151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs

Non-Fiction - Cultural
192 Pages
Reviewed on 11/30/2014
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Author Biography

Captain Edward Zellem is the 10-time award-winning author of three bilingual books of Afghan Proverbs, now published in 16 languages. He is a U.S. Navy officer and trained Dari speaker who spent a year and a half embedded on native Afghan teams in Afghanistan. This included a year on President Hamid Karzai's staff inside the Afghan Presidential Palace.

While in Afghanistan, Captain Zellem became fascinated with the way Afghans use Proverbs in their daily conversations. He began collecting and translating them, and used them every day with Afghans in his professional and personal life.

After students at a local Kabul high school offered to create illustrations, he decided to publish his collection as a personal project to share with the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosanne Franchini for Readers' Favorite

In Mataluna: 151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs, Captain Edward Zellem introduces us to the culture of the Pashto language, spoken by people of Afghanistan through their proverbs. The preface is lengthy with explanations of how the book was formed through social media outlets; the sketches in the book are all done by Afghanistan high school students and extensive work with others in the Paremiology field. The Pashto language facts were informative and helpful. I doubt I would ever learn the language or writing, but found it useful in helping to understand the culture and its people.

The proverbs within the book help to bridge cultures worldwide, showing that all is derived from virtuous living and teachings. The correlation between Pashto proverbs and Western cultural proverbs and their similarities demonstrate how close we all really are in the world. As you turn the pages to the next proverb, you look forward to seeing how the school children interpreted their cultural proverbs in art, being able to show their talents in expressive artwork. Captain Zellem does a wonderful job of demonstrating cultural similarities with his unique presentation of Afghan proverbs. He has brought to light what little is known of Afghanistan and has spread the knowledge throughout the world for others to learn, enjoy and share. Praise goes to Captain Zellem in bridging cultures, enabling all to learn from and enjoy this book.