Mariam Abou Zahab (1952-2017) first travelled to South Asia and Afghanistan in 1973, and was an eyewitness among the anti-Soviet mujahideen. Fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Pashto, she was a specialist of South Asian Islam, particularly Shiism. Her expertise extended to the Pashtun belt and South Waziristan.
'This book flows from real knowledge. Blessed with considerable linguistic skills, the insights of political science, sociology and Islamic studies, plus the understanding of a believing Muslim, Zahab offers unrivalled insights into social and religious change in Pakistan.' -- Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London