An award-winning journalist overturns western stereotypes as he takes readers as he takes readers "outside the wire" of the war in Afghanistan and introduces the people whose defiant courage offers hope for the future.
Far from the Taliban's grim desert strongholds, the country we visit with Terry Glavin is a surprisingly welcoming place, hidden away in alleys and narrow streets that bustle with blacksmiths, gem hawkers and spice merchants. This is the unseen Afghanistan, reawakening from decades of savagery and bloodletting.
Glavin shows us how events have unfolded in Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. Travelling with fluent interpreters and Afghan human rights activists, Glavin meets people from many walks of life -- key political figures, teachers, journalists, farmers, students, burqa-shrouded women and soccer players -- and in these pages they speak for themselves. And in the life story of Afghan-Canadian writer, translator and activist Abdulrahim Parwani, he finds the story of Afghanistan's agonies over the past 30 years.
Celebrated as "a critical voice in the dialogue that sustains a civil society," Glavin is a co-founder of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee and is increasingly seen as an expert on Canada's role in Afghanistan. He is also one of the best writers we have. Come from the Shadows mounts a passionately, marvellously readable challenge to the usual depiction of the war in Afghanistan. What, Glavin asks, has made the West incapable of hearing the voices of Afghans at the forefront of the global struggle against slavery, misogyny and tyranny? His answers are often unexpected and always illuminating.
"What [Glavin] reports is not hateful, anti-Western spite perpetuated by 10 years of war and civilian casualties, but a sense of tentative optimism -- a better-than-before place where the people arebeginning to find solace in an environment of peace brought by foreign soldiers."
"...a strongly recommended study of the Afghani people and their attempts to determine their lot in life."
"[Glavin] provides an alternative to the usual Western media portrait, particularly of Afghan women, who rely on foreigners for security while boldly rebuilding their society."
"Journalist Terry Glavin's book Come from the Shadows is an impassioned account of what we should know but don't about Afghanistan."
"Come From the Shadows is an ambitious book...[it] presents an authentic challenge to those who think Canada should cut and run."
"Terry Glavin is the West's most eloquent advocate of the cause of Afghan liberty. His voice is a powerful counterweight to the many others who relentlessly counsel abdication of that cause."
"Glavin embraces the whole country with kindness, somewhat in awe of the courage and convictions of individuals who simply will not accept the negative assumptions that outsiders can bring to them and their country."
"For Glavin, it is precisely the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity that should animate the West's engagement with Afghanistan."
"Glavin does his job well. The best parts of Come from the Shadows involve his travels in the country, often in the company the Abdulrahim Parwani, a remarkable Afghan-Canadian man, well drawn in Glavin's text. We meet democrats, partisans, activists and scholars. Some are powerful, some simply brave."
"The Afghan people have friends around the world who have courageously joined us in our fight for our freedom and civil liberties, but few have been as devoted to our cause as Terry Glavin. His journalism gives our silenced voices the power to be heard in the West."
"Glavin's demolition of the prevailing wisdom and mythology that surround Afghanistan and Afghans makes Come from the Shadows worth reading. It is well written and his language is clear, simple and blunt throughout the book. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he pulls no punches in assigning the blame for a decade's worth of incoherent and ineffective effort at the door of western politicians, their lack of strong leadership and the absence of the political will and courage to do what is really necessary."
"...a thought-provoking overview of the Afghanistan that Glavin discovered during several visits there, travelling "outside the wire" and talking to ordinary Afghans. It will change the way you have ever thought about Afghanistan."
"The best journalism exists to refute self-serving and self-satisfied prejudices. With reporting from the ground and historical scholarship, Terry Glavin demolishes our illusions about Afghanistan, and produces a book that is at once an assault on received wisdom and a humane defence of the rights of subjugated peoples."