The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and…

Paperback | January 26, 2016

byRod Nordland

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A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner—an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.

Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia’s large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family’s honor. They are still in hiding.

Despite a decade of American good intentions, women in Afghanistan are still subjected to some of the worst human rights violations in the world. Rod Nordland, then the Kabul bureau chief of the New York Times, had watched these abuses unfold for years when he came upon Zakia and Ali, and has not only chronicled their plight, but has also shepherded them from danger.

The Lovers will do for women’s rights generally what Malala’s story did for women’s education. It is an astonishing story about self-determination and the meaning of love that illustrates, as no policy book could, the limits of Western influence on fundamentalist Islamic culture and, at the same time, the need for change.

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From the Publisher

A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner—an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hint...

From the Jacket

Zakia and Ali grew up as neighbors and fell in love from afar. Defying their families and Afghan custom, the young lovers—both from different Muslim sects—eloped and went into hiding. When Rod Nordland came upon them, he felt obligated, having shared their story in the pages of the New York Times, to help them to safety—but there was a...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.96 inPublished:January 26, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062465767

ISBN - 13:9780062465764

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Customer Reviews of The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Hon

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from An indictment of western inhumanity If you are expecting this book to have a happy ending, think again. Nordland has craftily interwoven the story of "star crossed lovers" with the political webs created by the arrogance of Western countries who think that sinking trillions(yes TRILLIONS!!!) of dollars into the nightmare that is Afghanistan aimed at saving women from a culture that sees them as commodities. It took me longer to read this book than any other because it made me so angry! The reality is that love does not conquer all - and although Zakia and Ali are alive, they are not well; neither are any of the women born into this kind of society where being raped is a crime perpetrated by the victim and men live free of any indictment of violent crimes against women and children. One wonders where is God in this entire story.
Date published: 2017-01-14

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Editorial Reviews

“Rod Nordland develops a captivating and beautifully-written true story of an elopement into an analysis of Afghan misogyny and domestic violence which reveals more about conservative Afghan life and the struggle to change it than most other non-fiction books about the country.”