Simerg Presents “With Our Own Hands” – a Highly Acclaimed Book from the Pamirs of Afghanistan and Tajikistan

Those of us reading this book several thousand miles away from the Pamir Mountains cannot fail to be moved by the celebration of human diversity and dignity. I hope this book will act as a spur to other such works, and to the preservation and celebration of other such ancient cultures, wherever they are in the world HRH The Prince of Wales in Foreword to “With Our Own Hands”

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In size, rigor and thoughtfulness this book has become a touching piece of art — Geerdt Magiels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

With Our Own Hands Food and Life in Pamir Mountains
Front cover of “WITH OUR OWN HANDS” by Frederik van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider, 688 pp, illustrated with beautiful photos.

In the Ismaili faith, the relationship between us human beings and the places we inhabit is deeply interwoven. It is important for people who, like the Pamiris, live in places that are isolated, in which each small piece of land must be used in the best way possible. If God created us, it is believed, He also created the things around us that are necessary for us to have a healthy life excerpt from “With Our Own Hands”

Purchasing the Book: At the current time “With Our Own Hands – A Celebration of Food and Life in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan” is available for sale only in Toronto. The price of the book is CDN $100.00 including home delivery or pickup from a convenient location in North York, close to the Aga Khan Museum on Wynford Drive. Our stock of this book is limited; as of November 14, 2021, only five copies are available, all brand-new in plastic-wrapped cover. Please write to Malik Merchant at simerg@aol.com or drop us a line in the feedback form below with your contact info if you are interested in acquiring this book (we won’t publish your feedback).

Worthy Addition: “With Our Own Hands” will be a worthy edition to your home library or serve as a great coffee table book by virtue of its visual quality, as well as its faithful and superb portrayal of the food, culture and traditions of the beautiful people of the Pamirs.

A 2-page spread from the 688 page book “WITH OUR OWN HANDS

Background: A book that began as a simple 30 page recipe book to fulfill a promise to a grandmother has grown to a magnificent volume of 688 pages telling the cultural and agricultural history of the Afghan and Tajik Pamirs, one of the world’s least known and most isolated civilizations. Through the lens of local recipes, essays and stories, and accompanied by the work of three award-winning photographs, “With Our Own Hands” describes Pamiri food and its origins, people’s daily lives, their struggle and celebrations. Simerg carried a special feature story on the making of the book as well as a review of the book by Shariffa Keshavjee shortly after she received the softcover edition of the volume from Simerg.

As I read and re-read the book, I feel that the earth itself compressed to make a safe haven for these very special people who truly live in harmony with mother earth. Similar to the way the animals live in the Ngorongoro Crater — Shariffa Keshavejee

A 2-page spread from the 688 page book “WITH OUR OWN HANDS

The authors ensured that each of the 1800 communities of the Pamirs received a copy of “With Our Own Hands.” In the featured photo shown at the top of this post, schoolgirls in the Bartang valley are standing with a copy of the book. The authors have noted that they were received time and time again with the warmest hospitality one could ever imagine when they travelled to remote communities with the book.

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ACCOLADES FOR “WITH OUR OWN HANDS”
(See Image of Back Cover, below)

“This…may be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read..!” — Frénk van der Linden.

People touch the book and stroke it, and it is as if there is no distance between them and the pages…it’s very touching to see – Facebook comment

Back cover of “WITH OUR OWN HANDS” by Frederik Van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider, Hardback Edition, 688 pages, illustrated.

Purchasing the book: Limited copies are available for sale in Toronto, Canada. Please write to Malik Merchant at simerg@aol.com or drop us a line in the feedback form below with your contact info if you are interested in acquiring this book (we won’t publish your feedback). Price is CDN $100.00, including delivery in Toronto or if you prefer you may pick up the book from a convenient location near the Aga Khan Museum on Wynford Drive.

Date posted: November 13, 2021.
Last updated: November 14, 2021.

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Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment.

If you are interested in acquiring “With Our Own Hands” please complete the same feedback form (we won’t publish your information) with your contact imformation.

Your Opportunity to Acquire a Highly Acclaimed Beautiful New Book About the People and Food of the Pamirs

Co-Author holding "With Our Own Hands"Frederik van Oudenhoven happily displaying the 688 page book “With Our Own Hands” that he co-authored with Jamila Haider. Photo: Facebook page, PamirFoodandLife

“Those of us reading this book several thousand miles away from the Pamir Mountains cannot fail to be moved by the celebration of human diversity and dignity. I hope this book will act as a spur to other such works, and to the preservation and celebration of other such ancient cultures, wherever they are in the world” — HRH The Prince of Wales in Foreword to “With Our Own Hands.”

“These mountains [the Pamirs] have had a strong influence on the culture and practices surrounding the Pamiri Ismaili faith. While 15 millions Ismaili Muslims live around the world, the Pamir mountains is the only region in the world where they form a majority of the population.” — Excerpt from “With Our Own Hands,” page 382.

A book that began as a simple 30 page recipe book to fulfill a promise to a grandmother has grown to a magnificent volume of almost 700 pages telling the cultural and agricultural history of the Afghan and Tajik Pamirs, one of the world’s least known and most isolated civilizations. Through the lens of local recipes, essays and stories, and accompanied by the work of three award-winning photographs, “With Our Own Hands” describes Pamiri food and its origins, people’s daily lives, their struggle and celebrations. Simerg carried a special feature on the making of the book (see link at end of this post). The highly acclaimed and award winning work by Frederik van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider was beautifully featured on BBC a few weeks ago. Jamila Haider says that everyone who has seen the book, has asked how to get one.

12316071_440190226178538_2484686561241700908_nThe authors ensured that each of the 1800 communities of the Pamirs received a copy of “With Our Own Hands.” In this photo, schoolgirls in the Bartang valley are standing with a copy of the book. The authors have noted that they were received time and time again with the warmest hospitality one could ever imagine. Photo: Facebook page, PamirFoodandLife.

ACCOLADES FOR THE BOOK

“This…may be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read..!” — Frénk van der Linden.

“People touch the book and stroke it, and it is as if there is no distance between them and the pages…it’s very touching to see.” – Facebook comment

In size, rigor and thoughtfulness [this book] has become a touching piece of art.” — Geerdt Magiels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

TO BUY “WITH OUR OWN HANDS”

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We take great delight in informing our readers that with great luck and timing, we have managed to obtain a few copies of “With Our Own Hands” that were in stock in North America. We are grateful to the book’s Canadian distributors, the UBCpress, for making 21 copies of the book available to us. The book is out of stock at Amazon.com, but numerous sellers are offering the book from US$120.00 and up. Simerg is offering the book to interested Canadian readers on a first-come first-served basis at Cdn$85.00 per copy plus taxes/shipping/insurance (which will vary across Canada). The book may be reserved/purchased as follow:

NOTE: We wish to inform our readers that the book is sold out. Request a copy by writing to simergbooks@aol.com, and we will notify you as soon as we have more information from the book’s distributors in North America about its availability in Canada.

Payment Methods:

Paypal: Simergbooks has been verified by Paypal. To purchase a copy of “With Our Own Hands”, please send a request to  simergbooks@aol.com and an invoice will be generated through Paypal provided we still have the book in stock. You can then pay via Paypal. In view of the limited quantities, payment should be received within 24 hours after the invoice.

Email Transfer: To purchase a copy via email fund transfer, please send a request to simergbooks@aol.com. Once we have confirmed to you via email that we have the book in stock, we will request you to send the payment via email transfer. In view of the limited quantities payment should be received within 24 hours after the invoice.

AN EXTRAORDINARY BOOK FOR YOUR HOME

This book will remain for a long time on your family’s shelf by virtue of its extraordinary quality and for its portrayal in a respectable manner of the food, culture and traditions of the beautiful people of the Pamirs.

Date posted: Sunday, August 7, 2016.
Last updated: Monday, August 22, 2016.

NOTE: We wish to inform our readers that the book is sold out. Request a copy by writing to simergbooks@aol.com, and we will notify you as soon as we have more information from the book’s distributors in North America about its availability in Canada.

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Related: With Our Own Hands – A Celebration of Food and Life in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan

“With Our Own Hands” – An Intriguing Cookbook from the Pamirs by Frederik van Oudenhoven & Jamila Haider

“It doesn’t often happen that one needs to find superlatives to describe a book. For ‘With Our Own Hands’, an entirely unique book about the hard life and beautiful culture in the Pamir Mountains, it is inevitable. In size, rigor and thoughtfulness [this book] has  become a touching piece of art.” — Geerdt Magiels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

PLEASE CLICK The Story of a Beautiful and Intriguing Cookbook from the Pamirs

Co-Author holding "With Our Own Hands"Frederik van Oudenhoven with his multi-year effort “With Our Own Hands.”  Please click on image for story about the award-winning book.

“This…may be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read..!”– Frénk van der Linden….Read More

“You know…the design really is perfect – people touch the book and stroke it, and it is as if there is no distance between them and the pages. The book pulls them into their own world…it’s very touching to see.” — Facebook Friend….Read More

With a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, authors Frederik van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider provide an intimate portrait of the Afghan and Tajik Pamiri people and the forbidding mountains that are their home. Through the lens of ancient recipes, stories and essays, and accompanied by the work of three award-winning photographers, the book tells about Pamiri food and agricultural traditions, people’s daily lives, their struggles and celebrations.

With Our Own Hands appears in a single three-language edition, with English, Dari and Tajik. The choice to make a book in which these three languages are combined was inspired by the authors’ commitment to return a copy to each of the 1800 communities, schools and libraries in the Pamirs. Read More