By Ilyas Choudry, TMO
Our Special Correspondent: Haroon K. Ullah was in Houston this past weekend for several speaking engagement about his book â€œThe Bargain From The Bazaarâ€, as story of a shopkeeper in Lahoreâ€™s Anarkali Bazaar, the largest open market in South Asia.
Haroon is a Pakistani-American scholar and diplomat, who was handpicked by Richard Holbrooke for his policy team on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He currently serves on Secretary Kerryâ€™s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. State Department, where he focuses on public diplomacy and countering violent extremism.
His new book THE BARGAIN FROM THE BAZAAR, which can be bought from Amazon.Com is about a Familyâ€™s Day of Reckoning in Lahore. It tells the story of modern-day Pakistan through the lens of one â€œordinaryâ€ family living in Lahore. Story is true, but to avoid any undue repercussions for the actual people, the characters have been named differently.
Story is about Awais Reza, who is a shopkeeper in Lahoreâ€™s Anarkali Bazaarâ€”the largest open market in South Asiaâ€”whose labyrinthine streets teem with shoppers, rickshaws, and cacophonous music. But according to the story, Anarkaliâ€™s exuberant hubbub cannot conceal the fact that Pakistan is a country at the edge of a precipice. In recent years, the easy sociability that had once made up this vibrant community has been replaced with doubt and fear. Old-timers like Awais, who inherited his shop from his father and hopes one day to pass it on to his son, are being shouldered aside by easy money, discount stores, heroin peddlers, and the tyranny of fundamentalists.
Every night before Awais goes to bed, he plugs in his cell phone and hopes. He hopes that the city will not be plunged into a blackout, that the night will remain calm, that the following morning will bring affluent and happy customers to his shop and, most of all, that his three sons will safely return home. Each of the boys, though, has a very different vision of their, and Pakistanâ€™s future.
The Bargain from the Bazaarâ€”the product of eight years of field research by Hroon K. Ullah â€” is an intimate window onto ordinary middle-class lives caught in the maelstrom of a nation falling to pieces. Itâ€™s an absolutely compelling portrait of a family at riskâ€”from a violently changing world on the outside and a growing terror from within.
Haroon has received incredible advance praise for this oneâ€”from Malala Yousafzai, Reza Aslan, Strobe Talbott, Peter Bergen, Eboo Patel, Michael Wolfeâ€”and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.
To get this book, one can visit Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more