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Sikander by M. Salahuddin Khan, Pam Guerrieri

Friday, October 21, 2011
"SIKANDER is the sweeping tale of the son of a Pakistani middle-class family. It s 1986. Seventeen-year-old Sikander, dreams of studying and living in America, but in a blind rage after a family quarrel, he leaves his Peshawar, Pakistan home. Encountering mujahideen warriors, he joins them in their fight against the occupying Soviets in neighboring Afghanistan.American assistance is stepped up with advanced weapons, like the Stinger missile, and the mujahideen begin prevailing against the Soviets. After just two years following Sikander s arrival, a Soviet withdrawal begins and Sikander returns as a war-wise hero, settling down to build a normal life in Pakistan.Discovering romance, Sikander, becomes a happily married successful entrepreneur in Pakistan, when he finds his life abruptly thrown into turmoil as he s caught up in aftermath of 9/11. He must draw on the lessons from his mujahideen past as he takes on a perilous journey reaching as far as America, changing his life forever.SIKANDER takes us from the pricey suburbs of Peshawar to the primitive war-torn landscape of Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, to the placid serenity of Scotland, through the camps of Guantanamo, and finally, corporate America. It is a 21 year journey through freedom and captivity, love and loss, wealth and poverty, dignity and humiliation, and transgression and redemption. A rare glimpse of a non-radical mainstream Muslim s experience of the West, SIKANDER is a journey of growth and self-discovery, and will touch the humanity of its readers.

Goodreads Summary

Sikander is the main character and, when the reader first meets him, he is full of hope for his future and pretty young.  Due to bad circumstances behind his families control, Sikander's family falls on hard times.  When Sikander and his father discuss this, they argue and Sikander takes off.  Sikander goes to Afghanistan and fights with them against the Soviets, he later marries an Afghan woman.  When he returns to Pakistan, he is able to live comfortably.  The story takes off from there.

The reader will love this author's fresh perspective on the Middle Easy and the lifestyle and culture of the area.  Sikander's character is upfront and honest, the reader will experience the environment through his eyes, nothing is held back.  As a character, Sikander is honorable, brave, and determined.  He is very easy to connect with and like, he also appears dynamic...realistic.  The secondary characters can make the reader feel as if he/she met them in real life.  They round out the story.  The events are fast-paced, exciting, and should be interesting to any reader remotely intrigued by history and current events.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

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