Fariba Nawa

Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman's Journey through Afghanistan

The Author's Purpose

The authors purpose was to inform. Fariba Nawa tells the reader about her experiences in Afghanistan and what the opium trade has done to her home country's organized crime and culture.


Many aspects of culture are shown throughout Opium Nation. For example the Police force. In Afghanistan the women are only to be searched and seized by women Police Officers. This is a major difference from our society. In the novel Nawa describes the clothes that women and men wear. Women in the culture of Afghanistan usually chose to cover their bodies in different portions. For example women use burqa's to completely cover their whole body including face.
Fariba Nawa at Albany Library


The novel begins with the author, Fariba Nawa, travelling back to her home in Afghanistan from the United States. Along the way she observes issues, such as the massive export of opiates, terror related groups and organized crime. As readers, we are shown her journey through Afghanistan and she explains the mishaps in her society. Throughout the novel, Nawa stops to talk to many different classes of people. All the way from farmers, to Opium dealers. By structuring her novel this way, she explains what her country has come to and has shown the reader that since her departure during the Soviet Invasion, many devastating events have caused the people and country to fall.

Elements of Voice

In Opium Nation, Nawa uses a high level of diction to make the reader think about what is being said on a deeper level. For example, "The government killed the feudal landowners, or buried them alive with bulldozers, to seize their properties. Any opposition to the government was quelled with imprisonment or execution"(39). This does not only make the reader think about the consequences but also uses imagery. In this novel Imagery is used very frequently to describe the fall of Afghanistan.