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Zarbul Masalha: 151 Afghan Dari Proverbs [Paperback]

Edward Zellem , Aziz Royesh , Marefat High School Kabul , Mohammad Hussain Mohammadi

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Book Description

1 May 2012
The award-winning and world's most popular bilingual book of Afghan Proverbs in English and Dari. Beautifully illustrated by Afghan high school students in Kabul. Collected and translated in Afghanistan by U.S. Navy Captain and Dari speaker Edward Zellem. Includes transliterations for easy reading and pronunciation. Available at leading booksellers in over 40 countries. In paperback, Kindle, NOOK, and Google e-book. More at

Frequently Bought Together

Zarbul Masalha: 151 Afghan Dari Proverbs + Afghan Proverbs Illustrated + Dari-English / English-Dari Dictionary and Phrasebook (Hippocrene Dictionaries and Phrasebooks)
Price For All Three: 31.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Bilingual edition (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475093926
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475093926
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 875,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Captain Edward Zellem is the award-winning author of two bilingual books of Afghan Proverbs, now published in over a dozen languages. He is a U.S. Navy officer and trained Dari speaker who spent every day for a year and a half on native Afghan teams in Afghanistan. This included a year on President Hamid Karzai's staff inside the Presidential Palace. While in Afghanistan, Captain Zellem became fascinated with the way Afghans use Proverbs in their daily conversations. He began collecting and translating them, and used them every day with Afghans in his professional and personal life. After students at a local Kabul high school offered to create illustrations, he decided to publish his collection and share it with the world. Over 40,000 copies are being used today in more than 200 Afghan schools helping children learn to read English and Dari. The books also are being used in Sweden and Greece to integrate Afghan refugees and help teach them new languages. The Afghan Proverbs Collection has received praise from luminaries such as General (ret) David H. Petraeus, Kabul University's Nancy Dupree, Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, the Princess Salimah Aga Khan, and many other well-known personalities. The Afghan Proverbs books are available in over 40 countries through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and over 100 other major book retailers. Edward Zellem also publishes a popular series of online interviews with Afghan celebrities and thought leaders. More at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done! 2 May 2012
By MAC - Published on
A wonderful collection of proverbs which are beautifully illustrated by talented Kabul High School students. The proverbs are written in Dari, then spelled out phonetically, and translated and explained in english on each page. Interesting how some are so similar to common sayings in America. I love that all proceeds go to Kabul University and Marefat High School to support literacy programs. Well done Capt. Zellem!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional insight 6 May 2012
By R.Tate - Published on
Zarbul Masalha is a remarkable literary work that provides deep insight into Afghan culture and language. Proverbs contain a great treasure of folk culture and wisdom, and often express an idea better and more convincingly than lengthy speeches or text. Captain Zellem's translations from Dari to English, and associations with common well known proverbs, provide outstanding insight into Afghan thought and customs. Captain Zellem's personal experiences in Kabul, his remarkable effort to include local Afghan students in the creation of Zarbul Masalha, and his ongoing efforts to introduce Afghan culture and language through the publication of this book, demonstrate his passion and insight into Afghan language and culture. This book is a "must read" for anyone interested in understanding Afghan culture and clearly demonstrates that universal, common ideas do exist among different cultures.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in gold 24 May 2012
By SWT - Published on
A great read providing fabulous insight into the Afghan mindset and the framework through which Afghans view the world. Additionally, proceeds from the book support great bastions of education in Afghanistan and help ensure a bright future for its young people. CAPT Zellem has created a great tool to bridge the gap between cultures and peoples. Every classroom in every school the the US would do well by having a copy of ZM on it's shelves.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zarbul Masalha 7 May 2012
By JB - Published on
Zarbul Masalha is a must-read/must-have resource for those reading for pleasure and/or vocation! As a former student of Dari and advisor in Afghanistan, I experienced first-hand the value and all encompassing nature of proverbs in Afghan life - I wish I had this resource BEFORE heading to Kabul for a year! Proverbs are an amazing window into Afghan culture...and their use are the quickest way into Afghan hearts! Ed Zellem's passion for knowledge and desire to give back to the Afghan people come together in this amazing collection. Hat's of to you Eid-jan...thanks for your service...thanks for your energy...thanks for educating us...thanks for giving back to the people of Afghanistan...and thanks for allowing us to be part of it! All the best!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Insight 12 Jun 2012
By CraigC - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not sure what is more compelling, the story behind the book or the book itself. Both are amazing. It is a fun and easy reads that for me personally offered great insight into a very foreign land / culture. Can't recommend it enough!
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