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Some Time On the Frontier: A Pakistan Journal Paperback – December 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440415978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440415975
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,436,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Noor Mohammad Khan is an American convert to Islam (1978 - Kabul, Afghanistan). He lived in Peshawar, Pakistan, from 1982-1992, where he still has a house in the heart of the old city. He grew up playing in rock bands on the Sunset Strip in the late sixties; then taught yoga in Hawaii (Maui) - 1969/70. In 1971 he ran a store selling his own artwork in Los Angeles, he then went to Europe and North Africa. He returned to the United States in 1972 and played with the Velvet Underground out of New Hampshire and New York. In 1975 he journeyed to Afghanistan to study music (rabab) and record musicians. He owned and operated an import-export business selling handicrafts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and India, spending two years in Afghanistan between 1975-1979. After some time in Indian Kashmir in 1980 he moved to Peshawar Pakistan, in the Northwest Frontier Province, in the early eighties to start a recording studio for local musicians. In 1988/89 he was involved with The Karakoram Equestrian Expedition, as a translator and chargé d'affaires. With two other American converts, and a Pakistani friend, he made a 1000 mile, five month, horse trip through the Hindu Kush, Hindu Raj, Karakoram, and Himalaya Mountains, from Peshawar, to Chitral, Kalash Valley (Kafiristan), Gilgit, Kaghan, and Azad Kashmir. He currently lives in San Francisco with his Thai wife and son, with occasional visits to Pakistan, and hopes to refurbish his 'antique' house in Peshawar. MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: www.pbase.com/noorkhan (includes sample chapters and all photos) & www.flickr.com/photos/noor-khan

More About the Author

Noor Mohammad Khan was born in Los Angeles, California in 1949. He has traveled extensively throughout Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent and became a Muslim in 1978 in Kabul, Afghanistan. There he submerged himself deeply into the culture; studying music, learning the language, doing field recording and dealing in fine crafts (1975-1979). After years of playing various instruments, his love focused on the Afghan rabab.
He resided in Peshawar Pakistan, Northwest Frontier Province, from 1982-1992, where he played with local musicians and had a music recording studio. In 1988-89 he helped organize The Karakoram Equestrian Expedition where he served as a translator and chargé d'affaires. With two other American Muslim convert friends and a Pakistani friend he made a 1000 mile (1600 km) five month horse trip through the mountains of Northern Pakistan: Kalash, Chitral, Gilgit, Kaghan Valley and Azad Kashmir.
He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and son with occasional visits to Pakistan. His deep connection to Pakistan remains unbroken and he hopes to return to live in Peshawar in the near future, Insh'Allah.

Customer Reviews

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This writer truly transported me to a real journey of the heart and mind.
Susab de Bois
Noor Mohammad Khan is a musician and a music producer, living in Peshawar at the time of this story.
Steve Dibner
Even now, when at times I think about this book, I remain engrossed for quite some time.
R.M. (phoenix)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ayesha Sediqa Khan, Shelly Griffin on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Twenty-plus years ago I was a kid spending three intense years with an eccentric character called Noor Mohammad Khan in Pakistan, experiencing Islam for the first time, tagging along in Noor's passionate life, watching his triumphs and struggles. In the following years, for a multitude of complicating reasons, I lost most of the story of that time in my life. So, for me, finding Noor again and his amazing book was a personal windfall, filling in lost details and letting me fully relive that grand adventure. I could say that was enough, but that would only be selfish.

What is most amazing about "Some Time on the Frontier" is its complete authenticity. Noor was brave enough to expose himself with unabashed honesty, stripping off all attempts at painting his life in a more acceptable, positive light. We were sometimes stupid, sometimes cruel, often times off the deep end, and yet he told it as it was. Why? Because he was writing for himself to document his experience and try to figure it out for himself. His greatest gift to us as readers is sharing this journey of understanding, bewilderment, joy and grief. Because he was so honest you actually feel like you are sitting next to him on the charpoy, sipping a sweet fragrant chai, inhaling yet another Goldleaf, waiting for your turn to speak. His torments about his ill-fated love torment you because there is no barrier between you and him. He is right there.

Noor, thank you for your uncanny eye for detail; your all-consuming love for Pakistan and Islam; your unique nature; your dedication and determination to capture your experiences; but mostly, your bravery for sharing your unedited life with us. Mubarak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Shepherd on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved everything about this book. As someone who is deeply interested in different aspects of Pakistani culture, but too broke/apprehensive about visiting, this was a great view into that area. The journal format reminds me of a Burroughs style "daily routine", and made me instantly transport to the place; clearly imagining the sites, sounds, smells and tastes.

Coming home to a fresh cup of chai and this book was a daily treat, and now feel a bit of emptiness after I have finished it. I open to suggestions for other books taking place in the same areas and time periods, but I have a feeling this one is very unique and not easily replicated. The honest and no nonsense approach of the author was refreshing and instead of trying to sugarcoat things, the story was presented raw.

I can recommend this book to people interested in viewing a little slice of history that may never exist again in the same way, or anyone in the mood for a classic style adventure story with an edgy twist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johanna Houman on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I met Noor about a month after this book ends. Long before it was published I listened to this story at his knee during long dark nights in Seattle as I was enduring my own relationship issues with his brother. I secretly wished I was the object of Noor's romantic angst, that a man would pine after me the way Noor did after Nasreen. This book isn't just a great read, it is a travel diary like no other I've read, and I've read a lot. I was hoping against hope that it ends all happy ala Nora Roberts, with a sequel about Shah Hussain who meets his soul mate in the Frontier after many trials and tribulations and then shared Noor's house in Peshawar with Noor and Nasreen. But life had other ideas. This book reads like a 3-D smell-a-vision video... you can hear, smell, taste, touch and feel every single word. You just know that it all came from his soul and his heart. Be sure to know that this telling of the trip is the true, the honest one as Noor knows it - the words come straight from his journals. There are other "tellings" of this trip, but they carry a disclaimer of "based on true events". Noor's is a true telling from his heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Dibner on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book. Noor Mohammad Khan is a musician and a music producer, living in Peshawar at the time of this story. We do not hear enough about music in his book--because the story is not about music. When Noor Khan meets the woman Nasreena, he becomes wrapped up in his thoughts of her.

Time spent with Nasreena is the moments of contentment, of satisfaction, of ordinary smiling and joking, eating and smoking and watching the evening light fade into night, and quicken to daylight again. But she is not the queen, she is not the extravagantly beautiful angel he believes her to be. Nasreena is a practical woman. Her beauty is that of an ordinary, bright person who listens when you speak and who makes the effort to disagree when you speak foolishly. The writer conveys well the contradiction he experienced: When he gives us his feelings and his thoughts about her, we catch his in-fatu-ation. But when he tells us what she actually does and says, she is so plain. Who wouldn't love her?

Nasreena tells Noor Khan that she can not run away with him. That she enjoys the time with him, but she must stay with her family.

Noor Khan now finally begins a journey on horseback, into the mountains that lie at the north of Pakistan. Noor and three friends ride and walk through high, dry lands nearly empty of people. Life here is very different from life in the cities. They live pretty rough; often they find only primitive shelter from the elements, and only scant food for themselves and the horses. At the same time, they find strangers who help them along their way. They also encounter uncooperative people who will not help them--as in any travel story.
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