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Romaunce signs Khalil Nouri, descendent of Afghan royalty's first foray into historic fiction

Updated: May 9, 2023

Romaunce Books has scooped a historical novel by author Khalil Nouri 'Rattling the Jewel in The Crown' about the despotic Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, nicknamed ‘The Iron Amir’ who had united Afghanistan through a reign of terror, espionage, and retribution

Khalil Nouri is a descendant of the Afghan royal family and his knowledge of the intimate details of the lives and events of the era has led to his first historical novel ‘Rattling the Jewel in the Crown’.

He accurately portrays such characters as the despotic ruler, Amir Abdul-Rahaman Khan, his English doctor, Lillias Hamilton. Frank Martin, a British engineer employed by the Amir to run his engineering factory, a Welshman, Thomas Clemence, who worked as a vet in the Amir’s military stables.

Then there is Olivia Worth, the granddaughter of the acclaimed couturier, Charles Worth, who, with family members of the British residents, crossed the Khyber Pass under the armed protection of the Amir. She arrived at the right time to employ the skills learned under Worth’s tutorage, to create uniforms suitable for Prince Nasrullah and three of the members of his copious entourage to wear at the British Royal Court.

Prince Nasrullah is one of the most complex and irrational characters in the book, and quite the worst candidate for the role handed to him - the result was, predictably, mayhem.

History records a certain international intrigue instigated by the Munshi, Abdul Karim Khan, Victoria’s Indian servant and confident before Prince Nasrullah’s journey began. Munshi aimed to tilt the outcome in Nasrullah’s favour, recognizing that independence for Afghanistan would not only be a victory for the Islamic world but would possibly create an opening of the way for India to follow suit.

Publisher Antonia Tingle acquired English speaking rights, initially on a single-book deal which will be published in early 2023.

About Khalil Nouri

Author Khalil Nouri is one of the most renowned US-based experts on Afghanistan. He was born into an Afghan political family. It was his great-grandfather Nour Mohammad Khan, uncle to King Nader-Shah and governor of Kandahar in 1830, who signed the British exit treaty leaving the last Afghan territory unoccupied in the second Anglo-Afghan war.

He takes pride in his family lineage specifically with the last name “Nouri” surnamed after his great-grandfather “Nour Mohammad Khan” uncle to King Nader-Shah. His father, uncles, and cousins were all career diplomats in the Afghan government. His father was amongst the very first in 1944 to open the Afghan Embassy in Washington D.C., and subsequently, his diplomatic career was in Moscow, Pakistan, London, and Jakarta.

Since the 1960s, Khalil grew up exposed to Afghan politics and foreign policy and over the past 35 years, he has been closely following the unfolding situation in Afghanistan. His years of observations of the complex Afghan political strife and his recognized tribal roots gave him a unique understanding of the reasons for the situation in Afghanistan.

In that regard, he sees himself as being part of the solution for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, like the one he once knew. One of his major duties at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2002 was an advisory role to Lieutenant General Hagenbeck. He has worked closely with the Afghan tribes and his tribal experience is well suited for unobstructed cross-cultural communication within all Afghan ethnicities. ​

Listen to Khalil talk to BBC Pashto and BBC Dari about his book 'Rattling the Jewel in The Crown'.

د تاریخ له پاڼو؛ ۲۰ کلن افغان شهزاده سره د ملکې وېکټوریا کتنه:

د بریتانیا شاهي کورنۍ د افغانستان له پخوانیو واکمنانو سره هم نژدې اړېکې پاللې. د افغانستان د شاهي کورنۍ په استازولۍ د

سره یې کتلي وو. د دغه تاریخي سفر نور حال یما بارز راکوي:نولسمې پېړۍ په وروستیو کې د پاچا امیر عبدالرحمان زوی، شهزاده نصرالله، بریتانیا ته راغلی و او د دغه هېواد له ملکې وېکټوریا

تاج‌گذاری شاه چارلز؛

ملکه ویکتوریا، فرمانروای اسبق بریتانیا از امیر عبدالرحمن خان، پادشاه پیشین افغانستان، دعوت کرد تا از بریتانیا رسما بازدید کند. اما او که به «امیرآهنین» شهرت دارد، به جای خود پسرش، شهزاده نصرالله خان را فرستاد. او اولین عضو یک خاندان شاهی افغانستان است که ۱۲۸ سال پیش از بریتانیا دیدن کرد. و در کاخ وینذور با ملکه ویکتوریا ملاقات کرد.

اما چرا عبدالرحمن در پاسخ به چنین دعوت مهم به بریتانیا سفر نکرد، امپراتوری‌ای که در آن زمان قدرتی بزرگ در جهان بود و در رقابت با روسیه تزاری قرار داشت و نفوذ گسترده در افغانستان داشت. این تصمیم امیر چه پیامدی برای شاه وقت افغانستان داشت؟

گزارش یما بارز


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