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This is one of those unforgettable books, that mark one, and that 50 years on, one will still remember. Such was the impact of Lois Beck's study of the Qashqa'i tribesmen, and in particular one headman and his family, struggling to maintain their ancient way of life in increasingly difficult and antagonistic circumstances. Transhumance (or this particular sort of seasonal human & livestock migration) has been a way of life going back to pre-historic times. Half way through this thick book, I felt passionately absorbed and involved with the minutiae of Borzu's family's life, angry with the ethnic Iranians (authorities and civilians who did nothing to protect or help these people but on the contrary encroached increasingly on the Qashqa'i's lands, enslaved them with debt, and perpetrated other injustices). This book highlights above all the great need to protect and nurture ethnic minorities, against the encroachments of majority ethnic groups, and to constantly re-assess changing needs and developments in situ. Lois Beck has done the Qashqa'i an immeasurably great service. I salute her scholarship, her great compassion, and amazing ability to bring alive what is to most of us a very remote way of life. I hope this book was read widely in Iran and by the authorities there.
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