by Stephen Landrigan and Qais Akbar Omar

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-2098-4
  2. Pages: 240 pages
  3. Date: April 2013


In 2005, a rising tide of optimism was sweeping through post-Taliban Afghanistan.
Perhaps nothing captured this more poignantly than the performance of
Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost by a group of Afghan actors in Kabul. After
decades of war, oppression, intolerance and unimaginable devastation, men and
women appeared on stage together—foreign journalists sang praises, Afghan
audiences cheered. Th e future held no limits, they all believed. Qais Akbar Omar,
a writer, served as Assistant Director and interpreter for the French actress
Corinne Jaber, who had visited Afghanistan on holiday and returned to direct the
play; Stephen Landrigan, a playwright, assembled a team of Afghan translators
to fashion in Dari a script as poetic as Shakespeare’s. In this brisk, warm and
frequently funny account, Qais and Stephen capture the triumphs and foibles of
the actors as they extend their passion for Afghan poetry to that of Shakespeare.
But violence has not yet had its fi ll of Afghanistan and tragedy visits its men
and women every day. And yet, in the midst of carnage and despair, hope still
remains—that things will one day be better. A tribute to that hope, Shakespeare
in Kabul is a moving narrative about a group of people who chose to believe in
their country’s future.


Stephen Landrigan is a playwright and former journalist who has reported for
many organizations including Th e Washington Post and BBC Radio. He lives in
Massachusetts, from where he works with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan
Qais Akbar Omar set up a carpet factory in his home to provide employment
for women during the Taliban era. He lives in Kabul, where he writes books and
manages his family’s fourth-generation carpet business.

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