Author Fahim Fazli blends his unique American experience with his native Afghan roots, resulting in a tasteful reader’s concoction. He made me feel good about American society, our devotion to Afghanistan, and for the Good Warrior that never gives up or goes bad. Fazli’s life-journey starts in Kabul and his family scatters under the oppression of the Soviets. FAHIM SPEAKS comes from a different perspective and there are so many twists … Young Fazli lives in a Pakistani-based refugee camp that is later depicted in the 2006 movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, about the American influenced, Afghan-Soviet conflict. Fahim Fazli is the cultural advisor on the movie set. Life’s peculiarities are addressed in the book and they make you think ... Ironically, Fazli always wanted to be the good guy in his highly successful movie career but was typically hired as the terrorist. I had seen him - but didn’t know - in several of my favorite films (The Unit, 24, Iron Man). Fahim Fazli is a man of honor and courage ... A Hollywood actor in his forties and comfortably settled with his wife and daughter, Fazli chooses to pay his country back. He volunteers to serve as an Interpreter with our Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This book educates and cultural histories are probed. In a graceful way, Fahim Fazli tackles delicate issues and his writing style gave me hope. His positive attitude and likeable behavior allowed me to better understand complex concerns. I am grateful for the encouragement. FAHIM SPEAKS gets my highest recommendation – it’s a must read. What a TRULY AMERICAN story of perseverance and service!
Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2012)
Fahim Fazli is a man of two worlds: Afghanistan, the country of his birth, and America, the nation he adopted and learned to love. He’s also a man who escaped oppression, found his dream profession, and then paid it all forward by returning to Afghanistan as an interpreter with the U.S. Marines. When Fahim speaks, the story he tells is harrowing, fascinating, and inspiring. Born and raised in Kabul, Fahim saw his country and family torn apart by revolution and civil war. Dodging Afghan authorities and informers with his father and brother, Fahim made his way across the border to Pakistan and then to America. After reuniting with his mother, sisters, and another brother, he moved to California with dreams of an acting career. After 15 turbulent years that included two unsuccessful arranged marriages to Afghan brides, he finally qualified for membership in the Screen Actors Guild—and found true American love. Though Fahim's California life was happy and rewarding, he kept thinking about the battlefields of Afghanistan. Haunted by a desire to serve his adopted country, he became a combat linguist. While other interpreters opted for safe assignments, Fahim chose one of the most dangerous: working with the Leathernecks in embattled Helmand Province, where his outgoing personality and deep cultural understanding made him a favorite of both Marines and local Afghans—and a pariah to the Taliban, who put a price on his head. Fahim Speaks is an inspiring story of perseverance and patriotism—and of the special love that one man developed for his adopted country.