|Where do I belong?
about the book
Shabibi Shah fled Afghanistan in 1983. When her husband Zafar was imprisoned
by the then Communist regime in Kabul, Shabibi secured his release. Then
when he escaped across the border to Pakistan, she waited 2 weeks before
making the hazardous journey across the mountains to join him - with her 3
children, the youngest a baby of 4 months.
Their journey was terrifying - first, disguised as nomads, to Jalalabad, and then
by ancient lorry and on foot across the mountains into Pakistan, where a further
ordeal awaited them: a year and a half in Peshawar, the dangerous frontier town
overcrowded with refugees where Zafar was again imprisoned, before finally
they were granted visas to Britain. They arrived in London in 1984.
When Shabibi left Afghanistan she was 36. She had a good life: she was a college
teacher, the mother of three children, married to a political journalist. She tells
of the Afghanistan she grew up in and made a life in, before history took hold of
it and shook it to pieces. She and her family were one of those pieces, abruptly
displaced to south London on the far side of the world. She helps us to
understand what it was like to grow up in a family and a place that seemed as if
they would last for ever, and then to have everything change around her.
In 2004 she visited Afghanistan for the first time since her escape, and
this new revised edition describes what she found and how it compares to
the country she left in 1983.
Released: Summer 2008
ISBN: 978 0 9554373 5 9
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