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The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and…
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The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul (2009. Auflage)

von J. Malcolm Garcia

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Shortly after September 11, J. Malcolm Garcia—a self-described middle-aged, middle-of-the-road midwesterner—arrived in Afghanistan. A former social worker, he had only recently become a reporter and had never covered a war. As for Afghanistan, he barely knew where it was. But during the next seven years of travel between Kansas City and a post-Taliban Afghanistan, Garcia found an emotional and professional center—one that, in spite of other assignments and war reporting, drew him back to the region over and over again. Unlike flyby reporters traveling through the country armed with a sat phone and a ticket for the next flight to Islamabad, Garcia settled into Afghanistan—learning its history, meeting its resilient people, occasionally making dreadful faux pas but ultimately forging lifelong connections. When he first arrived in the country, Garcia met Khalid, a young Afghan he affectionately called Bro, who became his driver, interpreter, and, eventually, his friend. Bro in turn called Garcia the khaarijee—the outsider. He told Garcia he wasn't responsible for his new friend's life, but at least two times saved it. He instructed Garcia to avoid dogs because they were rabid, then helped him steal a puppy from an organized dog fight. Bro told him to be wary of street children, only to assist him in feeding and educating six homeless, war-orphaned boys. Bro was Sancho Panza to Garcia's Don Quixote, and together they faced the consequences of war, life without the Taliban, and Afghanistan's uncertain future. The Khaarijee tells this story of two strangers, one dog, and six orphans thrust together after 9/11—an intersection of paths that, by all rights, should never have crossed. At a time when Afghanistan is on the brink, Garcia offers a gritty, raw, and unsentimental memoir about friendship, loss, and wanting to make a difference in the midst of a war-torn country, extending The Khaarijee beyond much travel writing and war reportage.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ThomasNormanDeWolf
Titel:The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul
Autoren:J. Malcolm Garcia
Info:Beacon Press (2009), Hardcover, 256 pages
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The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul von J. Malcolm Garcia

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J. Malcolm Garcia is a social worker turned journalist, who is sent by his editor to Afghanistan shortly after the 9/11 attacks. He soon finds parallels between his work as a social worker and a journalist: everywhere in Afghanistan, there are people in need and he cannot possibly help them all. His driver and translator, "Bro," warns him not to give to beggars, even the children. But Bro's stance gradually changes as Malcolm finds himself compelled to provide rice to the poor and to help six young street kids go to school.

Malcolm's relationship with Afghanistan often parallels that of the U.S. He is sometimes misguided, and to his dismay, he finds himself making promises that cannot be kept due to the realities of the situation there. Malcolm grapples with his own feelings of guilt about being a rich Westerner in an impoverished country, while coming to terms with the role the U.S. has played in the current status of Afghanistan.

The beautiful thing about this particular Afghanistan memoir is that it's not overly sentimental or cliched. Malcolm is refreshingly honest about his own initial lack of understanding of the culture, and subsequent faux pas that he makes. There is no happy ending, no neat answer to the questions that are raised for Malcolm, just as there is no easy answer for the situation in Afghanistan. But there is a touching story of the journalist's connections to Bro, to the boys he helps to educate, and to the puppy he rescues from a dog fighting ring. Malcolm is drawn to Afghanistan again and again, and through his writing, he is able to show us why. Highly recommended. ( )
  Litfan | Sep 11, 2009 |
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Shortly after September 11, J. Malcolm Garcia—a self-described middle-aged, middle-of-the-road midwesterner—arrived in Afghanistan. A former social worker, he had only recently become a reporter and had never covered a war. As for Afghanistan, he barely knew where it was. But during the next seven years of travel between Kansas City and a post-Taliban Afghanistan, Garcia found an emotional and professional center—one that, in spite of other assignments and war reporting, drew him back to the region over and over again. Unlike flyby reporters traveling through the country armed with a sat phone and a ticket for the next flight to Islamabad, Garcia settled into Afghanistan—learning its history, meeting its resilient people, occasionally making dreadful faux pas but ultimately forging lifelong connections. When he first arrived in the country, Garcia met Khalid, a young Afghan he affectionately called Bro, who became his driver, interpreter, and, eventually, his friend. Bro in turn called Garcia the khaarijee—the outsider. He told Garcia he wasn't responsible for his new friend's life, but at least two times saved it. He instructed Garcia to avoid dogs because they were rabid, then helped him steal a puppy from an organized dog fight. Bro told him to be wary of street children, only to assist him in feeding and educating six homeless, war-orphaned boys. Bro was Sancho Panza to Garcia's Don Quixote, and together they faced the consequences of war, life without the Taliban, and Afghanistan's uncertain future. The Khaarijee tells this story of two strangers, one dog, and six orphans thrust together after 9/11—an intersection of paths that, by all rights, should never have crossed. At a time when Afghanistan is on the brink, Garcia offers a gritty, raw, and unsentimental memoir about friendship, loss, and wanting to make a difference in the midst of a war-torn country, extending The Khaarijee beyond much travel writing and war reportage.

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