Haroon Ullah, author of THE BARGAIN FROM THE BAZAAR: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore
The guest is Haroon Ullah, author of THE BARGAIN FROM THE BAZAAR: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore. In The Bargain From the Bazaar, Ullah tells the story of modern-day Pakistan through the experiences of one ordinary, middle-class family in Lahore. Awais Reza—a middle-class shopkeeper in the Anarkali Bazaar—has three sons: the eldest helps his father run the shop in the bazaar, the middle son is swept up in radical religious politics, and the youngest is a law student at university who believes that a secular future is Pakistan’s last and only hope.
Haroon Ullah is a Pakistani-American scholar and diplomat who grew up in Washington state. During his frequent travels over the past few decades, Ullah noticed that Westerners lack an understanding of the “real” Pakistan—the Pakistan of ordinary families, shop owners, students, and scholars. Ullah set out to collect these first-hand stories and experiences that are seldom in the news. He embarked on eight years of extensive field research and conducted many in-depth interviews with those caught up in the turmoil of contemporary Pakistan, from the average family to the man on the street, from the middle-class businessman to the lower-class shopkeeper, from national and regional officials to key political actors. He also conducted several dozen face-to-face interviews with Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Haqqani commanders.