Author: Ali Eteraz
ISBN: 978-0-06-156708-7
Publisher: HaperOne (An Imprint of HarperCollins)

Click Here To Purchase Children of Dust: A Memoir of Pakistan

Fascinating may be an overused word, but it does describe the memoir of Abir ul Islam, as he narrates the different stages of his young life and his emotional wrestling with Islam. It should be mentioned that according to the author, the book is a work of creative nonfiction. All the events are true to the best of his recollection. However, some of the characters are composites, segmented, or transposed. We are also informed that identities and locations have been changed to protect lives, reputations, and privacy. This is a deeply moving chronicle of the struggle of a a young Pakistani who aspired to rise to the apex of his religion.

From the moment of his birth in 1981 in Lahore Pakistan, Abir was marked out as special. His twenty-two year old father had made a covenant with Allah that if he were blessed with a son, he in turn promised that his son would become a great leader and servant of Islam. And thus begins the story of Abir ul Islam, whose name translates as Perfume of Islam.

Divided into five books, Ali Eteraz weaves a great yarn narrated with grace, respect and humor. We are given a far reaching view of Muslim life in both Pakistan and the USA, as we learn about Abir`s aspirations to rise to the apex of his religion in order to fulfill his father`s covenant. Travelling with Abir, we experience his physical and psychological childhood abuses encountered as a student in the madrassa; the immigration with his parents to the United States where he attempts to deal with life in high school while his parents are embracing fundamentalism; his fully embrace of the superiority of Islam over everything else while attending college, which culminates in a trip to Pakistan in order to find a pious Muslim wife; his disillusionment with life in Pakistan and his exploration of anti-Islamic ideas at a new university where he still remains associated with Muslims; and finally being fed up with the militant and murderous use which Islam is being put, his turning to activism and traveling to the Middle East to start a reformation.

The author`s storytelling gifts are amply confirmed with his expertly voiced narration, his masterly evocation of time and place, and his eye-opening detail that at times are even surprising, if you have depended on popular media for your knowledge of Islam.

Ali Eteraz was born in Pakistan and has lived in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the USA. He graduated from Emory University and Temple Law School, where he was selected for the Outstanding Scholar`s Program at the United States Department of Justice. He worked for awhile in corporate litigation. The author regularly contributes to True/Slant and he has published articles about Islam and Pakistani politics in Dissent, Foreign Policy, AlterNet, and altMuslim. He is also a regular contributor to The Guardian UK and Dawn, Pakistan`s oldest English-language daily.

Click Here To Purchase Children of Dust: A Memoir of Pakistan