Born to an Afghan father and American mother, Ansary has long struggled to find a place in his imagination where his Afghan and American identities might meet. Here is his personal journey through two cultures in conflict.
A Must Read for Anyone who still agonizes over 9/11
Written by Ellen Szymkiewicz on December 5th, 2007
Book Rating: 5/5
In telling his story Ansary paints Afghanistan as a country not in league with Bin Ladin, but under siege by the Devil and the Taliban. I am one of those extremists who wanted his country wiped off the map in retaliation for killing so many traders I knew only through the telephone. In between taking orders and giving information we would chat about our families and upcoming travel plans. On September 11th I frantically called these business associates only to have my calls rerouted to New Jersey or Colorado or California. I didn’t even know the last names of those I mourned. Since then I have hated everything Islam, listening to Ansary’s tale I could feel the bitterness and rage seeping out of me. What is left is awareness that Afghanis are also created by God and desperately in need of my prayers and love. If it is true that hatred shortens the life of the hater, then I will live another 30 years because of Tamim Ansary.
Tamim Ansary is the author of "West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story" as well as numerous books for children. A columnist for Encarta, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and their two children.