In Afghanistan is the story of a young man, searching for adventure and self-discovery in war-torn Afghanistan during the time of the Soviet invasion. It is also a portrait of an exotic land and people desperately struggling for survival during that war, as they are today. In 1981, with a letter and some financial backing from The New York Times, Van Dyk, bearded and dressed as an Afghan, sneaked into Afghanistan , then off-limits to foreigners, and lived in the ruggedly-beautiful mountains and desert of this country with the Mujahideen, the men then fighting the Soviet Union. My spine tingled like a boys. I felt the sensation of adventureThe Turbans of ten laughing young men, armed to the teeth, flapped in the windI would not have traded this moment for all the money in the world. It was suicidal, magnificent, and I knew wed be all right. But it was close. He lived through Soviet ground and helicopter attacks, saw death and suffering, but also laughter. He had much to learn about Islam, tribal traditions and the holy war the guerrillas were waging. He was accused of being a Soviet spy, but ultimately won the trust of his Afghan guides. He saw a strong, courageous, often frightened people fighting to protect the only thing they knew--their homes, their families, their way of life. The author, a former runner, a fledgling politician and writer, who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family in a small town in the Northwest, also went looking for something deep among these men who shouted God is Great and went into battle against the Red Army. His story is about the people he met and his journey.
About Jere Van Dyk
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Published April 11, 2002
Arts & Photography, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel.