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Sikander

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  230 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
It's 1986 and Ronald Reagan's commitment to the anti-Soviet mujahideen of Afghanistan is resolute. Meanwhile, 17 year-old Pakistani student, Sikander, yearns for the freedom of his tribal brethren in neighboring Afghanistan, and that leads him to admire everything American but more directly, to want to study and live in America.

When a heated quarrel stemming from a naive
...more
Paperback, Third American Edition, 588 pages
Published July 28th 2010 by Karakoram Press (first published July 26th 2010)
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M. Salahuddin
Dec 14, 2010 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is my first published book and it literally erupted from my soul at the start of 2010. Once the basic story idea took shape in my mind (which took about an hour), I was frenzied in pursuit of completing it.

For anyone with a soft spot for historical fiction intertwining world events with the personal hopes, dreams, struggles and joys of the protagonist, this book provides a readable western cultural style while describing a wholly alien Muslim Pakistani and Afghani perspective. It immerses
...more
Grady
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Insights and Explanations: A Novel of Wonder

Were there more novels like this astonishing, absorbing and challenging one by M. Salahuddin Khan then perhaps the confusion and chaos of the world response to the seemingly endless wars of the past decades would ease. With all the grace of an experienced writer (this is Khan's first full length novel though he has served as Publisher for Islamica Magazine, a quarterly journal that is written in English for Muslim readers as a forum for discussing cur
...more
Michelle Kaye
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
M. Salahuddin Khan, Author
Sikander
Karakoram Press, ISBN 978-0-587-05288-5
Fiction- Historical, Religious
571 pages
August/September 2010 Review for Bookpleasures
Reviewer-Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM
Review
Mr. Khan, author of Sikander, is of Indian descent. (2010, p.571) He has lived and worked in Pakistan, England, USA, and elsewhere. Mr. Khan attended the University of Southampton in England where he got his bachelors degree in aeronautics and astronautics. He has worked as consultant, produce
...more
Rachel Kahler
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is HUGE! Not a light read, either. However, it's well worth the effort to read. The story begins with Sikander as a young man in Pakistan. He's the eldest son in an upper-middle class family. He's smart, naive, idealistic, and somewhat bored and over privileged. Sikander is 17 or 18 at the beginning of the story and somewhat antagonistic to his parents, as any teenaged boy who knows everything is. One day, his father discovers that a business associate has bilked him out of a small for ...more
Allizabeth Collins
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Description:
In 1986, Sikander is a seventeen year-old Pakistani who dreams of going to America to study and live. But his plans are crushed when he flees his home after a disagreement with his family, which leads him to join a band of mujahideen warriors who are fighting Soviets in Afghanistan. After two years away, the mujahideen prevail, and Sikander decides to return to Pakistan and make a life for himself. Here he falls in love with and marries an Afghan woman while running a successful bus
...more
Sheila
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in eastern culture, religion, or well-written, captivating novels
Sikander, a Pakistani youth who has led a comfortable upper-middle class life, dreams of one day visiting America, a country for which he has developed a great fondness. But his dreams are smashed when, after a heated family argument, he flees his home and manages to find himself in the midst of a nation’s struggle for liberation from an imperialist enemy. But joining the mujahideen warriors in their fight against Soviet oppression in Afghanistan is only the beginning of Sikander’s remarkable st ...more
June Creedon
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing novel that incorporates the history of the battle between the Soviet Union & the middle east. The U.S. supplied the middle east with high tech weaponry to battle the communist regime & Operation Arrow was a success.
Osama bin Laden, the non-Afghan mujahideen, returned to his native Saudi Arabia, though he was frequently in & out of Pakistan.
The new threat to an Islamic state was America, the staunchest ally of the mujahideen.
On Nov. 24, 1989. Azzam & his 3 sons
...more
Tahira Shahbazi
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sikander, Sikander.
Sikander the character is the best of who we all would strive to be. Sikander the book is simply fantastic, with heavy emphasis on the simply. It manages to show a point of view not often grasped or explained in today's world. I feel it manages to humanize very real and misunderstood people, concepts, beliefs and practices, which beyond the statement it makes about the world we have come to accept that we occupy, is I think perhaps the most generous and important message that
...more
John M.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. It is, like M.M.Kaye's novel "The Far Pavilions," two books. The first is a love story, set in an extended family with the cultural and religious traditions of Afghanistan. The second is the story of Afghanistan in the modern era. I cried and became angry, at the same time, for our ignorance of the culture and for what has and is being done in our name. This is a human story, at ground level, not at the level of a B-52 bomber. I recommen ...more
Nicki
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this through the Goodreads First Reads program. And whew, where do I start? This is an amazing book, spanning 21 years in the life of Sikander, a Pakistani man who fights against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and later against corporate America. All of the characters were rich and developed, and by the end of the novel I was disappointed when I couldn't read about what happened next in their lives. I really liked that I could learn a bit more about Islam. I already knew most of the informati ...more
Chuck
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This excellent work of hitorical fiction concentrates on one mans struggle and redemption in pursuit of his life as a devout Muslim. It begins after he leaves his home in Pakistan and joins the Mujahadeen in their struggle against the Russian army in Afghanistan. His many struggles are well documented in this well written novel. I appreciated the "explanation" of the Muslim faith and its interpretations. It was interesting to review the U.S. runup to the invasion of Iraq following 9-11 and all i ...more
Julie Schoerke
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I so appreciate that Mr. Khan wrote this sweeping novel that provides perspective on the recent history/current events in the Southeatern Asia/Middle East region, of which he is an expert and a host of a national radio program on this topic. I loved the Kite Runner and I recommend this to anyone who fell in love with that novelThe Kite Runner. Bravo, Mr. Khan!
Sami Jo
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are so many misconceptions among Americans in regard to Middle Eastern culture and history - especially since 9/11. Salahuddin Khan opens discussion about these topics through his fictional tale of Sikander, and delivers his message in a miraculous way. Although it hits on serious issues, the story is captivating, and will definitely leave you thinking and feeling differently than you did before reading. His research and experience definitely shows! I highly recommend this!!
Susan
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a truly fine book that all Americans
should read. It provides lessons in political
history, Islam, Afghanistan and Pakistan - all
through the eyes of one very likeable man,
Sikander. We follow him through youth in
Pakistan, fighting Russians in Afghanistan,
falling in love and marrying, and finally as the
innocent prisoner of the American military after
9-11.
Vibina Venugopal
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In a quiet household of Peshawar Sikander was a normal teenager pumping high on adrenaline, but then one day as a result of an argument with his family wherein they choose to sort things out through physical violence..Call it fate or play of destiny he stumbles upon a Afghan Mujahideen group who brain wash him to fight against Soviet..Torn between turning back to family to face their wrath or to play along , he chooses the later..Living through the war zones he realises how it is to be actually ...more
Anand
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This monster of a lengthy book, coupled with the novelty of language and culture from Afghanistan and Pakistan, ensured that I took close to a week to finish this finding time from daily life. I was not sure what to expect from an unknown Pakistani author, and I purchased this book experimentally. I am glad I did. The story spans a period of about 30 years or so in the life of an upper middle class teenager from Pakistan. If there was ever a masterful, epic narrative describing how eventful some ...more
Marissa DeCuir
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are too many good things to say about this book. Not only is it one incredible read, but the story is so meaningful - particularly in today's society - and one that needs to be read nation, and world, wide.
Seth Thomson
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it


I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Sikander, represents the best of us, and the setting is alien and familiar at the same time. This book is long, but worth the time investment.
Penelope (The Reading Devil)
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars
Review is on its way! :)
Barbara Bohn
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some interesting insights of the Muslin culture. The glossary in the kindle edition is very helpful.
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Sikander by M. Salahuddin Kahn is a fictional book which chronicles the life of a Pakistani man and how it changed after 9/11. While this book could be considered a coming of age story, I believe it is more.

Seventeen year old Sikander is studious Pakistani who dreams of America. His plans change after a raging quarrel with his family which prompts him to leave home. Ending up as a mujahideen warrior in neighboring Afghanistan, Sikander fights the Soviets and due to his language skills is picked
...more
ILoveBooks
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sikander is the main character and, when the reader first meets him, he is full of hope for his future and pretty young. Due to bad circumstances behind his families control, Sikander's family falls on hard times. When Sikander and his father discuss this, they argue and Sikander takes off. Sikander goes to Afghanistan and fights with them against the Soviets, he later marries an Afghan woman. When he returns to Pakistan, he is able to live comfortably. The story takes off from there.



The reader
...more
Malahat Qureshi
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Normally I stay away from fiction novels and keep my head down to history related books, I know the author very closely and know his potential and vision I start reading Sikander, since my roots from the same region I can relate to most of the data available in this excellent novel, This is a tale where you find history, current politics, and unrest in society which effecting a common people like us.
This book not only a good read but in fact a good place to start a dialogue between major religi
...more
Lynn Abbey
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked this one up on a whim because it promised to open a window into the day-to-day life of an "ordinary" Pashtun Muslim. In almost every respect the book delivered what it promised, although by the end of the book I'm not sure that Sikander was an "ordinary" anything. Still, Khan did an admirable job of creating context for interactions that can seem quite alien to a middle-class American woman's eyes.
Linda
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best I've read in a long time. For a factionalized account of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan just before and after 9/11, this novel explores the life of regular people caught up in unusual times. Do we really need to wonder why some in that part of the world harbor real resentment toward the sanctimonious western world brought to life in Jim Mahler?
Robert Miller
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical novel set in the very recent past. Like most Americans, I know much less than I should know about the cultures of Afghanistan and Pakistan and about Islam. The characters in the story provided a perspective new to me. Well worth reading.
Joey Wiley
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good book that portrays the Afghanistan and Pakistan cultures and sheds a new understanding on their life and values. The ending shows the power of forgiveness.
KO
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pakistan, fiction
2.4 stars.
Cathy
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An eye opening read. The author incorporates so many different facets of history, the Muslim religion, daily life and on and on... Great character development in Sikander esp.
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Y would a person NOT want to read this book? 3 20 Aug 31, 2012 06:23AM  
Book Club Disccussion Questions 1 7 Nov 24, 2011 09:29AM  
Author Talk Book ...: L.A. Times Festival of Books 8 7 Apr 17, 2011 11:14AM  
Author Talk Book ...: Book Trailer for SIKANDER 3 8 Apr 16, 2011 06:42PM  
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Born of refugee parents from India into the newly created state of Pakistan, in 1952, M. Salahuddin Khan of Lake Forest, Illinois, earned a bachelors degree in aeronautics and astronautics from University of Southampton, England. He is a management consultant primarily in the areas of product development and marketing. In 2008, Khan was a Co-Executive Producer of a 12-minute short movie called The ...more
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