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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.