Abdul Zaeef describes growing up in poverty in rural Kandahar province, which he fled for Pakistan after the Russian invasion of 1979. Zaeef joined the jihad in 1983, was seriously wounded in several encounters and met many leading figures of the resistance, including the current Taliban head, Mullah Mohammad Omar. Disgusted by the lawlessness ...
Abdul Zaeef describes growing up in poverty in rural Kandahar province, which he fled for Pakistan after the Russian invasion of 1979. Zaeef joined the jihad in 1983, was seriously wounded in several encounters and met many leading figures of the resistance, including the current Taliban head, Mullah Mohammad Omar. Disgusted by the lawlessness that ensued after the Soviet withdrawal, Zaeef was one among the former mujahidin who were closely involved in the emergence of the Taliban, in 1994. He then details his Taliban career, including negotiations with Ahmed Shah Massoud and role as ambassador to Pakistan during 9/11. In early 2002 Zaeef was handed over to American forces in Islamabad and spent four and a half years in prison in Bagram and Guantanamo before being released without charge. My Life with the Taliban offers insights into the Pashtun village communities that are the Taliban's bedrock and helps to explain what drives men like Zaeef to take up arms against the foreigners who are foolish enough to invade his homeland.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-01-25 The recent history of Afghanistan is the focus of this harrowing autobiography by Taliban member Zaeef. The book begins with the author's early childhood before turning to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Zaeef's decision to join the mujahideen resistance. Countering conventional accounts that the Taliban emerged in the 1990s, Zaeef maintains that the movement existed as early as the 1970s. The author traces his rise in the Taliban to his appointment as ambassador to Pakistan in 2000, and his subsequent arrest and imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay after September 11 and the fall of the Taliban regime. He describes the psychological and physical torture he and his fellow prisoners suffered at the hands of American soldiers and concludes with a vehement denunciation of American policy in Afghanistan. Zaeef's matter-of-fact prose can be difficult to take in the more violent segments, particularly those that deal with the Soviet invasion and Guantanamo Bay, and some readers may be offended by his fiercely anti-American political stance. However partisan the book may be, it is a valuable addition to the literature on contemporary Afghan history. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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