"Born to a strict Catholic Polish family, he studied architecture in Warsaw. She took up sociology at a university in Karachi, after her Muslim parents migrated from India to Pakistan. They both happened to become recipients of a scholarship to an academy for foreigners in Perugia, Italy. There they met in August 1967, during a student jaunt to the Adriatic coast. The enchantment lasted for three short weeks. Their paths crossed briefly in a twist of fate, and then parted too soon. Their letters became the only link that kept them together over the course of the next four years. It sounds like a standard romance, but it is not. It is a true account of two youngsters coming from entirely different worlds, isolated by the Cold War and hopelessly torn apart by diverse cultures. Facing the impossible prospect of rejoining, they tried to forget their adventure and to free themselves from each other and their haunting memories. Would they ever meet again? If so, would they be able to face, let alone overcome, the harsh realities: their disparate backgrounds and religions, the looming resistance of their families, and even their own idiosyncratic characters? Fate had its own plan. The “Pride of the King” is the ancient Persian meaning of Shahnaz, the name of the girl the author met in Italy. Their fascinating encounter, recorded affectionately in this book, proves that a fulfilling relationship between the people of Islam and of the West is possible and that they can stand up to all challenges—a refreshing reminder during today’s intercultural strife. "
About A.M. Aleksander
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Published April 19, 2010
Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction.