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The Sleeping Buddha: The Story of Afghanistan Through the Eyes of One Family

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Afghanistan has one of the most convoluted and turbulent histories of any place on earth. Hamida Ghafour's family fled when the Communists came, the first of their ancient Afghan line to leave. Most of her other relatives soon followed. This is an evocative, searching family memoir from a young journalist.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 18th 2008 by Constable & Robinson (first published January 2007)
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Oct 06, 2009 Tricia rated it really liked it
This was a heavy but informative read. It has certainly enlightened me to some of the problems and complexities there will be in any attempted "reform" of this troubled country. It was a holiday read - and I found myself re-reading lines a fair bit as it is not a book you can easily read with interruptions. I recommend this to people wanting to delve into the truth behind current affairs as well as those wanting to learn a bit more about the state of Afghanistan from a Afghan point of view, taki ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Agnes rated it it was amazing
I would consider this book to be educational. It is essential to anyone who wants to understand what is going on in Afghanistan today and how history has brought events to where this country is now. I learnt not only about the culture and people of this land, but also about what the U.N. and the U.S.A. are doing there, something I did not know much about. Because the author is Afghan herself, though she was brought up in Canada, she is able to be close to the people and get their stories, making ...more
May 20, 2008 added it
Shelves: reviews
Hamida Ghafour was born in Afghanistan, but grew up in Toronto after her family fled the country in 1981. It wasn't until she was in her mid-20s -- after two decades of war on Afghan soil -- that she felt the urge to return. In 2003, she did. And she can't believe what she saw.

For Ghafour, Afghanistan existed mainly in the memories and photos passed down by family members who lived in pre-Soviet Afghanistan. When she retuned a few years ago, the Taliban had been officially ousted, but the countr
Jude Grebeldinger
Aug 16, 2010 Jude Grebeldinger rated it really liked it
Afghanistan history is complicated, tragic, and so broken by well meaning and not so well meaning powers that there is little hope for the people. Drug lords, tribal conflict ,international interference, Taliban all adds up to a horrid life to the Afghan people as they are the unfortunate "non combatants ' that pay the ultimate price. As Hamida explores her grandmothers life and death, she discovers her country anew and quotes poetry from another time, long forgotten by the peopl ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Miranda rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I usually love reading about other cultures and societies so I was excited about this book. alas, I gave up after three chapters. the author does speak about her family and their Afghan roots but the story is interspersed with so many facts, dates, history, that it became increasingly difficult for me to follow the stories of individual family members. however, I did learn more about the recent history of Afghanistan, the background of the conflicts there and the struggle to establish a modern d ...more
Christel Keijzer
Apr 17, 2015 Christel Keijzer rated it really liked it
a very objective and insightful impression of Afghanistan by a woman who tells of her family's past life in Afghanistan and the changes the country has undergone after they emigrated. As an adult she had opportunities to go back as a reporter / researcher to witness the political changes the country went through from various perspectives.
Maggie May
Sep 11, 2009 Maggie May rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I learned so much about the history of afghanistan. It was very well written and very interesting. Its a must read for anyone who has remote interest in current affairs.
Oct 05, 2012 Jill rated it did not like it
I wasn't able to finish it, which is very hard for me to admit because I almost NEVER give up on a book I have chosen to start. It was just so dry, like I was reading my grade 11 Global History text. I expected a bit more personalization, but it felt more like a list of facts and a timeline.
Jan 08, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
A worthwhile read. A helpful insight to to the sad situation in Afghanistan with dismal prospects for resolution, either with or without external help.
Mar 30, 2013 Mar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gives some of the history of Afghanistan and how the situation got to where it is today. (as of early/mid 2000's).

She has knowledge and interest b/c her family is from there.
Sai Rasathurai
Sep 20, 2011 Sai Rasathurai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book.
Gives you a whole new perspective on Afghanistan and how it was before the war.
Highly recommended.
Jul 31, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it
An astonishing insight into life and the politics behind the rise to power of the Taliban. Very memorable.
Apr 03, 2011 Renate rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, travel
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