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A Passage to Nuristan: Exploring the…
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A Passage to Nuristan: Exploring the Mysterious Afghan Hinterland

by Nicholas Barrington

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"Afghanistan has been in the public eye since the convulsions of the 1980s and 1990s, culminating in the aftershock of the 9/11 disaster. But for most of the twentieth century, Afghanistan was a sleepy, far away place of little interest to outsiders. Nowhere was the romance and mystery attached to the country more dramatically expressed than in its remote Nuristan (formerly Kafiristan - Land of the Infidels) region. Here a landscape of spectacular mountain vastness and lush but barely accessible valleys has been home for centuries, if not millennia, to one of the world's truly least known peoples. Isolated in their mountain villages, the Nuristanis, formerly known as Kafirs, developed a civilisation of their own and were only converted from Polytheism to Islam and incorporated into the Afghan state at the end of the nineteenth century. A Passage to Nuristan is the story of three young diplomats - British, American and German - who set out on a road of discovery in 1960 to penetrate a land that few outsiders had set eyes on." "Immortalised by Kipling's The Man Who Would be King, Nuristan also beckoned to these three travellers who ventured there virtually blind. Being able to rely on no maps or information on what would confront them, they put their trust in local villagers who guided them step by precious step into an unknown world." "This is the contemporary record - now published for the first time - of their fantastic journey and the extraordinary individuals who enriched the experience of three innocent, wide-eyed Westerners, confronting an old world they could have barely imagined. It is a tale of wonder and inspiration which will fascinate all who are interested in Afghanistan, Central Asia and travel writing in general. At the same time it captures the essence of a time and place now forever gone."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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