It is not often that one comes across an important political and historical phenomenon so completely ignored by Western historiography, essay writing and journalism. It is all the more astonishing if it concerns a country of the first importance in geopolitical terms, such as Afghanistan which, for decades now, has had the misfortune of appearing in the front pages of world press.
This book tells, for the first time ever, the story of Sholayi, the Maoist movement in Afghanistan, which organized many of the strikes, student revolts, peasant uprisings that marked the so-called ‘Afghan ‘68’ season, and the early 1970s. Sholayi was also behind many of the insurrections against the pro-soviet Khalq regime in the late 1970s, and had a major part in fighting against the Soviet occupiers and the Islamic fundamentalist militias financed by the United States. Even to this day the Sholayi movement – under the banner of the Afghanistan Liberation Organisation (ALO) founded in October 1973 – is actively committed in an underground struggle against the NATO occupiers but also against fundamentalism of the Taliban kind and of the warlords who are back in power with Karzai and his American support. As it was in the past, the struggle today is being fought by a new generation of militants who believe in a ‘third way’ for the country - «neither with foreign imperialism, nor with fundamentalist fascism» - who see Maoist communism as a valid solution to the problems of a country, like their own, that has yet to wake up from its hibernation in a pre-modern era.
ENRICO PIOVESANA, born in Perugia, starts working on international affairs creating the website ‘warnews.it’ in collaboration with the Corriere dell’Umbria newspaper. He has freelanced in Iraq for the newspapers L’Unità and Liberazione and as envoy for PeaceReporter in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, South Ossetia, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar) and the Philippines. His pieces are published in the Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Il Manifesto, Famiglia Cristiana, L’Espresso, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Diario, Left and Oggi. His video reports have been shown by Annozero and RaiNews24. He was awarded the Ezio Baldoni journalistic prize in 2007. He is currently editor of the E-online website and E-online monthly edition.
NAOKI TOMASINI, photo-journalist with an Italian father and a Japanese mother, he started out in his profession in Ramallah as editor of Mustafa Barghouti’s Palestine Monitor. From 2004 to 2009 he has worked as journalist and photographer for the online daily ‘PeaceReporter’, travelling to all the main theatres of war in the Middle East and Central Asia. From 2009 he has been an independent photo-journalist. He presently lives in Brazil.