Reviews: Uncommon Ground – Hippie to Hijab & back – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079QLX77W/ref=abs_add_sc_#customerReviews
May 19, 2018
I found this book to be very valuable in understanding the two cultures involved. The writing is very well done, and moves along at a good pace, keeping my interest at a peak. I read a lot of books, and I love to be entertained while learning something new. I found this book to be particularly valuable in learning about the Pashtun culture, especially given the volatile times we live in. Highly recommended!
Uncommon Ground: Hippie to Hijab and Back – order in English!
by Franciska von Koch
In English sine 2018
Brought up in the heady laissez-faire world of the 1960s free-love era, 17-year-old Magdalena was a spiritual seeker, easily influenced by those who inspired her. Following on the coattails of the Beatles, she and a friend hitchhiked from Stockholm in 1971 in search of a guru to teach them. The goal was India, but Magdalena never got that far. In the borderlands of Northern Pakistan, she fell madly in love with a young Pashtun man, a turn of events that took both of their lives onto a whole new path.
Franciska von Koch paints a moving portrait of her alter ego Magdalena’s trials in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan, the beauty of the countryside, the love of her husband and his welcoming family and the eventual collapse of their dream.
Excerpts – Uncommon Ground – Hippie to Hijab & back:
Sweet, gentle Mori! Her clothes were clean and well-pressed, but the fabric was the simplest cotton. Her brown eyes were childlike and the lines in her face showed that she’d spent long hours working in the sun. Shahid’s mother really wasn’t as old as she looked. It was the toothless mouth that made her look like an old woman, though she was probably only in her early fifties, no one really knew.
The instant Mori approached me with open arms and her wide, gap-toothed smile, I knew this woman was completely genuine. She utterly rejected the idea of getting false teeth, even if she had difficulty chewing and covered her mouth with her hand when she laughed to hide the gaps. She didn’t know any other life and she loved her family fiercely. And she was respected just as she was. In her embrace I felt that she had more than enough love to spare.
Time and time again I heard Mori say how brave she thought I was to have left my family and traveled so far. Trying to explain how far away Sweden was, I said, “Imagine riding a bus for a month.”
“Alhamdulillah,” said Mori, lifting her hands to her face, “you came that far just to live with us?” None of the women in the household had ever been farther away than Lahore, and even that had been a huge adventure.
But when I suggested that she didn’t have to live her life toothless, all she said was, “An old woman like me, what would the other wives say? They’re probably already jealous anyway.”
© Franciska von Koch
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