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The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing
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Description

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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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/26/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062378842
ASIN:
B00NLMC94E
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Rod Nordland. (2016). The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Rod Nordland. 2016. The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Rod Nordland, The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing. Ecco, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Rod Nordland. The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing. Ecco, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Rod Nordland is currently a correspondent-at-large for the New York Times. Nordland has shared a Pulitzer Prize for news, was a finalist for a Pulitzer in international reporting, and has worked as a foreign correspondent in over 150 countries.

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shortDescription

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...

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title
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fullDescription

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.

sortTitle
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: "From the couple's elopement to their elevation to media prominence, Nordland's storytelling remains gripping, with more than a hint of Shakespearean drama."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "This sensitive and unblinking portrait of love and injustice somehow encompasses Afghanistan's recent tragedy: hope, suffering, disillusionment, resilience. Rod Nordland has come as close as any Western reporter to the human heart beneath the headlines."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, Starred Review
      • content: "With The Lovers, Rod Nordland has delivered a true-to-life Romeo & Juliet story that cuts straight to the heart. This saga of Zakia and Ali is raw, poignant, uplifting, and suspenseful, and absolutely compelling throughout."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "A deeply reported and deeply felt book about true love and its political and personal consequences in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, for journalists and lovers, too."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "An appealing love story of a young couple from neighboring farming families in mountainous northern Afghanistan. ... A heartfelt, readable account for those interested in the personal impact of a decade of American engagement in Afghanistan."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lynsey Addario, author of It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
      • content: "A hopeful tale of youthful romance, of passion and perseverance against the backdrop of a war ravaged Afghanistan. . . . [Nordland's] skills as a journalist are evident in his rendering of this love blossoming against all odds."
      • premium: False
      • source: George Packer, author of The Unwinding and The Assassins' Gate
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Judith Thurman, critic, biographer, and winner of the National Book Award
      • content: "A gripping read and a compelling exploration of Afghanistan well beyond its headlines. You will be thinking about Ali and Zakia long after you have finished the book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Susan Adams, senior editor at Forbes
      • content: "A rich account of Zakia and Ali's romance that doubles as an indictment of the Afghan patriarchy's abuse of women and the failures of all those in power, inside and outside the country, to curtail it."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer and author of Che Guevara
      • content: "Rod Nordland is a master at bringing war down to the human level."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times
      • content: "The dramatic tale of Zakia and Ali reminds us of the human stakes for women that grow from cultural conventions in so many parts of the world. Norland's patient tracking of this incredible saga tells us as much about Afghanistan as it does about the contours of the heart."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ron Javers, former Executive Editor, Newsweek International
      • content: "A captivating account of forbidden love in one of the world's most conservative countries. Nordland takes the reader on his personal journey to save a couple from the inevitable doom of secret love in Afghanistan and reveals an unprecedented window into the country's cultural constraints.
      • premium: False
      • source: Craig Whitney, author of Living With Guns
      • content: "Rod Nordland has written a riveting, romantic page-turner about two young people fighting to be together against terrible odds. This is a vitally important book that exposes the abominable treatment of women by a society the U.S., in its ignorance, has fought to preserve."
      • premium: False
      • source: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Council on Foreign Relations and author of Ashley's War
      • content: "The dramatic tale of Zakia and Ali reminds us of the human stakes for women that grow from cultural conventions in so many parts of the world. Norland's patient tracking of this incredible saga tells us as much about Afghanistan as it does about the contours of the heart."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kathy Gannon, journalist at the Associated Press
      • content: "Nordland offers a stark, eye-opening look at the deplorable state of women's rights in Afghanistan through the travails of a brave, determined young couple."
      • premium: False
      • source: Anne Marie Lipinski, Curator at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University
      • content: "The appalling way Afghanistan denies rights to women, and the indifference of government officials the United States has spent years and billions of dollars supporting there, should make Americans wary of plunging in anywhere else to remake a culture we have no clue about—as this astounding book makes clear."
      • premium: False
      • source: Dr. Amanda Foreman, creator of The Ascent of Women
      • content: "... a searing analysis of the endemic gender...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 19, 2015
        Norland, a New York Times correspondent, meticulously relates the tale of Ali and Zakia, who became Afghanistan’s most famous couple after marrying in 2013 without parental permission and thereby endangering their lives. In so doing, he opens a window onto their country’s fierce resistance to change, particularly regarding the status of women. Mohammad Ali and Zakia, whose fathers owned adjoining fields outside Bamiyan, a city in central Afghanistan, first met as children. They fell in love as teenagers, but his heritage as a Shiite and ethnic Hazara and hers as a Sunni and ethnic Tajik posed seemingly insurmountable barriers. In Nordland’s telling, the pair emerge as fully rounded characters even while serving as symbols of Afghan culture’s stifling restraints. From the couple’s initial elopement to their unexpected elevation to media prominence in 2014—due to the author’s reporting and a media-savvy New Jersey rabbi with connections to the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs—Nordland’s storytelling remains gripping, with more than a hint of Shakespearean drama. The couple’s survival, in the face of familial and societal condemnation, provides a happy if incomplete resolution. Far less uplifting is Nordland’s reporting on the overall situation for women in Afghanistan, a country that Massouda Jalal, former Afghan minister for women’s affairs, calls “the worst place in the world to be a woman.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2015
        A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist's account of how two young Afghanis from warring ethnic clans risked disgrace and death to wed each other. When Zakia, a Tajik and Sunni Muslim, met Ali, a Hazara and Shia Muslim, both were children growing up in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. Though they came from different cultural and religious backgrounds, the pair and their families intermingled freely. But their lives and destinies changed drastically when the two fell in love as teenagers. With keen and nuanced insight, Nordland details the tortuous road that Zakia and Ali traveled in the years that followed. The pair carried on a secret courtship and decided to marry in defiance of Islamic law. At first, they attempted to work within the constraints of cultural traditions that dictated the father choose his daughter's husband. However, the lovers realized that running away would be the only way they could be together. As their relationship intensified, they--and especially Zakia--endured beatings and other forms of humiliation at the hands of their families. Their case went to courts in Bamiyan and then Kabul, where it garnered both national and international media attention. By that point, Zakia and Ali had managed to elope and go into hiding. Outraged by her actions, Zakia's father and brothers swore to hunt down the missing girl and kill her to restore family honor. Nordland became the pair's chronicler in the United States and, later, their unofficial protector when, straining the limits of his professional involvement with them, he began to help the pair financially. Meticulously reported and written, Nordland's book is an exceptionally well-delineated glimpse into the marriage practices of a closed patriarchal society and the suffering it has caused women. The author thoughtfully considers the extent to which the West, acting from the outside, can effect social reform in Muslim fundamentalist cultures. A provocative, well-told story of love at all costs and an incisive examination of the continued violation of women's rights in Afghanistan.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2015
        A correspondent-at-large for the "New York Times" who shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting in the United States, Nordland here chronicles a true Romeo-and-Juliet tale in Afghanistan. Neighbors but from different tribes, Zakia and Ali fell in love and ran away together, defying local custom, civil and religious law, and their families' expectations. They are still in hiding, as Zakia's family seeks to kill her to restore its honor. Nordland's original "Times" pieces about the couple generated huge website traffic in 2014. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from December 15, 2015
        Nordland, an international correspondent for the New York Times, chronicles the perilous plight of two star-crossed lovers in Afghanistan. Growing up on neighboring farms in the Bamiyan Valley, Zakia and Ali fell in love as teens. Ali asked Zakia's father, Zaman, for Zakia's hand in marriage, but because they were from different tribes, Zaman refused. This set the lovers on a course that would force them to flee their families in order to marry. Ali's family eventually came around, and Ali's father, Anwar, became the couple's greatest ally. But Zakia's family remained staunchly opposed to the union, going so far as to give up their livelihood to pursue the couple throughout Afghanistan. After writing stories about the couple, Nordland found himself in the difficult position of having to choose between helping them and maintaining his journalistic neutrality. But with Zakia's very life in dangerhe cites numerous examples of young women who have eloped and been returned to their families, only to never be seen againthe author finds himself going to great lengths to help the pair. Nordland offers a stark, eye-opening look at the deplorable state of women's rights in Afghanistan through the travails of a brave, determined young couple.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

subtitle
Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing
popularity
274
publisher
Ecco
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