Torn Between Two Cultures

An Afghan-American Woman Speaks Out

Maryam Qudrat Aseel

 
Date Published :
May 2003
Publisher :
Capital Books
Language:
English
Series :
Capital Currents
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781931868365
Pages : 191
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.5 inches
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In stock
$10.00

Overview
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Maryam Qudrat Aseel is an Afghan-American woman born in the U.S. to first generation Afghan immigrants. In Torn Between Two Cultures she weaves her family's and her own personal stories into recent American and Afghan politics and history. Her book describes her upbringing in America as a woman in a modern Afghan family with traditional values. She explores how those values and her own desire to be "American" came into conflict and led to an identity crisis that was only resolved as she rediscovered her religious and cultural roots, became increasingly active in the Afghan and Muslim communities, and resolved to bridge the gap between her two cultures. As an Afghan-American woman, Maryam offers a unique perspective on East and West conflicts, and in this book and in her life she is working to bring about understanding and resolution. Torn Between Two Cultures is a paradigm for the larger problem of the growing gap of understanding between the Islamic world and the West.

REVIEWS
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Through her book, Maryam Qudrat Aseel hopes to open a dialogue and provide some glimpses into an often misunderstood and enigmatic culture and religion. What her book offers is one woman's perspective on those events [Afghanistan's history], how they shaped Afghans both in Afghanistan and in exile, and how hearing their plight might shed some understanding on that obscure land and its people. Maryam's book also offers an as yet undisclosed glimpse into the lives, struggles, and social norms of the Afghan diaspora. But Maryam is a woman, of course, and in many ways this is a book about the peculiar challenges of being an Afghan Muslim woman living in a western society. Immersed in a culture with vastly different sensibilities than her own culture, she must nevertheless find ways to straddle the two sides of her identity. For anyone with even a casual interest in Afghans, east vs. west issues, and Islam, Maryam Qudrat Aseel, hyphenated woman, offers some valuable lessons.

- Khaled Hosseini, author of Kite Runner

Aseel, a first-generation Afghan American, discusses current events-particularly those relating to Afghanistan-and what it means to be a Muslim in America after 9/11. She combines analysis with unique personal stories describing how her family balances ‘two value systems that have grown to signify polar extremes, those of the East and West.' Thoughtful and honest, with helpful insights.

- School Library Journal, January 2005

In 'Torn Between Two Cultures,' she weaves her family's and her own personal stories into recent American and Afghan politics and history....Ms. Aseel touches upon almost all aspects of Afghan-American life moving from her own experiences to her family, friends, and even strangers. She frankly discusses the important issues of religion and culture. In so doing, Ms. Aseel paints a vivid picture of the experiences that have shaped her multicultural identity. Her struggle with her identity leads her to advocate efforts towards a better understanding between what is roughly understood as the East and the West. 'Torn Between Two Cultures' is a paradigm for the larger problem of the growing gap of understanding between the Islamic world and the West.

- Embassy Magazine (Ottawa, Canada), August 2005

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