About the Author
Mohammad Hassan Kakar holds a B.A. from Kabul University and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in history from the University of London. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Middle Eastern Centers of Princeton University and Harvard University in the United States. For many years he taught history at Kabul University, where in 1981 he became a professor. He has also served as chair of the history department there. In 1982 the Kabul regime arrested him for his opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The London-based human rights organization Amnesty International declared Dr. Kakar a ‘ ‘prisoner of conscience.’ ’ Along with other human rights groups, Amnesty International, the International PEN, and scholars and human rights activists in Europe and the United States (among them the late Professor Joseph Fletcher of Harvard University, Dr. Crystal A. Leslie of the Medical Center of Boston University, and, in particular, Professor Felix Ermacora, the special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Afghanistan) pressured the Kabul regime by continually writing to it about him.
After his release from prison, Professor Kakar fled with his family to Peshawar in Pakistan. There, as a member of the Writers’ Union of Free Afghanistan, he served as an analyst of Afghan political developments. Before immigrating to the United States in 1989, he was elected the first president of the Association of the Professors of the Universities of Afghanistan (in exile). In the United States he served first as a Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii and then taught at the University of California, San Diego. Meanwhile, as chair and a founding member of the Movement for a Representative Government in Afghanistan, he kept abreast of current Afghan affairs and wrote about them for Afghan journals. He adds this book, a result of his scholarship, professional knowledge, observations, and personal experience, to the many others that he has written or translated. Dr. Kakar now lives in San Diego with his wife, Maryam, their two sons Kawun and Sabawun, and their daughter Khwaga. Their two daughters Palwasha and Wagma are married and have five children between them.