MATALOONA and MIZH
Mataloona, a rare collection of fascinating Pukhtun proverbs and sayings from over the ages, captures the beauty of Pukhtun literature and the wisdom of its people. What is perhaps most relevant is that these sayings are still in use today and people employ them in everyday language. With its sayings translated from Pukhto into English and with accompanying equivalent dictums in European languages, Mataloona is a labour of love and a rare literary gem. It should delight anyone interested in the culture, history, and anthropology of the Pukhtun people and will find an echo in tribal societies across the world.
Mizh, written at the high noon of the British Empire by a top British civil servant in charge of Waziristan, is an important and classic historical work containing deep insights into the Pukhtun people, including their organisation, leadership, and relations with government authority. Concentrating on the Mahsud tribe, who remain one of the most important and influential Pukhtun tribes in Pakistan, Mizh, which means ‘we’, is a masterly analysis relevant to the present leadership in the Pakistan tribal region, central government in Pakistan who need to understand the local tribes better in order to bring peace and stability to the region, and all those interested in the Pukhtun and the workings of tribal societies.
About the Editor
Ambassador Akbar S. Ahmed is an anthropologist, Islamic scholar, poet, playwright, and filmmaker described as the ‘world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam’ by the BBC. He currently holds the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC and previously taught at Cambridge, Princeton, and Harvard universities. He was formerly the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland and served for three decades in the Civil Service of Pakistan where his posts included Commissioner in Baluchistan and Political Agent in the Tribal Areas, including Waziristan. He conceived and completed the Jinnah Quartet which included the feature film Jinnah, a documentary, an academic book, and a graphic novel on the Quaid. After completing a quartet of books for the Brookings Institution Press on the relationship between the West and the Muslim world, two accompanied by films, he is working on The Mingling of the Oceans: How Civilizations Can Live Together (forthcoming book).