Crossing the River Kabul

An Afghan Family Odyssey

Kevin McLean

Publication date:
June 2017
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612348971

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks


• Baryalai Popal is a descendent of a politically powerful family which have been involved in Afghanistan's history since the 19th century

• Includes unique insight into Afghanistan's politics and rulers of the 20th century

• First-hand portrait of Afghanistan from the Communist takeover to the threat of the Taliban today

• Manuscript has been read and praised by the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, the former Afghanistan senior analyst for the UK Ministry of Defense, and a broadcast journalist from BBC

Baryalai Popal sees his Western-educated professors at Kabul University replaced by communists. He witnesses his classmates "disappearing.” The communist takeover uproots Popal from his family and home. Thus begins Crossing the River Kabul, the true story of Popal's escape from Afghanistan and his eventual return. Popal fled his country following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1980. After being imprisoned as a spy in Pakistan, he managed to make his way to Germany as a refugee and to the United States as an immigrant. Twenty years later he returned to Afghanistan after 9/11 to reclaim his houses, only to find one controlled by drug lords and the other by the most powerful warlord in Afghanistan. Popal's memoir is an intimate, often humorous portrait of the vanished Afghanistan of his childhood. It is also the story of a father whose greatest desire is to see his son follow in his footsteps, and a son who constantly rebels against his father's wishes. Crossing the River Kabul is a story of choice and destiny, fear and courage, and loss and redemption.


An amazing true story of a real life escape from a repressive regime via the river Kabul. Full of heartwarming and realistic anecdotes, of a man with a titally fatalistic approach to life.
Books Monthly