Winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction
Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
An incredible work of non-fiction that reads like a thriller, All We Leave Behind is the true story of a family fleeing the death sentence of a ruthless warlord, written by the journalist who broke all her own rules to get them to safety.
In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal became a key figure in their documentary on the terrible power of thuggish warlords who were working arm in arm with Americans and NATO troops. When Asad publicly exposed the deeds of one of the warlords, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, it set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina, and their five children had to flee their home.
The family faced an uncertain future. But their dilemma compelled a journalist to cross the lines of disinterested reporting and become deeply involved. Together, they navigated the Byzantine international bureaucracy and the decidedly unwelcoming policies of Stephen Harper's government until the family finally found a new home.
Carol Off's powerful account traces not only one family's journey and fraught attempts to immigrate to a safe place, it also illustrates what happens when a journalist becomes irrevocably caught up in the lives of the people in her story and finds herself unable to leave them behind.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Four months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Canadian journalist Carol Off and her TV crew deplaned in Kabul and encountered an Afghan general willing to talk. By exposing the crimes of notorious warlords working in tandem with NATO troops, Asad Aryubwal changed not just the course of his life—he was forced to flee Kabul with his wife and five children—but also that of Off, who dispensed with journalistic detachment in order to bring the family to Canada. Her empathetic, powerful reporting makes this chronicle of the Aryubwal family’s harrowing journey to their new home utterly captivating.
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