MaryAnn T. Beverly
MaryAnn T. Beverly is an Ohio native who has made her home in Columbia, SC for the past 25 years. A former high school English teacher, and married mother of two, she left teaching to write and direct a documentary movie, “The Arts in Education,” in Cali, Colombia, South America. After 9/11, and the invasion of Afghanistan she learned about freedom fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud who was assassinated by Osama bin Laden only two days before the tragic suicide bombings took place. As Beverly began to conduct extensive research on the man whom Afghan people call the “Lion of Panjshir”, she discovered a fascinating 30-year history of our two countries, beginning with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan’s in 1979, up through the mistakes and blunders made by the CIA and six U.S. presidents.
In From That Flame, the author has laced a historically accurate account (enhanced with a fictionalized back story) of the late Ahmed Shah Massoud and his 20 year fight for the Afghan people. During research and development, Beverly became acquainted with and friend to Zahir Sajanie, a mujahidin who spent over 20 years with Massoud.
The freedom fighter opened many doors for her, including anintroduction to Ambassador Haroun Amin, whose history in Afghanistan dates back to 1979 when he led protests against Russia after their invasion (he and his family fled the country the following year and settled in California, where in 1995 he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science at UC Riverside). In 1988 Amin returned to Afghanistan to join Massoud in their fruitless quest to promote democracy and end the killing by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Amin fought side-by-side with the Lion of Panjshr until Massoud’s assassination on Sept. 9, 2001.
Following the establishment of the transitional Afghan government (under Hamid Karzai) in 2002, Mr. Amin was appointed charge d’ affaires/deputy chief of mission at the Afghan embassy in Washington, D.C. In December 2003, he was appointed to the post of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Japan.
As she neared completion of her book, Beverly received a call from Ahmed Wali Massoud, Ahmed Shah’s brother, and brother to the current Vice President of Afghanistan, Ahmed Zia Massoud. From that point on she began to gather even more detailed information, that hopefully will give America insight to the importance of rebuilding, and then maintaining a stronger and certainly more supportive relationship with this forgotten ally.