By Sameer Arshad Khatlani
Afghan diplomat Masood Khalili had enrolled for PhD after finishing his master’s degree from Delhi University, when communists seized power in Kabul in April 1978. His father, iconic poet and academic Khalilullah, called him from Baghdad, where he was the Afghan ambassador, to break the news. He warned Khalili that the communists had come and Russians will follow. “Go get your PhD from the mountains of Afghanistan,’’ Khalilullah told his 28-year-old son. Khalili immediately left Delhi to join Afghan rebels as a political officer in Peshawar, before entering Afghanistan.
Khalilullah’s fears came true the following year when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Khalili responded by crisscrossing the country, mostly on his donkey, for the next nine years to mobilise Afghans against the occupiers. Read more
Source: The Indian Express
Personal diaries of a world-renowned Russian author Leo Tolstoy are now available online for free, marking his 186th anniversary.
“Diaries have never been published separately. They were included in the collected works issued in ninety volumes with limited circulation. Therefore, today not everybody has an idea of what Tolstoy’s diaries are. But they are great. It’s a continuous flow of reflections on the world and people. The main topic, however, is God, whom Tolstoy tried to apperceive,” Pavel Basinskiy, member of the award panel of “Yasnaya Polyana” literature award, writer and theorist of literature, told Izvestia newspaper. Read more
Philip Seib reviews Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution edited by Matthew Cassel, Layla Al-Zubaidi and Nemonie Craven Roderick (Penguin) for Dallas News
Those of us who watched and commented on the 2011 Arab Spring mostly from afar were able to embellish our wisdom with references to geopolitics and the flow of history. Once we arrived in the region of revolution, however, theory meant little; we saw that the issues at hand involved life and death. Courage was everywhere around us, even when it was tinged with despair.
Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution captures that courage on page after page. This is a collection of firsthand reporting from women and men who ran through alleys, hurled rocks at police and knew fear and joy as their lives changed. Some of them are from countries such as Libya and Egypt, where the rebellions were widely reported. Others vent their frustration because the struggles in their countries, such as Bahrain and Algeria, have attracted little attention from the rest of the world.