My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist, and Spiritual Seeker by Melissa Burch 208 Pages
Melissa Burch’s story is based on her experiences as a freelance journalist during the Afghan War. When she was only 21 years old, Burch, and her cameraman, was on her to become the first journalist to capture the mujahedeen rebellion against Soviet invaders on tape.
The book opens with Burch sleeping a dirt floor with seven heavily armed Afghan soldiers, ranging from 19 to 20 years old. The tales of journey through Afghanistan will cause the hair on your arms to stand on end. The relentless heat, hunger and fear never left her. The hiding from the Russian soldiers was perilous and terrifying. She must have covered the entire country either on horseback, motorbike or foot. I felt her pain as she described a march through the rocky, mountains with Afghan soldiers
There was on anecdote where she and he soldiers were hiding when the Soviets were passing by. They had no sooner left the safety of the deserted compound, than it was blown up.
One of the things that surprised me about Burch’s time is Afghanistan was that she was never raped. A lone woman traveling with many men had to be vulnerable. Not to say that she didn’t take up with one of the leaders, but it seemed more mutual consent.
My favorite parts of the book were after her return to the States. Maybe it was because I could relate more to that experience.
I approached Burch’s memoir with a bit of negativity. Earlier this year I had tried to read Malala Yousfzai’s I am Malala. I was prepared to be pulled into to that story, but I didn’t past page 50. I was a little afraid that I might experience the same issue with My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist, and Spiritual Seeker. But from the opening scene that I described earlier, I was hooked. Although places were a little choppy, but it is riveting.
I give My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist, and Spiritual Seeker 5 out of 5 stars.