Under A Sickle Moon by Peregrine Hodson is a story about religion, culture and war, personal struggle and adventurous travel. This is a true story taking place in Afghanistan in 1984 at the height of the conflict between the Mujahedin and invading Soviet forces. Hodson, an English journalist determined to reveal the truth of the war to the rest of the world, joins a group of rebel fighters smuggling arms and ammunition into the front lines. Mostly walking on foot through the high mountain passes he survives helicopter gunship fire, air raids, hostile bandits, and extreme weather conditions. Risking it all to find truth. He finds purpose while coming to terms with what he understands to be a mere visitation in the real life struggle of an entire people. Under a Sickle Moon is a great read, encompassing history, culture, personality, and traveling in a foreign land. It tells the story of a war between foreign peoples in a foreign land but brings to light an often overlooked decade of struggle.
I looked at the slopes above us. Hundreds of men were moving in an uneven line across the contours of the mountain towards the mists, like a doom-painting come to life with the souls of mankind passing one by one into the clouds of eternity... My strength seemed to leave my body. I was on the brink of another existence, watching the workings of an unknown universe: life in a constant state of war with creation, life against rock, life against mountain, life against darkness, life against life. Hamid'allah's voice called my name out of the twightlight.
"Abdul Baz, Abdul Baz. Manda nabashi, may you live."
"Zenda bashi, may you not be tired."