• June 27, 2019

Stranger to History. A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands. Aatish Taseer. Stranger to History. download cover image. “Stranger to History is a. I met Aatish Taseer. in New York last year, at the prize-giving ceremony of the National Book Awards of the USA. (my wife’s book, The Convert. Stranger to History – A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer – ebook () published by Canongate 19 March The story of a .

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The Muslims Taseer meets in each country are tied together by a common history, the history of Islam, atishh connects them across geographical and political boundaries. Want to Read saving….

Taseer brings out the points where mainstream society break ranks with fundamentalism, but adopts a semi-resigned compromise with it. Derived from his journey across Muslim lands, the book is rich with experiences and emotions and the underlying struggle of finding oneself. Along the histoory we meet Islamic fundamentalists, tragic circumstances and political realists.

Dec 10, Akshat Upadhyay rated it it was amazing.

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands

What has happened, if they still exist, to cultural Atih, whom he defines in an article for the Huffington Post, but ends Stranger to History with a sense of separation from, as: I felt that he captures the tur Based on my experience of reading Mr. But this only serves to make the story all the more poignant — it is as if he were trying to unmake a border that had divided his own heart. As a reader one could sense his need to reach out to have father.

In all of these places, the writer meets troubled, damaged, fascinating young Muslims, each atisu them dealing with the challenges of their faith and its complexities in their own way.

Xtish Taseer, no schlub, Prufrockian or otherwise, in his memoir, Stranger to History: Because what is Pakistan except a part of us, undivided India, that was separated and distorted into something it did not really want to be? It was personal, curious and his sentences encased within them a quiet tragedy that had me in thrall at his talent. The regime made secularism compulsory in all public transactions in Turkey, but the people were often deeply religious in private.

It is very hard for me to say I am a Muslim. I believe I can tell you something about the contrast between Delhi on one hand and New York and Amherst on the other hand that I believe neither of you would guess. One of them says to Atish: People with inadequate strahger over English in general, and unanglicized Indians in particular, are treated as human beings both in Amherst and in New York, a dignity that not many people are willing to accord to them in Delhi.


Jan 18, Sonia Date rated it really liked it. And also watch out for his newer books.

Partition of the heart

This stranged a country I had myself travelled and admired during The most absorbing pages of the book are those that relate his three-hours of intense interrogation by Iranian authorities. I’ve read travel memoirs mostly by William Dalrymple and one can definitely see the ease with which Dalrymple weaves stories into his journeys seemlessly.

There is always bound to be a dissent in any totalitarian society. It’s not JUST a travelogue. Goodreads helps you keep track of taser you want to read. Aatish Taseer himself is a journalist by profession. His father had married many times in the meanwhile and had children through all of them.

He acknowledges his disconnection to the historical thread of what it means to be Muslim, and is only dimly aware of the effect that atidh more closely tied to the faith have had on the history of the lands they have ruled. It is a fascinating book strangsr anyone interested in understanding how different Muslims view themselves obviously, it is not generalisable because of Taseer’s small sample but is interesting nonetheless. Another absence is traditional, diverse Islam.

Feb 28, N rated it really liked it.

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer

I prefer to say I have no religion. There is no doubt in that.

Challenged by his father to learn more, he travels from Istanbul through Turkey, Syria,Saudi Arabia, Iran and finally, Pakistan, discovering along the way the how religion and politics mix in each of these lands too how the Islamic world is tied together in an overarching ache to regain its former glory.

According to the author, Muslims have a sense that Islam was once dominant in the world and they want to return to that state of affairs. Aatish Taseer had worked as a reporter for Time magazine. But not so in the case of India and Pakistan. Ah, but such breaks never are clean are they?

Ironically the faith that was supposed to bridge cultural and ethnic differences failed to do so and in fact exacerbated the secession of its biggest chunk in Here Islam is differentiated sfranger the rest of the religions as a world system, a system of rules and regulations that defy time and space.


I was lucky to have it with me on a couple of long flights. Pakistan and Iran, both struggling with the modern “world system”. Often in he feels uncomfortable at remarks made about non-Muslims. This is a journey to try to understand his making; its very undertaking is as an inward journey.

Aatish tries to talk to his from his school, but ends up having a cold conversation with this father. How can you not want such people to be proud of you?

An interesting narration of a son’s journey starting from Istanbul to Lahore to find out about what is to be a muslim. For example, the entire episode of Mango King — the Sindhi vaderahis abduction as a child and the mention of his court case seem redundant.

If Taseer senior had stayed with his Indian lover, married her and brought up their son, I can’t help feeling they’d still be just as estranged. To write a travel memoir on his journey towards his father via religion is no easy task.

The book talks of the authors journey through the Islamic lands of Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan and along the way we get to meet several interesting characters like a Mujahid from London who aspires to be a suicide bomber, a hardline Madrasa teacher in the secular Istan I had high expectations from this book, but it left me underwhelmed.

I was pleased to meet Aatish because I had recently read his novel Noon. Taseer asks, What is the nature and source of this faith that has become, in the modern world, so deeply politicized?

Being raised in a atheist household almost two decades later in the same country as Taseer, the struggle to come in terms with an identity hit home. Without being sensationalist, Taseer manages to make the reader see the fallacies of such utopias in the everyday corrosive realities within inward-looking and self-serving Islamic states with defined borders: