Author(s): Rod Nordland
"She is his Juliet and he is her Romeo, and her family has threatened to kill them both..." This is the heartrending account of Zakia and Mohammad Ali, a couple from opposing ethnic sects, who defying their society's norms have left behind everything they know and are quite literally risking their lives for their love. Friends from childhood, Zakia and Mohammad Ali could never have predicted that their love would anger their families so much that they would be forced to leave their homes finding refuge only in the harsh terrain of the Afghani mountains. Without money or passports they rely on the kindness of strangers to house them for a couple of days at a time as they remain on the run, never deterred. New York Times journalist, Rod Nordland, has chronicled the plight of the young lovers telling their extraordinary story of courage, perseverance and love in one of the world's most troubled countries. This moving love story is told against the bigger backdrop of the horrific but widespread practices that women are subjected to in Afghanistan.
Rod Nordland has shared a Pulitzer Prize for news, was a finalist for a Pulitzer in international reporting, has two George Polk awards, half a dozen Overseas Press Club awards and a score of others such plaudits. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he was made a distinguished alumnus of the university in 2005, a position that he resigned in 2011 in protest of the football team's child abuse scandal. He was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Although he is usually in Kabul, Rod Nordland's wife and children are based in the UK so he is here regularly.