15x Award-Winner

SHACKLED: A Journey From Political Imprisonment To Freedom

Khaled Siddiq “Charkhi” is only six years old when he and his entire extended family are imprisoned. Following a grand betrayal, Khaled’s father and uncles, the respected right-hand men to the King of Afghanistan, become targets of the new regime. Khaled’s father is exiled, his uncles are executed, and their families are locked away in a forgotten corner of Kabul.

So begins a decades-long struggle in captivity where Khaled faces the hardship of prison life while enduring tragedies as more of his loved ones are executed and succumb to diseases. Despite the tribulations he experiences, Khaled never gives up hope, choosing to make the most of his time by studying five different languages, advanced literature, and philosophy. Eventually, Khaled and his family are released from prison, but are they truly free? Forbidden from leaving the country, one thing continues to haunt Khaled: a longing to reunite with his father.

SHACKLED is a raw, heart-opening story about resilience. It follows the Charkhi family from the 1932 coup to the 1979 Soviet invasion. Amidst national and personal upheaval, Khaled finds his freedom by choosing to lead a life of optimism, kindness, joy, and love.

Adam Siddiq is the grandson of Khaled Siddiq. Adam wrote SHACKLED alongside his grandfather, Khaled—a shared journey they hope will inspire others to become more involved in the sacred bond between the youth and their elders.

Book Reviews

  • Shackled: A Journey From Political Imprisonment to Freedom, is a powerful true story of one man’s life in Afghanistan filled with raw emotion that is an inspiring must-read for all humankind.
  • The story, told in precise but moving prose, is often achingly beautiful—a stirring mix of sadness and inspiring triumph. Along the way, Siddiq limns an astute history of the country of Afghanistan that focuses on 40 of its most turbulent and formative years. The book includes black-and-white photographs of Khaled and his family as well as the reproduction of important correspondence in full. It all combines to create an intensely personal memoir whose political and moral dimensions have universal relevance and appeal. A stirring recollection and an insightful national history.
  • This is an extraordinary biography beginning in early twentieth-century Afghanistan that shares the gripping story of a political family that suffered greatly at the hands of a corrupt government. The element of surprise often keeps the pages turning. The characters are detailed with an intimacy that enhances their individuality. Following what is nearly the entire life of Khaled Siddiq continually adds layers of insight into his personality and behavior.
  • This book is an easy five stars.

SHACKLED is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most book retailers.


Watch the SHACKLED interview series.