Earl Palmer, Senior Pastor of the University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, began a series about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with the familiar Beatitude, "Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God." Palmer continued, "Peacemakers are a threat to all parties vying to control; they are disablers of evil for the common good, not enablers for the destruction of humankind. There is no comfort as a peacemaker. It is an abstract concept to share the sum total of our wealth and advantage with even our next-door neighbor. Why is this so? It is because peace has no immediate gratification." We would contemplate these prophetic words, spoken two days before the twin towers tumbled in mortifying dusty repetition on television screens around the world.
The book Allah’s Orphans: The Story of an Afghan Girl wistfully describes Afghan life in a time peace like Palmer describes. "Allah, let me be the daughter who helps my people," Amina Gul murmurs in a voice charged with plans, hope and a desire to share the sum total of who she is and what she has.
The daily journal of author, Janet Colberg, provides the framework for an Afghan story that takes place before the Soviet invasion of 1979. The vantage of a personal relationship with the main character, Amina Gul, validates the voice of Afghan children and their hope for an armistice. Allah’s Orphans with its tears and laughter, boys’ capers and young girls’ village weddings, prosperity and holiday celebration, brings a welcome contrast to today’s tragic news of Afghanistan.
In Allah’s Orphans, ghosts of heritage past come alive as the history and tenacity of the Lodi clan change Amina Gul. Inspired by the beauty of her homeland and the meaning of relationships formed at the feet of her protectors, Amina Gul chooses not to leave Afghanistan. Woven into the story are frequent references to Allah and the Quran and the way Muslim children live because of their Islamic faith. These observations plus twenty-five pictures of Afghan life increase the value of Allah’s Orphans to book clubs and to high school and college students and their study of literature and the culture of the Middle East.
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In a still, small voice of hope for peace in Afghanistan the book, Allah’s Orphans: The Story of an Afghan Girl puts comfort on the line. A diary kept by author, Janet Colberg, shows daily life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion. In the author’s words: "If I do not share this story of an Afghan girl with the intention to benefit my fellow man, I have betrayed the reason I was sent to Afghanistan or worse yet, betrayed the person I was when I joined the United States Peace Corps."Review:
"...true story of Afghan girl, Amina Gul, filled with love, struggles of tradition, war...yet always there is hope." -- Charlotte Baron, Vice President, Fulcrum Publishing Company
"Allah's Orphans is a treasure so richly detailed and authentic you can taste the sun-warmed apricots in the Lodi orchard." -- Carolyn Zieg Underwood, Former Editor, Falcon Press, Montana Magazine, January 2005
"Allah's Orphans will help Afghans. Thank you for taking the time and the passion to write this warm, touching book." -- Shahla Arsala, Afghan Women's Association International, January 2005
"Lyrical as a poem, a fine piece of ethnography." -- Rob Schutheis, Author, Night Letters: Inside Wartime Afghanistan, January 2005
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Book Description Summer Kitchen Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110965364747