Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.
Shackled – A Journey From Political Imprisonment To Freedom by Adam Siddiq is his grandfather’s real-life narration of a very dark time in Afghanistan. The sufferings that his grandfather, Mr. Khalid Siddiq, endured are beyond my imagination. I was appalled, moved, inspired, and transformed after reading Mr. Khalid Siddiq’s life story. Khalid was born into an influential family. He lived in a huge house with many servants and all the imaginable riches. His uncles and father were in the most sought-after political positions. When they needed to choose sides for the welfare of the country, they chose well — or so they thought. The person, whom they helped in bringing the much-needed revolution in the country, quickly rose to power, replaced the king, and insisted that everyone should pledge his loyalty. However, Khalid’s uncles stood their grounds and tried to talk reason with the Nadir Shah (referred as the person in the previous sentence). This did not sit well with him and he got them executed. Nadir Shah did not stop with the execution; since he was aware of the emotional hold that Khalid’s family had on the people, he imprisoned their entire family. Thus started a horrifying and inspiring nightmare of Siddiq family.
The brutality that the prisoners faced during that time was so overwhelming that I had to pause and ponder every now and then. Khalid was only six years old when he was thrown into a prison. He was terrified, confused, and sad with the changed — an understatement — lifestyle. His family could have surrendered and accepted this life as their reality; instead, they chose hope over the disappointment. They turned towards learning academic skills that would prove extremely useful once they were released. Their will to keep faith in God and continue learning were the attributes that kept them from being broken.
This biography is a must-read for every pessimist to gain some perspective in life, for every optimist to remain hopeful, and for every reader who loves to know about political movements. After reading about Khalid’s sufferings, I laughed at the everyday problems that keep me up at night. Shackled – A Journey From Political Imprisonment To Freedom by Adam Siddiq is a bare truth about the corruption that prevailed in Kabul at that time. This is also a book that would encourage its readers never to lose hope and look at the bright side instead of focusing on all the troubles.