Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Abdullah Sharif
Tel: 239-298-2568 (cell)

Naples, Florida Diplomat-Author Explains His Understanding of Promoting Peace and Prosperity, Locally and Globally

Naples, Florida. December 8, 2014—Abdullah Sharif, Naples’ Kabul-born U.S. diplomat-author  offers bittersweet insights as U.S. and NATO forces ceremonially withdraw from Afghanistan today, December 8. (New York Times, 12/08/14) Naples Council on World Affairs proudly sponsors Abdullah Sharif’s lecture on Monday, 12/15/14, 10 a.m., at St. John the Evangelist’s Church Claussen Center Seminar Room (click here for more information).  Sharif analyses talking points from his newly published book, SARDAR: From Afghanistan’s Golden Age to Carnage. (book information here)

Abdullah Sharif is a Naples, Florida resident who grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. After a successful career in aerospace engineering (he consulted for clients like Rolls-Royce), Sharif determined to give back by enlisting in two deployments for the US Departments of State and Defense. Returning 30 years later, Sharif was devastated—especially having lived the Golden Age of Afghanistan (1930-1970s). His family was the ruling Mohammadzai clan with King Zahir Shah as last monarch. His mother and sisters dressed fashionably in Western suits, miniskirts and bell-bottoms. With his siblings, they walked nonchalantly to and from school. But, no one walks about anymore. Not with resurgent Taliban, other extremists and suicide bombers inflicting carnage.

Why do promising countries like Afghanistan die on the vine? Sharif’s talking points include:
With today’s turmoil, who knew Afghanis lived the Golden Age from 1930-1970s
How the Russian invasion (12/24/79-02/16/89) ruined modern Afghanistan
How imperative it is for promising republics to develop culturally appropriate governance and rule of law, education and social-health systems
How our men and women struggle heroically while serving in foreign combat zones
How institutions like the Loya Jirga can promote consensus and unity among Afghanistan’s disparate multi-ethnic tribes—and how to adapt them to world affairs
Why it’s vital for schools to introduce peace and civil studies curricula
If You Go:
§ Monday, December 15, 2014 at 10 a.m.
§ St. John the Evangelist’s Church, Claussen Center; 625 111th St. N., North Naples
§ Event fee $15-20; please register online: www.ncwa-fl.org/event-1802102?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=12/6/2014

SARDAR: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Afghanistan’s Golden Age to Carnage Contact: Abdullah Sharif
By Abdullah Sharif 1-239-298-2568
Trade Paperback & Kindle contact@abdullahsharif.com
ISBN 13: 978-1499388305 www.AbdullahSharif.com

Building Peace Bridges for Afghanistan, America & the World

NAPLES, FLORIDA—It’s amazing to discover Afghanistan’s Golden Age (1930-1970s) in Abdullah Sharif’s first book, SARDAR: From Afghanistan’s Golden Age to Carnage, Book 1. Who knew? Given the media’s unflinching reports of a war-torn nation, readers will be surprised to learn of Kabuli women (like the author’s mother and sisters) sporting miniskirts and bell-bottomed pants when Afghanistan began modernizing in the 1950s. But the country fell to communist insurgencies instigated by Russia. Today, as Afghans fight for their sovereignty, this timely memoir analyzes these eras with profound insights that only an insider can provide.

SARDAR is a two-part series based on Sharif’s civilian deployments to Afghanistan. Book 1 consists of 19 eye-opening missives penned home to family and friends while the author served with the Department of State from 2009-2011. Book 2, out in late October 2014, contains 15 missives written while deployed with the Department of Defense from 2012-2013. Both offer priceless narratives and photos of people, events, and locations in relevant contexts. Such as Afghan women wearing western clothing during the Golden Age—in stark contrast to today’s burqa-wearing women.

SARDAR is a standout on current affairs because of Sharif’s personal and professional backgrounds; and very relevant for building peace bridges between east and west with innovative, sensible international peace-keeping and nation-building initiatives.

Sharif left Afghanistan at age 18. An international aviation consultant, he’s a savvy world traveler. But what he saw upon returning after 30 years broke his heart. SARDAR is a riveting read of an Afghan American striving to give back to both his birth and adopted countries; plus first-hand accounts of how American civilians maneuver and endure military-political-social challenges while serving on battlefield frontlines in a foreign country.

In writing his memoir, Sharif realized he’d inadvertently followed in his father’s peaceful footsteps, from fifty years ago. His father was a royal brigade commander in King Zahir Shah’s army who was sent to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan to maintain peace in Gomal. Symbolic seeds of peace were sown by the senior Sharif’s avid gardening pursuits—in planting peaceful havens of shrubbery and building schools for his soldiers’ children—rather than in advocating war. A Gomal poet paid tribute to “Sharif’s Place” which the author translates from Pashtu, in poignantly anchoring and concluding the epilogue on a sweet, hopeful note.

Abdullah Sharif is fluent in speaking and writing Dari and Pashtu, plus French. In penning this memoir chockfull of observations and suggestions with practical relevance for international affairs, he’s come full circle in honoring a birth destiny that’s bi-cultural and bi-national—one that’s uniquely double-edged, exciting, yet also frustrating at times.

He lives with his wife Catherine (whom he married in 1983) in Naples, Florida.

Media Link to CNN-TV Interview with Abdullah Sharif, as part of CNN blog Afghanistan Crossroads on 11/16/2010:  Afghanistan Crossroads

Hear Interviews from Abdullah’s Radio Tour for “Sardar:”
Ocala, FL WOCA-AM
Chillicothe, OH WBEX-AM

More to come!