I am so grateful to all of you who contributed to the translation and thereby in publishing of this book internationally. The financial support came from friends in Sweden, India, Israel, USA and Australia. Thank you also for editing, translating and believing in this project.
”As I’m sure you’ll agree, in these times of international strife and religious intolerance, it’s important to share insights into the lives of the real people behind the stereotypes.
Franciska von Koch describes first-hand her life as the young wife of a Pashtun man in a traditional honor culture, with all the trials of love, cultural differences and the era of “sex, drugs & rock ’n’ roll”. Her spiritual quest and perceptions are influenced by everything from the liberal thinking of the 1960s hippie movement, to the patriarchal religions of the Old Testament. Based on a true story. To be published soon digitally and as a POD, (print on demand book) on Kindle, Amazon, Vulkan.
The year is 1971, and 17-year-old Magdalena is hitchhiking from Sweden to India, determined to find herself a guru. Invited to stay a few days with a Pashtun family in rural Northern Pakistan, she and the family’s son unexpectedly fall madly in love—a completely forbidden relationship. At first the two go into hiding in the mountains, but eventually Magdalena moves in with her husband’s family in their village.
Franciska (Kali) von Koch lives in Sweden and provides creative and musical activities at an assisted living facility. She is a certified Expressive Art Therapist and a Dharma teacher. This is her first book in the semiautobiographical series about Magdalena’s spiritual seeking and adventuresome travels.
My story, published in Swedish as a fictionalized autobiography, has already touched many readers. As an impressionable 17-year-old girl in the early 1970s, I fell in love with and married a Pashtun man in northern Pakistan. My book, ”Uncommon Ground – Hippie to Hijab and Back”, depicts my years living with him and his family in the beautiful and remote Swat Valley, a decade before the rise of the Taliban and the IS. The Swedish book, features authentic photos from my years in Pakistan as well as authentic letters.
It is a story that in many ways confirms Western perceptions of this strict patriarchal culture, but it also shatters just as many stereotypes, as it portrays the great love and respect with which I was treated by my in-laws. Although ultimately neither of us could adapt to living in the other’s culture, the overall message of the book is positive, and the response from my readers has nothing but positive. Several have also commented, “This sounds like a movie!”