…$26.95 in the US)

Upon finishing the brillia...more
The Faithful Scribe is a story of Islam, Pakistan, family and war, the cultural and religious roots of modern Pakistan.

Shahan Mufti gives a complete history of the complicated country of Pakistan. He delves into how continued political and historical strife continues to plague the mesh of Islam and the West. Mufti notes the first Islamic Democracy has been subjected by periods of military rule, political instability and ongoing conflicts with neighboring India. Pakistan continues to deal with i...more

Finished this book this weekend in Rye, NH.

If I could recommend one book about family roots, Islam and an easy-to-read history about Pakistan, this is the one.

I enjoyed reading Shahan Mufti's "The Faithful Scribe." Mufti is an American, born in Ohio, and his family is from Lahore, Pakistan. His father taught at an Ohio college and Shahan went to Ohio public schools. Shahan's family relocates to Pakistan and so Mufti is in a new place and learns on the fly everything about his parents' homeland...more
Shahan Mufti has spent his life walking the line between two vastly different countries: the United States and Pakistan. Raised in Ohio by his parents who came to the US soon after their marriage, Mufti and his family return to Pakistan in his adolescence, the first in a series of moves between the two nations. When Mufti's work brings him to Pakistan to cover news of the Afghanistan War, he discovers documents from his ancestors that encourage him to dig into his family's past. He finds both an...more
Sharmila Mukherjee
Dec 01, 2013 Sharmila Mukherjee marked it as to-read
Born in Ohio, but raised largely in Lahore, Pakistan, Mufti frames this memoir as a response to a question his wife asked: "Why is Pakistan such a mess?" His talent for explaining the political through the personal--particularly the "tormented embrace" between his two home countries--benefits from the uncanny convergence of his family's milestones with Pakistan's: his parents married the day after India joined the 1971 war that bisected Pakistan; a cousin died in the 1988 plane crash that killed...more
Cathy Luh
This is a great "memoir" by a 30-something who was born in Athens, Ohio, where his Pakistani dad was a teacher, and whose family moved back to Pakistan when he was in his pre-teens. So, he is fluent in both languages and cultures. He interweaves his family's stories with the history and politics of the country.

He paints a picture of a country that has been a war a great deal: wars with India, including the breakaway of Bangladesh. Also, the Russian and American wars in Afghanistan greatly disto...more
Jun 03, 2014 Hollis is currently reading it
I don't know where I first read about this book or when but when it showed up in my holds at the library I figured there was a reason. I'm Bly 2 chapters in and I'm hooked. My kind of nonfiction.
Linda Hixon
History of Pakistan and a family in readable form. Never felt like a slog. Definitely makes sense of the news and important for that reason.
Jenny Vavra
Aside from one beautiful passage about the coming of the monsoon, I found this book dry. It did provide a decent quick overview if Pakistan's history.
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Faithful Scribe, The: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War

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