Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah's Beard: A Journey Through the Inside-Out Worlds of Iran and Afghanistan

Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah's Beard: A Journey Through the Inside-Out Worlds of Iran and Afghanistan

Nicholas Jubber


An engrossing mixture of go back and forth writing and historical past, Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah’s Beard lines one man’s adventure-filled trip via today’s Iran, Afghanistan, and important Asia, and describes his striking try to make feel of the current through delving into the past.

getting down to achieve perception into the lives of Iranians and Afghans at the present time, Nicholas Jubber is stunned to discover the legacy of a colourful pre-Islamic Persian tradition that has persevered even in instances of the main enthusiast spiritual fundamentalism. Everywhere—from underground dance events to non secular shrines to opium dens—he unearths robust and unbreakable connections to a time while either Iran and Afghanistan have been a part of an identical amazing empire, while the flame of Persian tradition lit up the world.

no matter if via his encounters with poets and cab drivers or run-ins with “pleasure daughters” and mujahideen, many times Jubber is drawn again to the eleventh-century Persian epic, the Shahnameh (“Book of Kings”). The poem turns into not just his window into the region’s previous, but in addition his hyperlink to its tumultuous current, and during it Jubber profits entry to an Iran and Afghanistan seldom printed or depicted: inside-out worlds within which he has tea with a warlord, is taught tips to stroll like an Afghan, or even discovers, on an evening choked with bootleg alcohol and dancing, what it potential to drink arak off an Ayatollah’s beard.

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