REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
by Ruth Lynch
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
Published in the Journal of Folklore Research
January 27, 2016
A publication of Indiana University's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology
"A wonderful compilation of Afghan Pashto Proverbs common to another element of Afghan culture.
Captain Zellem takes an entertaining and enlightening approach to sharing ancient cultural wisdom from a country often veiled from our view. Zellem, as an interpreter and educator while serving in the United States Navy, was privy to an aspect of Afghanistan's history that most combatants never discover. As a man skilled in the languages and historical nuances of a country where our nation was at war, he chose to share proverbs that define it but also parallel our own.
It is an interesting and different journey into a battlefield for anyone interested in history. I recommend his book and thank Captain Zellem for his continued and successful work."
- Mike Mullins
by Eve Kulberg
Published in the 2015 edition of Proverbium - Yearbook of International Proverbs Scholarship
Edited by Dr. Wolfgang Mieder
A publication of The University of Vermont
Exclusive: World-renowned paremiologist
Dr. Wolfgang Mieder on Afghan Proverbs
As featured in the upcoming documentary film "Dates for Coffee"
A film directed by Kiera Lewis
"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
~ As featured in Mataluna: 151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs ~
ول نزنی گول میخوری.
"I can't say enough wonderful things about this book! It is truly a treasure. I think everyone should read such a beautiful book. The teachings are important and the pictures are wonderful. Edward Zellem has done an amazing job in bringing Afghanistan’s heritage and culture to a global audience through Afghan Proverbs.
On behalf of Afghans and the Afghan community in United States, I would personally like to thank Captain Zellem for reawakening delightful memories of our rich culture and beloved watan, or homeland."
- Fahim Fazli
Hollywood actor, award-winning author and combat interpreter
"An informative and beautifully produced volume of Afghan proverbs that Edward Zellem collected in Afghanistan during his time of service there as a Captain in the United States Navy.
His collection represents a treasure of the proverbial wisdom of that country, and serves as an example of the commonality of life that ties humanity together all over the world."
- Dr. Wolfgang Mieder
Professor of German and Folklore, University of Vermont
Internationally recognized scholar of over 100 books on proverbs
PROVERBIUM: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship (Vol. 31, 2014)
"A wonderful book that every Afghan under the age of 45 should have. What I love about the book is that the Proverbs are in Dari, followed by transliteration in English so anyone can pronounce them. Then, it goes on to give the literal translation and finally the deep meaning or root of each Proverb.
I call on all young Afghans to get a copy of this book. Your mothers will be dazzled to hear you speak using Proverbs. I have my book marked up with favorite Proverbs and every time I talk to Jeja, my mom, I throw out a new saying. It delights her to hear how much my Dari has improved."
- Humaira Ghilzai
World's top blogger on Afghan food and culture
"Afghan Culture Unveiled" - www.afghancooking.net
"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
"These proverbs are a reminder of old traditions and folklore that have been passed from generation to generation. And they are a true delight for anyone who has been away or alienated from Afghanistan.
I'm sure that when young Afghans raised in mixed languages read these traditional Afghan Proverbs, they will taste like 'food cooked by grandmothers'. Thank you for helping keep history, tradition and a culture alive!"
- Leena Alam
Award-winning Afghan film actress
and UNAMA Peace Ambassador
"The whole family read the book. A very nice job!! This parallelism in the proverbs was a beautiful idea. How nice that you translated it for us! You see that all people on the planet want the same simple things... which I wish they had, of course. Also, I particularly liked the drawings of the students and the texture of the paper. WELL DONE!"
- Katerina Zarifi
Το βιβλίο το διαβάσαμε όλοι. Πολύ όμορφη δουλειά!! Αυτός ο παραλληλισμός στις παροιμίες πολύ όμορφη ιδέα. Μα τι ωραία που μας τα έκανες μετάφραση! Βλέπεις πως όλοι οι άνθρωποι πάνω στον πλανήτη θέλουν τα ίδια απλά πράγματα... που μακάρι να τα είχαν, βέβαια. Μου άρεσαν πολύ επίσης τα σχέδια των μαθητών και η υφή του χαρτιού. ΜΠΡΑΒΟ!
- Κατερίνα Ζαρίφη
"Honestly, when people say that no good came out of the Americans who went into Afghanistan, Captain Zellem restores my faith and proves them wrong.
I am so grateful for this honour to represent his books, which recognize Afghanistan's culture and talent. The books are written in English, Dari and Pashto, and have such beautiful verses and explanations."
- Saadaf Jaan
"Educational, an easy read, and alluring illustrations. A truly pleasurable read for Afghans and Dutch of the old as well as the new generations."
- Sitara Attaie
Hollywood actress, choreographer
"Leerzaam, makkelijk leesbaar, en fraaie illustraties. Een werkelijk genot om te lezen voor Afghanen en Nederlanders van zowel de oude als de nieuwe generatie."
- Sitara Attaie
Hollywood Actrice, Choreograaf, en Linguïst
FIVE STAR REVIEW:
“A delightful book of proverbs...I commend Captain Zellem for honoring and selecting these glorious proverbs. I heartily recommend this book."
- Bruce Cook
"As one of the Proverbs in the book says,
Dil ba dil raah daarad. There is a way from heart to heart. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have."
book as much as I have." .' .دل به دل راه دارد There is a way from heart to heart. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have."
- General David H. Petraeus
U.S. Army (ret)
Former commander of U.S. and
NATO forces in Afghanistan
“Edward Zellem has done an amazing job in bringing Afghanistan’s heritage and culture to a global audience through Afghan Proverbs. On behalf of the Afghan Student Association at UC Davis and the Afghan community as a whole, I would personally like to thank Captain Zellem for reawakening delightful memories of our rich culture and beloved watan, or homeland.”
- Zamarud Aminy
Student at University of California - Davis
Publicity Director, UC Davis Afghan Student Association (ASA)
"When I first heard of Captain Zellem 's project, I got myself a copy of Afghan Proverbs Illustrated and immediately fell under its spell. There is no better mirror for the mindset of a nation."
Biotechnologist and German translator
„Als ich das erste Mal von Captain Zellem's Projekt gehört habe, besorgte ich mir ein Exemplar von "Afghanische Sprichwörter Illustriert" und ließ mich sogleich von seiner Wirkung in den Bann ziehen. Es gibt wirklich keinen besseren Spiegel für die Denkart einer Nation."
"In Zarbul Masalha: 151 Afghan Dari Proverbs, author Edward Zellem offers up a wonderful collection of proverbs he collected during his service in Afghanistan. How cool are some of these? I particularly like the one about how important mothers are in the world. The illustrations are very clever and well done.
I love the way each proverb is laid out, first written in Dari, then the pronunciation, followed by the translation and explanation. This really helps connect the proverb to the language while making the meaning accessible to those of us who have never ventured to that part of the world. "
- Judge, Writer’s Digest Book Awards
"Sharing these Proverbs with my family has allowed us to connect in such a deeply profound and meaningful way. These treasured sayings have opened us up to heartwarming conversations that illuminate the history and beauty of our culture and traditions.
Edward has honored our heritage and gifted us a legacy for future generations. Those of us who yearn for Afghanistan will find solace and comfort in these familiar sayings. To tie our hearts to the motherland, in such a soul-inspiring way, is the highest form of sacred activism a human being can offer."
Singer, songwriter and spiritual activist
"Edward Zellem's Zarbul Masalha is not a history in the traditional sense. But it fills a historical void nonetheless. In Afghanistan the Taliban and other extremists burned books and attacked education thereby gravely threatening the nation’s cultural heritage. This slim volume not only helps increase literacy, it helps conserve a rich culture."
- Cathryn J. Prince
Award-winning author and journalist
"Who would have ever thought that Afghan Proverbs would one day become trendy, cool and even fashionable across the globe? Yet that seems to be what is happening."
- Yasamin Rahmani
World's first translator of Afghan
Proverbs Illustrated into Russian
"Edward Zellem's work with Afghan Proverbs at this critical moment of Afghan reconstruction
is a tool for integration, communication and sharing values that is vital for the success of
our common goals and objectives in Afghanistan. An excellent compilation."
Afghan-American TV personality
"Captain Edward Zellem has written one of the most remarkable books in recent memory about Afghanistan."
- Veterans Radio Network