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To the Mountains Reviews

To the Mountains by Abdullah Anas, Tam Hussein

To the Mountains

My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan

Abdullah Anas, Tam Hussein

3.67 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 1 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9781787380110

As one of the earliest Arabs to join the Afghan Jihad, the Algerian Islamist Abdullah Anas counted as brothers-in-arms the future icons of al-Qaeda’s global war, from Abdullah Azzam to Osama bin Laden, and befriended key Afghan resistance leaders such as Ahmad Shah Massoud.

3 stars out of 5
10 Feb 2019

"Despite his partiality, Abdullah Anas offers some useful insights into al-Qaida’s roots"

Specialists and scholars will enjoy the accounts of arguments among different Afghan factions and the personal details related about key figures from the period. They will also see the book for the subjective and partial work that it is. Though Hussein has made a valiant attempt to create something accessible and readable, To the Mountains is not a book for the general reader.


4 stars out of 5
8 Feb 2019

"a tantalising account"

That enchanting vision was invented by Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian cleric, whose seminal 1980s jihadist tracts recur in Godsend. Now, Azzam’s son-in-law, Abdullah Anas, has published To the Mountains, a memoir of his own journey to the Afghan jihad. It is a tantalising account of the birth of the movement that ensnares teens... 

4 stars out of 5
25 Jan 2019

"Surely there is room there for a sequel to this slight but fascinating book."

Hundreds of young men thought the same, converging on Afghanistan in the 1980s, becoming collectively known as “Afghan Arabs” and spawning much of the wider militant jihad that afflicts us to this day. Many braved hardship, injury and death — indeed craved it. In this unusual memoir, Anas describes his treacherous journeys across the mountains, brushes with warlords, ambushes and battles. Yet, as he grew to realise, there is an escapism in war, particularly someone else’s war. The youthful excitement of contemplating battle, even death, the moral certainty of the struggle, the camaraderie of like-minded young men, above all the lack of concern with what comes after: this is the true bubble.