A chance meeting! A Backpack Journalist spends time with author of A FORT OF NINE TOWERS!

A BackpackJournalist - Atlanta


July 5, 2013

We know of Afghanistan  as a country that’s been war torn for many years.  We hear and see it in the news.   Today, I sat down with  Qais Akbar Omar, the author of A FORT OF NINE TOWERS, a story about his life from the age of seven to eight years old to nineteen.  His story took two months to write, and then three months for him to heal from his writing.  He shares: “it was painful for me to write the words to paper. I saw so much death and devastation. ”  He says that writing in English made it easier for him. And after he completed the 600 plus pages, as he was healing during those three months, he began to understand the positive effects of creative expression – writing.  Sounded like something a  “backpacker!” would say!

Qais was raised by two loving parents.  A father who is a high school teacher, and a Mother a banker, now retired and working in a non-profit. His grandfather was a powerful influence on him.  They lived the life that we all think of as a “it takes a village to raise a family”.

What’s A FORT OF NINE TOWERS.   Besides being one of the many residences built in the hills of Afghanistan, it is a spell binding story that describes Kabul when it had  gardens filled with flowers and butterflies and birds.  He and cousins spent time flying kites and playing in the gardens.   He laughed at one point and said that in all he had “188 first cousins!”

Then, he speaks often of his father as moving his family often to protect them during the  Civil War and then his Mother being the person to encourage him to write his story.

He remembers all to well the Russian occupation, the War Lords, and the Civil War and of course the Talliban.  The story speaks to the Afghan culture and of the Code of Honor that is respected throughout their land and thus, explained how and why Bin Laden was allowed to hide there right after 911.

The book is being translated into 13 languages and is presently being distributed into 16 countries.  His story is one not to be missed.   Qais presently lives in Boston and attends Boston University for a MFA in Creative Writing.   There is also another book  that QAIS has co-authored with Steve Landrigan.  Imagine – “SHAKESPEARE IN KABUL” – a time when artists and actors filled the city with festivals and wonderful plays.

These books share an intimate view of life in Afghanistan, the culture and people.  Qais is slated to join us in Washington,DC this fall!  Contact us at 404 314 8007 to learn more!
Links here will share two selected reviews of A FORT OF NINE TOWERS.