In the quiet Balti villages, high in the Karakoram Mountains of North Pakistan, life goes on. The women live peacefully as they prepare for the seasonal harvest and take in views of the breathtaking high mountains and pastures. Deeply rooted female relationships bloom and mature, as do their sustainable, ecologically friendly lifestyles. The Balti women have been living in the mountains for centuries, so why does there seem to be change in the air?
There’s the war on terror, going on just outside their village. There are the growing influences and stresses of modernization. How will this society cope with such changes, and is there any hope for its survival? Social geographer Farida Azhar-Hewitt has spent months living in the Karakoram Mountains with the Balti women; now she presents her detailed study and firsthand experience in The Other Side of Silence: The Lives of Women in the Karakoram Mountains.
Azhar-Hewitt takes a careful look at this mountain society—gaining recent media attention for its close proximity to the war on terror. Through the violence and fear, the Balti people have remained peaceful; the women have remained fruitful. Living as an insider, Azhar-Hewitt takes us behind the veil of these rural Muslim women, revealing a world of seclusion, community, and joy, despite all odds.
About Farida Azhar-Hewitt
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Published February 24, 2011
Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs.