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Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan Paperback – Oct 31 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (Oct. 31 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061934704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061934704
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 45 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I was there Jan. 26 2012
By Nina Joy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I lived in Kabul for a short time in the apartment with Fariba, 2005-6. I didn't know what kind of a crazy lady I was dealing with then! I just finished Opium Nation! What a Book! I cried. After doing psychosocial wellness work in Afghanistan I care about the people and am really worried as things get worse for the country again. I'm glad Fariba gives some ideas about how it could get better. I was really shocked at how much opium has infected the country. Nina Joy
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The human side of the Afghan drug trade April 11 2012
By James Daniels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A very enjoyable and highly recommended read. Journalist Fariba Nawa brings the Afghan people to life, which is a wonderful change of pace from the one-dimensional, cartoonish depictions that the media too often feeds its audience. Opium Nation is a fascinating and insightful trip into the depths of the infamous Afghan drug trade. Nawa touches on a wide array of topics within her thought provoking journey among family, friends, random acquaintances, and sometimes suspicious strangers as she ventures back to the land of her birth. There has been so much talk about "women's issues" in Afghanistan among politicians and non-Afghan activists, yet it's refreshing to read the thoughts and concerns of actual Afghan women from all walks of life, grandmothers to tough anti-narcotics cops. Opium Nation will hopefully encourage readers to examine both the pros and cons of opium eradication policies and the wider global drug war based on Nawa's interviews with and stories about the Afghans on the ground who are either adversely affected by addiction, extortion, and selective law enforcement as well as those for whom small-time growing and dealing means food on the table and a little extra money for "legitimate" purposes.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating Read Dec 14 2011
By Maryam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Opium Nation is an excellent read about the side of the opium/heroin drug business we don't often think about in the West - its inception in Afghanistan.

I agree with a lot of what the other reviewers say here about the book providing much needed insight into the workings of the drug trade and the lives it impacts. But what really stood out for me were the descriptions of the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan - they aren't always what you might expect. From stories of girls' lives growing up in war - to female drug smugglers and addicts - to politicians and anti-narcotics officers - to the author's own story as an Afghan-American woman returning there - these narratives flesh out what is often missing in accounts of Afghanistan - the diverse and fascinating lives of women there.

Hands down, this is the best book I have read on the subject of the Afghan drug trade. And in addition to being very informative, it's a really enjoyable book to read. You'll find your mind turning to the people whose lives Nawa recounts well after you have finished reading the book. To me, that's the mark of a good book. I recommend Opium Nation to anyone who is curious about Afghan society and wants to better understand the role of the drug trade in modern day Afghanistan.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
... Absolutely engaging, witty, and thoroughly accessible. Nov. 8 2011
By Jessie Sandoval - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Fariba Nawa: writes beautifully and sincerely, recreating her earliest memories from Afghanistan, during the Soviet occupation-- gracefully weaving together intimate, personal family history, with the experiences of a child growing up inside a very close loving family, surrounded by pomegranate orchards, inside the ancient walls of a once, great Medieval city, and surviving the deafening sounds, and graphic imagery of gunfire, and violent resistance. Nawa writes with the precision and shrewdness of a veteran journalist, tying together biography, politics, and history, in a way that I find absolutely engaging, witty, and thoroughly accessible.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A clear insight into the complexity of Afghanistan Dec 12 2011
By Yama Rahimi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fariba Nawa gives a personal perspective to her troubled homeland which continues its struggle to find peace due to its strategic location for trouble. It's a heartbreaking tale that needs to be told by those who experienced it that you will never see in the news. The book is a must read for anybody who wants to understand Afghanistan, its people and the problem it faces which is currently rooted in drugs which has ravaged the country in every possible way. In order to solve the problems of Afghanistan, you have to know its history which both US administrations has failed to comprehend. Nawa gives a voice to the poor and innocent victims of the drug war that are forgotten in the process.