|About the Book|
Its the winter of 1978 in Kabul and all seems quiet.Habib Dhil is a member of the privileged elite of Afghanistan. As the head of a powerful manufacturing concern, he has wealth, education, opportunities to travel, and a family history that givesMoreIts the winter of 1978 in Kabul and all seems quiet.Habib Dhil is a member of the privileged elite of Afghanistan. As the head of a powerful manufacturing concern, he has wealth, education, opportunities to travel, and a family history that gives him tremendous prestige. Yet Dhil is aloof, unable or unwilling to accept the notion that malfeasance and exploitation are prerequisites to fully joining the ruling class.Despite his efforts to avoid entangling himself in government business, he has brought a complication upon himself. He is having an affair with Miriam, the daughter of the ruthless Prime Minister Khan and already promised in marriage to the kings son. Dhil is careful to keep the relationship a secret but worries they will be discovered.One morning, he learns that his assistant has been arrested at the central depot while negotiating for the purchase of supplies. Dhil is compelled to personally arrange his employees release, but doing so requires him to navigate through the unwieldy bureaucracy he has consciously avoided. For Dhil it is a loathsome task.He thinks of seeking help from his close childhood friend, Alam Gol, now a colonel in the army. Gols path has led him to seek the kind of power and influence that Dhil rejects.Dhil does not know that his friend is on a mission assigned to him by the prime minister himself, who seeks even greater control over the nation. If successful, it will solidify Gols influence in the government. But at the same time, Gols actions may inadvertently put into motion events that could ruin or even destroy Dhil.Dhil begins to realize that perhaps it is time for a new life in a different place, but the pull of his native land keeps a powerful hold. Can he let go? And if he can, will he have time to leave before it is too late?This is an Afghanistan that few Americans ever experienced. Silent Trees offers a rare glimpse at the country before the freedom fighters known as the Mujahedeen, before the Taliban and the Warlords, and even before the time of the Soviet invasion. Although the story is fictional, it is remarkable in its accurate portrayal of the Afghan people—of all types—and its provocative exploration of larger, universal truths about the consequences that accompany the unchecked pursuit of power.In Silent Trees, Habib Dhil will learn—as we all must—that when a select few ruthlessly control a people, everyone—the street vendor and the politician alike—is corrupted and suffers profoundly from the absence of liberty.