A Poet and Bin-Laden

by Hamid Ismailov

An extraordinarily strange book revolving round the involvement of Batgi, a modern Uzbek poet, in the cataclysmic events in Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Batgi meets Osama Bin Laden, withdraws from the world and writes a story about the Mogul Emperor, Aurangzeb, whose portrait looks like Bin Laden. A bizarre book but stick with it. You will learn a lot about Islam, Central Asia and the human psyche.


I was tired of being afraid, I turned back
and said to one of the horses as to a human:
'Do what you want: trample, fuck me!'
At that moment both horses fell silent (a fragment).


During that period. some time around August 25th, 1999, Zubair Abdurahim-ogly phoned the BBC. After introducing himself as the press secretary of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and simultaneously the Chairman of its Political Department, he said that he wished to clarify matters concerning the events in Batgen and at the same time to read a statement from the Amir of the IMU, Muhammad Tahir Farrouk. The basic contents of the statement was that the Islamists had no argument with Kyrgyzstan.
Translated by Andrew Bromfield and Richard MacKane


In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland
Haji Murat by Leo Tolstoy
The Revenge of History by Seumas Milne

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