Book Review: In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation, David Loyn

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What the World needs to know about Afghanistan?

Book Review: In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation, David Loyn

By Aladdin Elaasar

Afghanistan is hotter than ever. As the fight against the Taliban is raging, this timely book is well-needed more than before. In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation, veteran award-winning BBC foreign correspondent David Loyn brings an insider account about what is really happening there.

In this page turner, readers will get a first rate account into the history and the dynamics of politics in Afghanistan and struggle for the soul of this captivating, yet impoverished and devastated country.

From Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union failing miserably, Afghanistan has suffered through capitalism, communism, and the ferocious Taliban. Afghanistan proved to be the last straw, or the last nail in the coffin of many empires.

As the fight intensifies against the back-warded Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the world is gasping for the end of the dark rule of the Taliban harboring the most dangerous terrorist organization, al-Qaida and its leaders bin-Laden and Zawahri.

From the Soviets eyeing it strategic location, to Jihadists who poured into this country with the blessings of many Arab regimes, the billions of petrodollars that found its way to the pockets of bin-Laden, and many other terrorists and warlords, Afghanistan has been the fighting grounds for many brutal proxy wars.

Now the war is heading into Afghanistan’s backyard, Pakistan on the verge of explosion, as its leadership and military have for years played a reluctant and dubious role in receiving Western and American aid, while turning a blind eye over the creeping of the Taliban, Wahabism, money laundering and grave human rights abuses.

From the comfortable Western armchair in an age of soap operas, reality TV, and sound-bites news, Westerns are mor e puzzled about what is happening in an area that seems incomprehensible.

In Afghanistan presents an eye-opening detailed account of who’s who in Afghanistan and what the struggle is all about. This highly-recommended book is a must-read for all of those hoping to understand and get a firsthand account of the story of this long-suffering nation; the exploitation of its women, men and children in refugee camps and poppy fields.

Aladdin Elaasar is author of “The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Volatile Mid East” and Silent Victims: The Plight of Arabs and Muslims in Post 9/11 America. Elaasar has been a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs on American TV and Radio, and a media and cultural consultant. Email:

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania