This is the incredible story of a relentless educator named Sharif Fayez, born in 1946 in Herat, Afghanistan, who bore witness to the Communist invasion of 1979, the Iranian revolution of 1979, and who authored a ground breaking PhD dissertation that forever linked the best American poetry to Afghanistan by proving that Walt Whitman had read and been inspired by Rumi. It is the story of how Sharif pursues education above all else and becomes a professor at Kabul University only to flee illegally to Iran when the Soviets invade, where he becomes a professor at Mashad University. Surviving the Afghan and Iranian revolutions, as well as the Iran-Iraq War, he becomes a prominent voice of resistance against the Taliban and extremism in the 1990s, writing hundreds of articles, and ultimately returns to Afghanistan as a signatory to the 2001 Bonn Conference and as the Minister of Higher Education. He completely overhauls the Afghan education system, restores co-education to the country and establishes six new universities. He has played an indispensable role in the development of Afghanistan's post-2001 education system.
From the foreword:
"He is the primary architect of a progressive, liberal education system, both public and private, that Afghanistan has never known. While largely a story about the remarkable life of Sharif Fayez, ultimately, this is also a tale about the power of vision and dedication - and the ability to make a difference. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have."
US Ambassador to Afghanistan 2011-2012