Review Blog

Apr 01 2009

The rugmaker of Mazar-E-Sharif by Najaf Mazari and Robert Hillman

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Louis Braille Audio, 2008. ISBN 9781742121772. 7 CDs
(Age 13+) Recommended. A heart rending story of Afghani Najaf Mazari, a young man who flees across the border to Pakistan, leaving behind his wife and young child, when the Taliban threaten persecution and death. It describes his early life in rural Afghanistan as a shepherd and his life in Mazar-E-Sharif living with a large and extended family and the perils of living under a violent political regime in his country. The dangers of his journey to Australia on a leaky boat, the trauma of facing suspicious officials and being sent to Woomera Detention Centre are all graphically portrayed as well as his final establishment as a legitimate refugee.
Robert Hillman has used the absorbing details of one refugee's life to make a coherent and well-written narrative that Humphrey Bower has brought to life in his reading. His rich and steady tone vividly portrays the voice of Mazari, and emphasises his courage, humility and warmth. The listener is taken into the world of the detention centre as well as the world of Afghanistan and gains an insight into both worlds.
This is an audio that would be very valuable addition for a library. It would be an excellent source of information when studying a unit on refugees and how they were treated in detention centres as well as providing material to raise awareness about life in Afghanistan.
Pat Pledger

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