www.bijanomrani.com / -> Books

Asia Overland

What was it really like to travel the iron rails of the Trans-Siberian Railway in its early years, the dusty, parched tracks of the Silk Road in its heyday, or the rugged, dangerous mountain passes into and out of the Indian subcontinent? Eurasia’s great land routes, offspring of the ambition of Russian tsars, Chinese emperors and Mughal khans, have served human history well, acting as conduits for trade, religion and cultural conventions, and as avenues down which conquering armies and commercial pioneers swarmed in the forging of empires. Read more...

Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide
Thanks to 20 years of civil war and its association with terrorism, Afghanistan is now unjustly thought of in the West as a barbarous backwater. Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide aims to dispel this image in a comprehensive introduction to 3,500 years of Afghan culture. Starting with a full history of the country from 1500 BC, each chapter looks at the major cities and regions, describing their distinctive cultural and ethnic traditions, their associations with poets, artists, musicians, travelers and holy men, as well as warriors and conquerors. Read more...

Iran: Persia Ancient and Modern (with Helen Loveday, Christoph Baumer and Bruce Wannell)
For more than three millennia Iran, or Persia as it was formerly known, was a melting pot of civilizations. Under Cyrus the Great, Persia was the center of the world's first empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean to modern-day Pakistan. Subsequent invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Turks have imbued the nation with an amazingly rich cultural and historical diversity. Read more...

Beyond the ‘Wild Tribes’: Understanding Modern Afghanistan and Its Diaspora (edited by Ceri Oeppen and Angela Schlenkhoff)
Bijan Omrani contributes a chapter to this work on “Britain in the first two Afghan wars: What can we learn?” A survey of some of the military, political and governmental problems which the British encountered in the first two Afghan wars (1838-1842, 1878-1880), and how many of the mistakes made in the 19th century have been repeated in the recent occupation of Afghanistan. Read more...