The intimate and riveting chronicle of an extraordinarily courageous Afghan-American teenager coming of age in post-9/11 Afghanistan.
Building on two acclaimed radio documentaries aired on This American Life, Hyder Akbar tells how his ordinary suburban California life was turned upside-down after 9/11. Hyder’s father, a scion of an Afghan political family, sold his business—a hip-hop clothing store in Oakland—and left for Afghanistan, where he became President Hamid Karzai’s chief spokesman and later, the governor of Kunar, a rural province. Obsessed since youth with a country he had never even visited, seventeen-year-old Hyder convinced his father to let him join him on three successive summers. Working alongside his father at the presidential palace and in Kunar has given Hyder a rare front-row seat at the creation of democratic government in Afghanistan. In Come Back to Afghanistan, Hyder interweaves his personal journey—a teenager struggling with his identity in his parents’ homeland—with a dramatic behind-the-scenes account of political and civilian life in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Uncommonly wise and insightful, Hyder travels from palaces to prisons and from Kabul to the borderlands, revealing Afghanistan as readers have never seen or understood it before.
Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager’s Story:Amazon:Books.