Published: 28/11/2015
ISBN: 9781784625009
eISBN: 9781784626600
Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Fistful of Dust
by Nasser Hashmi

Breaking Baghdad...

Widower Shah Rafiq moves in with his daughter Nadia after being diagnosed with an industrial disease. Once he’s settled in, he sleeps in his grandson’s empty bed – who is presumed to be in Kashmir, helping out with the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake. But one morning, Shah intercepts a letter addressed to Nadia and her husband.

Salaam Amee and Abujee,
What a mission! Allah-thallah has rewarded me to come to this great land and I’m enjoying every moment of it. Now, I’ve found the right path and, I hope, with your blessing, that I will succeed in this critical mission.

It’s from Wasim, who is not in Kashmir at all, but Iraq, where he is fighting US-led forces. Shah decides to abandon everything and fly out to Iraq and bring his grandson home. He leaves a note for his daughter and sells his car. He takes a flight from Manchester to Vienna and then on to Kurdistan.

Once he gets into Iraq, he uses the cash from the house sale, his car and his personal savings to track down Wasim in Sadr City. After a series of scrapes, which include an exorcism ritual and a romantic entanglement involving his grandson, he eventually brings Wasim home to his parents. Back at home, Wasim regrets his actions and promises to change. He fights a campaign against industrial disease and tries to get compensation for his grandfather. Shah believes this is the right form of jihad. But police eventually raid Wasim’s house and he has to stand trial accused of terrorism overseas. If he is sentenced, it will be the catalyst of several devastating events for the Rafiq family...

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