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The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif - Najaf Mazari

Paperback Published: 1st July 2011
ISBN: 9780980757057
Number Of Pages: 270

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This book traces an Afghan refugee's extraordinary journey-from his early life as a shepherd boy in the mountains of Northern Afghanistan to his forced exile after being captured and tortured by the Taliban, to incarceration in an Australian detention centre...and finally to freedom. A poignant and powerful, often humorous, story of suffering, injustice and survival that explores the resilience of the human spirit. "An extraordinary account of an epic journey to freedom, told with great intelligence, humour, poetry and integrity. Even in his darkest hours of despair, Najaf clings to hope and his deep love of life and people." Arnold Zable - Writer and refugee advocate Najaf donates all royalties from the sale of this book to the Masawat Development Fund which he founded to raise funds to support health and education programs in Mazar-e-Sharif and surrounding villages. You can check it out at masawatdevelopmentfund.org.au Beautifully captured and penned by award-winning biographer Robert Hillman, this is a compelling story of an exceptional yet 'ordinary' man whose generous spirit, natural leadership and desire for peace transcends enormous danger and heartbreak. The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif follows the extraordinary journey of Najaf Mazari from the despair of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime to the flowering of a new life in Australia. Unaware of the fragility of innocence in a country torn by civil war, Najaf describes his childhood working as a shepherd, an apprentice welder and, finally, finding his calling as an apprentice rugmaker. "After a few months I was weaving simple quality rugs without assistance... but then came the more difficult tasks - learning to repair rugs, to stretch rugs, to match colours, make colours, create a design that does justice to fine yarns... It was during my initiation into the deeper mysteries of my craft that I began to understand how a world can exist within a single room. For when my concentration was at its greatest, it felt that the world lived in the yarns, in the colours and in the skills of rugmaking." Family joy soon turns to tragedy as the war between the Russian forces and the Mujahedin violently thrusts its way into Najaf's life - first his elder brother is killed by a sniper, then his family home is destroyed by a stray rocket, killing both his younger brother and brother-in-law. Najaf, too, is badly wounded and is reduced to selling crotcheted socks on a street corner while his injuries slowly heal. Eventually returning to rugmaking, Najaf trains himself not to think too far into the future. In 2001, the adult Najaf is captured and tortured by the Taliban. He is forced to flee Afghanistan, leaving his wife and child behind to place his life in the hands of people-smugglers, bound for an unknown destination. Half way across the world in south-east Asia, Najaf and almost a hundred other refugees learn for the first time that they are bound for a country at the bottom of the world called 'Australia'...


I loved this man's attitude.


It is a while since I actually read the book, and at this time I do not own a copy. So, I find it difficult to answer some of the questions. I have recently bought a copy for a granddaughter. She lives in Melbourne and had a carpet problem, so I thought of the book and its author. Last time I looked into the matter he had a shop in Melbourne. She was looking forward to one of her trips abroad when she could give the book her attention.

Gold Coast Queensland


Inspiring and true


Told with humour this is an account of a refugee success story. Through many hardships and disappointments the author triumphs in the end. Every critic of the acceptance of asylum seekers should read this book to foster understanding.

Sydney australia


Open your mind and heart


This is an excellent read, and one that will open your eyes to the trouble and background of many legitimate refugees. To make you think about what Afghani refugees faced, and still do, and the spirit and courage it took to leave their well known life and livelihood, and family, to travel to an unknown land for safety, and to start all over again, makes you understand a little of their plight.



A must for everyone


I would never have found this book,(except through the recommendations of Booktopia) though a small book, it is so topical, and i believe a book that every australian should read. I certainly will be recommending others to read, great book for discussion.





Useda a gifte and once read, passed back to me ....



The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif

4.6 5


ISBN: 9780980757057
ISBN-10: 0980757053
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 1st July 2011
Publisher: Insight Publications
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.0