Afghan- Amer­i­can au­thors raise aware­ness

Their book is a com­pi­la­tion of sto­ries writ­ten by other women about their jour­neys from Afghanista­n

Gulf News - - Nation - By Mariam M. Al Serkal Staff Re­porter

Shar­jah The Afghan-Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture scene has gained mo­men­tum as a re­sult of two au­thors who col­lab­o­rated to­gether to raise aware­ness for Afghans liv­ing abroad.

“ When we com­piled this book, it was a mix­ture from ev­ery class for Afghan women. Es­pe­cially af­ter 9/ 11, we wanted a ve­hi­cle that could ex­press our­selves.”

“ This is adding a new per­spec­tive that has not been added be­fore. We have the sto­ries of Chi­nese-Amer­i­cans and Na­tive Amer­i­cans, but not Afghan-Amer­i­cans,” said Sohra Saeed.

The two au­thors, Sohra and Sa­har Mu­radi, gave a talk on Sun­day night dur­ing the Shar­jah In­ter­na­tional Book Fair, about the kir book, One Story, Thirty Sto­ries, which was a com­pi­la­tion of sto­ries from 30 Afghan au­thors.

Con­tro­ver­sial

“ A lot of the writ­ers were in­ter­ested, but somewere a bit hes­i­tant at first be­cause it was a bit con­tro­ver­sial at first and [ some of their fam­i­lies dis­ap­proved],” she ex­plained.

Dur­ing the lit­er­ary dis­cus­sion, Mu­radi pointed out that Afghans ar­rived to Amer­ica in the 19th cen­tury but there were no records to prove their mi­gra­tion. But in 1916, there was a record that fu­ture im­mi­grants could hold on to.

The project started a decade ago, long be­fore The Kite Run­ner was pub­lished, and Saeed started mak­ing her con­tacts through the in­ter­net.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a great deal of in­ter­est from fel­low Afghan-Amer­i­cans, she then de­cided to com­pile ev­ery­body’s sto­ries to make a book about the jour­ney from Afghanista­n, and to in­tro­duce the rest of the world to their cul­ture.

“ In this book, we tried to give voices con­text. Oth­er­wise, you would only have stereo­types of what Afghans are and we want to break those stereo­types,” said Sa­har.

AHMED RAMZAN/

Sohra and Sa­har, au­thors of One Story Thirty Sto­ries.

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