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151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs 


 ISBN: 0692215182


     The world's number one book of Pashto Proverbs. An award-winning multicultural collaboration between a U.S. Navy officer, an Afghan high school, and Pashtuns worldwide that reveals our common humanity in a time of war. 


     Collected and written by Edward Zellem, the 12-time award-winning author of Zarbul Masalha: 151 Afghan Dari Proverbs and Afghan Proverbs Illustrated.   Mataluna won a Silver Medal in the 1016 MWSA Book Awards, was a winner at the 2014 London Book Festival Awards, was a finalist at the 2014 USA Best Book Awards, and won a Silver Medal at the 2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards. Awarded the prestigious 5-star rating by Readers' Favorite.  

     Mataluna  ('Proverbs' in Pashto) is the first and only book of its kind.  It
features 151 commonly used Pashto Proverbs and 50 original illustrations by Afghan high school students. The book is bilingual in English and Pashto, and includes Pashto script, English translations, and transliterations for easy pronunciation.

     Afghan Proverbs are gaining global attention like never before.  Be the first person you know who can quote an Afghan Proverb in a conversation!

د افغانستان پښتو متلونه


"In Mataluna: 151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs, Captain Edward Zellem introduces us to the culture of the Pashto language, spoken by people of Afghanistan through their proverbs.  The preface is lengthy with explanations of how the book was formed through social media outlets; the sketches in the book are all done by Afghanistan high school students and extensive work with others in the Paremiology field.  The Pashto language facts were informative and helpful. I doubt I would ever learn the language or writing, but found it useful in helping to understand the culture and its people.

The proverbs within the book help to bridge cultures worldwide, showing that all is derived from virtuous living and teachings.  The correlation between Pashto proverbs and Western cultural proverbs and their similarities demonstrate how close we all really are in the world.  As you turn the pages to the next proverb, you look forward to seeing how the school children interpreted their cultural proverbs in art, being able to show their talents in expressive artwork.


Captain Zellem does a wonderful job of demonstrating cultural similarities with his unique presentation of Afghan proverbs. He has brought to light what little is known of Afghanistan and has spread the knowledge throughout the world for others to learn, enjoy and share.  Praise goes to Captain Zellem in bridging cultures, enabling all to learn from and enjoy this book."


     - Rosanne Franchini


~ Tampa, FL, November 15, 2014 ~ 


"Afghans and Pashto Proverbs Book Honored by



Tampa, FL, USA, July 26, 2014 ~ 


U.S. Navy Captain and award-winning author publishes 15th Afghan Proverbs book in Pashto and English


Tampa, FL, USA,  26 giugno 2014 ~  


Capitano della Marina degli Stati Uniti, nonché pluripremiato autore, pubblica il 15° libro di proverbi afgani in pashto ed in inglese  


Tampa, FL, USA ~ May 16, 2013 


"Navy Captain and Author Building Army of Afghan Proverb Collectors Online"

“This book helps both Afghan and non-Afghan readers to learn more about the intricacies of Afghan culture, and shows the keen observations of Edward Zellem in appreciating its true nature. 


As an Afghan, I thank him dearly and congratulate him.  Mataluna and its Dari companion book, Zarbul Masalha, are indeed important academic works.”


       - Hamid Naweed

          Former Professor of Art History at Kabul University

          and author of Art Through the Ages in Afghanistan 

Hamid Naweed

Qazi Ahmad Jan (1883-1951)

Pashto Writer, Grammarian,

Language Teacher (Munshi)


Qazi Ahmad Jan, M.B.E ~ "The Munshi of Peshawar"

Featured in Mataluna: 151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs


"I find it so heart-warming and fascinating that people from such diverse backgrounds are working to preserve and present these Proverbs using novel ways in the 21st century. 


This is incredible stuff.  It is a huge service to the languages and proverbs in this part of the world.  The narrative of peace, universal love and mutual understanding central to the idea is so beautiful."


             - Ali Jan

               Grandson of Qazi Ahmad Jan


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