The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul
Shortly after September 11, J. Malcolm Garcia—a self-described middle-aged, middle-of-the-road midwesterner—arrived in Afghanistan. A former social worker, he had only recently become a reporter and had never covered a war. As for Afghanistan, he barely knew where it was. But during the next seven years of travel between Kansas City and a post-Taliban Afghanistan, Garcia f...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Beacon Press
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"The Khaarijee" is a moving story, told in snapshots, of one journalist's experiences in Afghanistan from 2001 till 2007. The reader, like I'm sure Mr Garcia, feels like you are looking through slats at people's lives; only momentarily realizing that you are missing vast parts of their lives. And right now, this is the right time to read such a book on this country given that the US is at the crossroads where it must decide if it will stay and try to undo the damage that Bush and the Taliban hav...more
Aug 10, 2012 Kasa Cotugno rated it 5 of 5 stars
It's easy to see why Dave Eggars is such a fan of J. Malcolm Garcia. They share a hands-on approach with their subject matter, and in this case, the people of Afghanistan are brought vividly into focus through Garcia's embedded reporting early in the war. Afghanistan has fallen off the front page and unless something devastating happens, Americans are focussing their interests elsewhere. Since Garcia is a former social worker, his humanity and activism are brought into play here to heartbreaking...more
Garcia offers a personal account of his journeys through a land that has clearly gotten into his blood, but not much else. If you enjoy personal memoir (or musings about a sense of dislocation and struggle in the middle of international chaos), it might be worth the library. For my dollar, it's not worth the bookstore. Sorry J. Malcolm. I'll still read VQR.
If you enjoy the writing of Robert D. Kaplan, you will enjoy this book. The author however takes a more personal approach to his writing, spending 7 years off-and-on in Afghanistan, building a strong friendship with his translator/driver, adopting a puppy, and sponsoring 5 shoe-shine boys to go to school.