Culture and Customs of Afghanistan

Culture and Customs of Afghanistan

2.86 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Afghanistan has been at the crossroads of many cultures and civilizations, occupying a unique place in the cultural geography of Central Asia. Invading tribes and armies passed through ancient Afghanistan and left their imprint on the culture, customs, and way of life there. In recent history, Afghanistan has been the focus of international attention since the Soviet invasion and occupation of 1979-1989, the brutal civil war that ensued, and the subsequent U.S. invasion to topple the Taliban regime. As the country struggles to stabilize and rebuild, this volume is the first to reveal the people and ways of life that have been in flux for so long.

Emadi brings an insider's knowledge and authority to the accessible narrative. Students and general readers will find a clear explanation of the land, people, economy, social stratification, and history as context for the chapters that follow. In the chapter on Religion and Religious Thought, the predominant Islamic religion is largely intertwined with political events that have brought Afghanistan such attention. The lesser-known literature and the arts are brought to light next. A strong Architecture, Housing, and Settlements chapter highlights many styles unfamiliar to most Westerners. Coverage of Afghan cooking and cuisine brings a more intimate understanding of the culture. The chapter on Family, Women, and Gender will draw readers in with its survey of how the family works, what is expected of women, and what courtship, marriage, childrearing, and education are like today. A standout of the Festivals and Leisure Activities chapter is the vivid rendering of the sport called Buzkashi, where men on horseback vie to move an animal carcass across a field to a goal. A final chapter on Lifestyles, Media, and Education describes the urban vs. rural lifestyles, the state of communications, and the prospects for schooling post Taliban. A country map, glossary, resource guide, and photos complement the text.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 284 pages
  • 164.08 x 236.73 x 25.15mm | 562.45g
  • Greenwood Press
  • Westport, United States
  • English
  • 0313330891
  • 9780313330896
  • 1,807,703

Table of contents

Series Foreword Preface Acknowledgements Chronology Land, People, and History Religion and Religious Thought Literature and the Arts Architecture, Housingm and Settlements Social Customs, Cuisine, and Traditional Dress Family, Women, and Gender Issues Festivals and Leisure Activities Lifestyles, Media, and Education Glossary Bibliography Resource Guide Index
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Review quote

"This reference is an attempt to remedy the lack of recent literature on the culture, customs and cultural transformation of Afghanistan, a topic that has remained largely overlooked since the outbreak of civil war in 1992. Emadi, a consultant to Focus Humanitarian Assistance and a monitor of the October 2004 elections in Afghanistan, provides a brief history of the region but primarily addresses the religion, literature, arts, housing, social customs and family structures of contemporary Afghanistan." - Reference & Research Book News/Art Book News Annual "[P]rovides a detailed overview of Afghanistan. Chapters include Land, People, and History; Religion and Religious Thought; Literature and the Arts; Architecture, Housing and Settlements; Social Customs, Cuisine, and Traditional Dress; Family, Women and Gender Issues; Lifestyles; Media; and Education. The reader will learn that Afghanistan has been at the crossroads of many cultures and civilizations and occupies a unique place in the cultural geography of Central Asia. Tribes and armies invaded ancient Afghanistan and continue in modern times, and the invasions have left their mark on this country and its people. This volume gives a close-up view of the people of Afghanistan as they struggle to rebuild." - MultiCultural Review "This title looks at Afghanistan from ancient times to the present U.S. military involvement and provides useful background information for motivated readers. Emadi has a thorough knowledge of his subject, as he has done fieldwork in various regions of the country and also monitored the 2004 elections. His discussions of the Russian occupation, the subsequent civil war, and the Taliban are detailed and informative, as is his discussion of religion and religious thought. The chapters on social customs and family, women, and gender issues are particularly interesting. This volume includes a simple country map, an extensive and detailed chronology, a short resource guide, and a smattering of pedestrian black-and-white photos. Because the analysis is fairly academic, this book would be best suited to high school students who need current, detailed material for research assignments." - School Library Journal
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About Hafizullah Emadi

HAFIZULLAH EMADI is a former academic who serves as a consultant to Focus Humanitarian Assistance and monitored the October 2004 elections in Afghanistan. He has written four books and numerous articles and essays on Afghanistan.
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Rating details

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