Shooting Kabul

Battles & Photos

By N.H. Senzai
Afghanistan-American, 2010
Coming of Age, Immigrant Experience

Main Attractions

1. Afghanistan History Intro!
2. Modern & realistic characters. 
3. Unexpected ending.
4. Photographic descriptions in the writing.
5. Fast paced plot.
6. Unique perspective, it’s told from the Afghanistan point of view.
7. Pashtunawali References and an excuse to learn about it! 
8. Novel alludes to “The Afghan Girl” and her world famous photo.
9. Leaves me wondering, “what does Mariam think about all this?”
10. Cool discussions because of the storyline & a hilarious Barbie scene.

Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Ice Cream & Gelato
The plot moves fast, never losing momentum.  Her writing is compelling and pulls you into the world of the characters.  Constant worry and concern hold you in the story straight until the conclusion.  Very compelling read, not one to put down under the hot sun! 

Why Visit Here

It’s such a great introduction to the world of Afghanistan and can be appreciated by children or adults.  It’s one of those books that all ages can truly enjoy.  The setting is a familiar USA, but the thoughts of the characters are of the more exotic Afghanistan.  It explores what they go through to come here, and how they adapt to the local life.  And with the thoughts of home always haunting them.  Such a great book to help understand the complexity of our current world.

Off the Beaten Path

Short video clearly explaining the Pashtunwali Code

Video shows the Pashtun history and culture, with music.

Travel Advisory

There’s some tear jerking moments.  But nothing above a G rating.  It’s a middle grade book!

Packing List
✓ Map of Afghanistan or Pashtun Tribal Area
✓ Google the fabulous Pashtunwali Code
✓ Map of Fremont, California where they move to
✓ A camera to go and just take photos, reflecting

Recommended Resources
Alternate Books
✓ Train to Pakistan By Khushwant Singh (1956) - Mature themes, political division and it’s impact on communities
✓ The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini (2003) - Also the Afghanistan Immigrant experience with far more mature themes
✓ Pashtun Myths for children - I’ll dig some up, or recommend some in the comments.

Alternate Movies
Lone Survivor (2013) Directed by Peter Berg - Hollywood movie that shows the Pashtunwali code, it’s represented so well!!