Cacopardo, A.M. et al. (eds.): Azar's autobiography

Cacopardo, A.M. et al. (eds.): Azar's autobiography

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Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah Khan 'Azar':

My Heartrendingly Tragic Story

The autobiography of Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah Khan 'Azar', a Kati from the Bashgal Valley in Afghanistan, was written in 1908, in exile in India, after a long period of service with the colonial rulers. In his account, Azar recollects the laws, customs, religion and history of his people, and adds his own life story. It is the only insider account of the Katis as they lived before their subjugation and conversion by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in 1895-96, as well as an account of the Amir's campaign; and a rare description of his English masters by a colonial subject, at a time when the British Empire was at the height of its power. This book has been long in the making. Georg Morgenstierne bought the Urdu manuscript from Abdullah Khan in 1929, and began the work of transcription and translation. Knut Kristiansen did the bulk of transcription and translation after Morgenstierne's death in 1978. Following Kristiansen's death in 1999, the torch was passed to Ruth Laila Schmidt, who asked the noted expert on Nuristan and Chitral, Alberto Cacopardo, to prepare a detailed commentary on the manuscript, with a bibliography. Knut Kristiansen researched and lectured in modern Indian languages at the University of Oslo. Ruth Laila Schmidt is professor of Urdu at the University of Oslo, and has done research in Urdu and the Dardic language Shina. Alberto Cacopardo is a member of the Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente and has done anthropological research on the cultures of the Hindukush.

ISBN 978-82-7099-432-8, 330 pages, binding: Hardcover
Format: 17x24 cm, weight: 1,0 kg, year of publication: 2006
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