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M. Salahuddin Khan

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Sikander (hardcover)
by M. Salahuddin Khan   

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Books by M. Salahuddin Khan
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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Karakoram Press ISBN-10:  0982851103 Type: 


Copyright:  July 2010 ISBN-13:  9780982851104

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It’s 1986. 17-year old Pakistani student, Sikander, is enamored with America and longs to live there. But enraged after a quarrel with parents he decides to leave home. After meeting visiting Afghan mujahideen he joins their struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Along with fighting, he finds love, just as US-supplied weapons bring victory to hand. Marrying his love, he returns with her to Pakistan, becoming an entrepreneur there. But when 9/11 happens, Sikander must return to Afghanistan to help escaping relatives, placing him on a collision course with the country in which he still yearns to live—America.

It’s 1986. Seventeen-year-old Sikander dreams of studying and living in America. But enraged after a father-and-son confrontation over an unintended indiscretion about the family, he feels compelled to leave his comfortable Peshawar, Pakistan home. He soon encounters Afghan mujahideen fighters who persuade him to join their struggle against the occupying Soviets.

The tide of the conflict begins to turn with Ronald Reagan's stepped up supply of advanced weapons with which Sikander becomes increasingly familiar. Two years following Sikander’s arrival the Soviets finally commit to withdrawing and by now, Sikander also discovers romance. As his love blossoms and with the encouragement of his Afghan hosts he marries and he and his bride take a mule journey over the mountains to Pakistan, where he is warmly welcomed and reconciles with family.

With the war over, Sikander settles in Pakistan to become a successful entrepreneur there. The yearning to live in America continues to burn away at him and he works to fulfill his dream but it is rudely shattered on 9/11. His wife’s anguish together with his own concern for his Afghan relatives drive him to cross into Afghanistan to assist them. Despite a pro- and anti-Taliban rift in the family, Sikander persuades them to escape the war-ravaged country with him. The perilous journey, however, places Sikander himself on a collision course with the one country he’s always dreamed of—America.

Home. The word acquired new depth and breadth in Sikander’s mind. He wanted to swim in its welcoming warmth. It was a warmth that penetrated the coldest, darkest recesses of his consciousness—recesses which even in the short span of his life thus far had needed to make room for memories of conflict, hatred, dismemberment, death, and friends lost, now each an integral part of his being. Unlike a necrotic limb, however, they could never be amputated from his psyche.

Professional Reviews

Insights and Explanations: a Novel of Wonder - Grady Harp, Amazon Top 10 Reviewe
Were there more novels like this astonishing, absorbing and challenging one by M. Salahuddin Khan then perhaps the confusion and chaos of the world response to the seemingly endless wars of the past decades would ease. With all the grace of an experienced writer (this is Khan's first full length novel though he has served as Publisher for Islamica Magazine, a quarterly journal that is written in English for Muslim readers as a forum for discussing current events and philosophical differences), Khan launches the reader into a maze of pathways of understanding just why we have become so confused and overwhelmed by the cross-section of Christian and Islam beliefs - and he does this in the person of an idealistic Pakistani youth (Sikander) whose life is complexly tattooed with events and coincidences, choices and commitments that lead him from Pakistan to Afghanistan to Scotland to the USA.

Lovers of Kite Runner will love this! - Ami Blackwelder - Author
If you read the Kite Runner and loved it, you will enjoy this book as well. I loved both, touching and informative. The reader will leave the pages feeling well versed in Middle Eastern thought as well as feel emotional over the characters.

SIKANDER by M. Salahuddin Khan - Review by C. A. Webb of Conversations Book Club
There are books that you sometimes find that are great entertainment. Then there are those that you read when you want to be educated and informed. Those that combine these factors are sometimes said to be Edu-tainment---and I would definitely put Khan's SIKANDER in that category.

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