One of the highlights of this season has been to share a panel with one of my literary heroes, Mir Tamim Ansary. One of the foremost intellectuals and writers in the field of Afghanistan, it was an honor to be invited by him to be at this event.
About The Event: Join Tamim Ansary, Sahar Muradi, and Zohra Saed for a discussion about the history and present day realities of Afghanistan, a country very much at the center of current political debate.About Games Without Rules:Today, most Westerners still see the war in Afghanistan as a contest between democracy and Islamist fanaticism. That war is real; but it sits atop an older struggle, between Kabul and the countryside, between order and chaos, between a modernist impulse to join the world and the pull of an older Afghanistan: a tribal universe of village republics permeated by Islam.Now, Tamim Ansary draws on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources to explain history from the inside out, and to illuminate the long, internal struggle that the outside world has never fully understood. It is the story of a nation struggling to take form, a nation undermined by its own demons while, every 40 to 60 years, a great power crashes in and disrupts whatever progress has been made. Told in conversational, storytelling style, and focusing on key events and personalities, Games without Rules provides revelatory insight into a country at the center of political debate.
Tamim Ansary is the author of Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes and West of Kabul, East of New York, among other books. For ten years he wrote a monthly column for Encarta.com, and has published essays and commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Alternet, TomPaine.com, Edutopia, Parade, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Born in Afghanistan in 1948, he moved to the U.S. in 1964. He lives in San Francisco, where he is director of the San Francisco Writers Workshop.
Sahar Muradi is an Afghan-born, Florida-grown and NY-based writer and performer. She is co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, 2010) and a recipient of an Open City Organizing Fellowship through the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has appeared in dOCUMENTA, phati’tude, Green Mountains Review, and HOW2 Journal. Sahar has an M.P.A. in international development from New York University and a B.A. in creative writing from Hampshire College.
Zohra Saed is the co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). Her poetry has appeared in: Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality Ed. Sarah Hussein (Seal Press); Speaking for Herself: Asian Women’s Writings Ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar and Savita Singh (Penguin India); Seven Leaves One Autumn Ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar and Savita Singh (Rajkamal Prakashan Publishing: New Delhi, India); and most recently Sahar Muradi & Zohra Saed: Misspelled Cities (Notebook #105, documenta 13). She is currently a Ph.D Candidate at The CUNY Graduate Center.