Thursday, June 20, 2013

HEARTS FOR SALE By Farzana Marie

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Hearts for Sale: A Buyer’s Guide to Winning in Afghanistan is a powerful blend of story and strategic insight, Farzana Marie provides a unique and timely perspective on the conflict in Afghanistan. Realistic and optimistic, she draws on over ten years of personal connection with Afghanistan, including two years deployed as a U.S. Air Force officer, to urge clear thinking and action in the national interests of both the United States and Afghanistan. Arguing that it is not too late for humble, victorious partnership with Afghanistan, “Hearts for Sale!” advocates a vision-oriented, rather than numbers-oriented U.S. policy approach that honors the profound sacrifices made and heeds the desires of informed citizens.
In these pages, Farzana tells true stories of her engagement team’s 350 plus missions around Afghanistan, including a near-miss motorcycle accident, a gutsy trip to the Panjshir Valley to visit Massoud’s grave, an unusual ceremony at the Governor’s mansion in Herat, the infamous “bread incident,” and “Lunch with the Taliban.” Placing these stories in the context of poorly understood realities about the conflict in Afghanistan, Farzana clarifies why Americans should care about what happens there, makes the resounding case for the possibility of positive outcomes, and gives clear recommendations for how to achieve them.
“Amazing. I never heard such hopeful words from Afghanistan!” ~Andrew Strauss
“Farzana offers us a deeply strategic analysis combined with heartrending stories of triumph in human strife and war. I do not use the word lightly, but there is genius at work here; the blending of intellect and emotion is poetic and brilliant.” ~ Emma Rhodes

Farzana2About the author:

Farzana Marie is a student working on her PhD in Middle Eastern Literature at the University of Arizona’s School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Her research focuses on Persian literature, especially Afghan women’s poetry. She also writes and translates poetry. She holds a B.S. in the Humanities from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She served as an active duty officer for over six years, including two consecutive years of deployed service in Afghanistan (2010-2012), where she previously served as a volunteer teacher in Afghanistan orphanages (2003-2004). It was in 2003 that she received the gift of her Afghan name, Farzana, which has since become her writing name and part of her identity.
Farzana is the President of Civil Vision International, a non-profit charitable organization focused on positively influencing international relationships through connecting, informing, educating and inspiring citizens.