Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing
This event includes a book signing
February 9, 2016
8:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes correspondent-at-large for The New York Times ROD NORDLAND for a discussion of his book The Lovers: Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing.
About The Lovers
A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner—an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.
Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia’s large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family’s honor. They are still in hiding.
Women in Afghanistan are still subjected to some of the worst human rights violations in the world. Rod Nordland, then the Kabul bureau chief of the New York Times, had watched these abuses unfold for years when he came upon Zakia and Ali, and has not only chronicled their plight, but has also shepherded them from danger.
“From the couple’s elopement to their elevation to media prominence, Nordland’s storytelling remains gripping, with more than a hint of Shakespearean drama.” —Publishers Weekly
“With The Lovers, Rod Nordland has delivered a true-to-life Romeo & Juliet story that cuts straight to the heart. This saga of Zakia and Ali is raw, poignant, uplifting, and suspenseful, and absolutely compelling throughout.” —Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer and author of Che Guevara
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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