An American Muslim woman travels to an unknown and unforgettable place to learn about the secrets of war, violent jihad, and militant Islam. Set in the Kashmir valley, an award-winning speaker and instructor Farhana Qazi takes a transformational journey through one of the world’s oldest conflicts. This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir finds compassion, courage and connection among the women of Kashmir. Qazi takes us deeply into the lives of women and gives us the most compelling and disturbing vision of what happens in a place caught between its own tenacious past and two South Asian rivals. A work of human empathy, Qazi combines first-hand storytelling with balanced, penetrating analysis of each situation to give us one of our most important chroniclers of communities in crisis.
“Traveling to Kashmir to meet the women turned out to be one of the most amazing decisions I have ever made,” said Qazi. “It was also terrifying, and sometimes insane. This is not a story I had planned on sharing with the world. But after what I have felt, I had no choice but to tell the women’s stories.”
Secrets of the Kashmir Valley is a lyrical, loving homage to Qazi’s mother, a short-lived Pakistani Army soldier and political activist who now resides in the American southwest. Raised in Texas, Qazi weaves her signature storytelling, and her honest and heartfelt observations, by taking readers through an ancient place, where world religions and traditions co-exist peacefully. With intimate detail, the book reveals the power of love, faith, and community.
“Kashmir changed me forever,” said Qazi. “For other travelers, it’s a valley of gardens, rivers, and pashmina. For me, Kashmir is a place of raw emotion.”
For her service to the U.S. Government, Qazi has won numerous awards, including the 21st Century Leader Award, presented by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York, the VIP Woman of the Year Circle by the National Association of Professional Women, and multiple certificates of appreciation for her training to the U.S. military.
About Farhana Qazi:
Qazi has appeared in the mainstream media, including CNN headline and international news, BBC television and radio, Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio, FOX News, C-Span, Bloomberg, ABC News, Canadian national television, Voice of America, Al-Jazeera, The Daily Ledger Show and more. Her stories and interviews have been published in The Washington Post, The Foreign Policy Magazine, Al-Rasub, Dawn, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Post, Marie Claire, The International Herald Tribune, Reuters, MSNBC, Forbes, The Daily Mail, The Baltimore Sun, Levant News, The Associated Press, and more.
Qazi holds a MA from The George Washington University in Security Policy Studies, and she received her BA from Southwestern University in Political Science, where she was chosen for the prestigious Humanitarian Award.
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