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Best selling author returns to Afghanistan


Best selling author returns to Afghanistan

New Zealander Richard Loseby will return to Iran and Afghanistan on October 21 for a month-long trip to search for Nebi and Karim, the Mujahadeen friends he met while walking across Afghanistan thirteen years ago. This new book, Looking for the Afghan is the sequel to his best-selling Blue is The Colour of Heaven and will be published by Penguin Books in late 2003.

Richard will travel with only essential personal belongings and a small video camera.

‘Since the terrorist bombings of September 11, the fall of the Taleban and the Allied search for an elusive Osama bin Laden, I have become increasingly concerned over the fate of my friends, particularly Nebi who was like a brother to me and gave me my Afghan name, Massoud Mohandaspoor. Now, after a long absence, I hope to find them again. It may sound slightly mad, and my family are understandably concerned, but it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s about a promise I made; Nebi’s last words to me were ‘come back soon Massoud’. It’s taken thirteen years and I don’t even know if he or Karim are still alive, but then I probably wouldn’t be here myself had it not been for their help during my time in Afghanistan,’ says Richard.

‘Nor do I want to grow old under a weight of unrealised expectations. There’s a part of me that wants to break free of the monthly mortgage payments, even if it is just for a while. I’m returning to a place that helped me to unravel my dreams and fulfilled my sense of adventure. I need to go back, before I can take the next step forward.’

In the thirteen years since his first visit, Richard has married and is now the father of two children. He has a successful career as a senior writer in the Auckland office of an international advertising agency.

Blue is the Colour of Heaven is a truly astonishing account of a journey through Afghanistan in the 1990s, soon after the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan. At the age of twenty-five he travelled with the Mujahadeen for three months, his life in constant danger.

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