A Closer Look at
Afghanistan: The Land of Epics and Tragedy
|By Saraj-al-Din Adib
Translated from Dari by Mir Hekmatuallah Sadat
Lemar-AftaabLuckily during the last few years, a series of books have been published that have shed light on the different historical aspects and stages of our grief stricken country. Individuals interested in attaining the truth should read these books. Although many obstacles and constraints hinder researchers from using many sources, these researchers have nonetheless endeavored painstakingly to write meaningful books.Unfortunately, there were also books that are influenced by greedy and powerful people and neighboring regional powers that are not useful to the population. Their approaches impede readers from recognizing true facts and actions. The tragedies of the last two decades deem it necessary for Afghans to refute and clarify the misconceptions spread by the aforementioned. However, there are a few patriotic publications written by intellectuals during the last two or three years that unlike the previously mentioned publications, have helped readers to attain the truth.One of these interesting and analytical publications is a book entitledAfghanistan sar Zamin-e Hamasa wa Fajaha (Afghanistan: The Land of Epics and Tragedy) by Mir Enayatullah Sadat. The author completed his Economics degree at Kabul University in 1971. Soon afterwards, he left for West Germany to further his graduate studies in Economics. Mr. Sadat has also held numerous positions of power in Afghanistan and overseas.This book is made up of first-hand documents and sources comprising 241 pages with 15 chapters and over 10 pages of references. The cover contains the picture of an innocent child that reminds the reader of the sad situation of the country. The sources come mostly from his private-archive, University libraries located in Germany, libraries from the University of California campuses, and the author’s memoirs during his stay in Afghanistan and overseas.The author’s motivation for writing the book stems from concerns regarding the current upsetting situation and development in the region as well as concerns regarding the fate of Afghanistan’s future. Rather than showing a static view, he has approached the events in a dynamic fashion. He enlightens the reader not only by outlining events and their causalities, but separately analyzes the events. As he states, “this book does not examine the general process of Afghanistan’s history. It revolves around the definite tendencies that originate from geographical and geo-strategic conditions.”
According to the author, the rivalries of foreign powers and fine-bliss of influential persons are the reasons for restrictions placed upon the country’s national integrity and the weakening of national sovereignty. These reasons lead and are still influencing the enduring brother versus brother war in Afghanistan.
He states, “although the Afghan nation in certain historical periods has endured similar events and foreign enemies under the atmosphere of common understanding and reconciliation, Afghans have always forced foreigners to withdraw from their homeland through general and national rebellions. Yet, not much time passed that foreigners again with renewed plots created conflicts amidst Afghans. Such an example is currently visible in our homeland.”
This book considers the historical period of events after the establishment of Afghanistan’s central government with the increasing role of the colonial powers. However, the events of the last thirty years lay within the central point of the book.
In Chapter 11, the author discusses the influence of the social structure, geographical and physical situation, and national independence sentiment in the course of historic events.
This publication of Afghanistan’s history, particularly that of the last years, will interest any readers wanting to examine historical events with a realistic perspective. I deem reading this book valuable and want to congratulate the author.
Original Dari text published in Omaid Weekly, ‘the most widely read Afghan publication in the world’, issue #399, 13 December 1999. Printed with permission.
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