A Life Unveiled: My Encounters Across Countries and Cultures (Book)

My memoir “A Life Unveiled: My Encounters across Countries and Cultures” has been published by The Alcove Publishers and is available through Amazon. Here’s the link:



People’s life experiences may be as wide-ranging as their physical appearances. When people ask Razi Azmi “Where are you from?” he takes a deep breath, wondering whether to reply with one word or ask, “How much do you want to know?” From his childhood encounters with “son of the soil” syndrome and the creation of new nations and states under his feet, the story of Azmi’s eventful, peripatetic life will transport the reader over seven decades across many cultures and countries spanning five continents. The author’s youthful immersion into revolutionary activity ends in personal tragedy and his wanderlust takes him to places others avoid. While his freethinking ways land him into a KGB honey trap in Soviet Russia, his precocity averts a CIA attempt to recruit him as an “asset” in Morocco. From rural Bangladesh to the charged immigration desk of Australia’s busiest airport, Azmi’s gift for anecdotes brings to life his many encounters with students, colleagues, and strangers, both friendly and deceitful, and raises important questions about human nature, personal identity, and patriotic delusion.


Razi Azmi was born in 1950 in what is now Bangladesh of parents who had recently migrated from their ancestral home in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, India. He went to universities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Russia and the United States (in that order), getting his Ph.D. in modern history from Miami University, Ohio. He has taught at universities in Pakistan, US and Morocco, participated in seminars, read papers and given talks in many countries.

Dr. Azmi is the author of three books and over twenty articles in research journals. His latest book, “A World Unveiled: Joys & Jitters of Many Journeys”, has been published by Folio Books, Lahore (Pakistan). He has also written hundreds of newspaper columns on current affairs, social issues, and topics of general interest.

Father of two and grandfather to four, Azmi now lives with his beloved wife of over four decades in Australia. Now retired from public service with the federal government, he travels as often as possible. When not travelling, he works part-time as a translator and interpreter in five languages.


An utterly fascinating, deeply personal and profoundly candid account of the unfolding of a life across various continents straddling two centuries. The vignettes recounted here are entertaining, moving and colourful.

– Prof Sumit Ganguly, Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University, United States.

Written in an honest, forthright and engaging diction, the book takes the reader across countries and cultures, but never loses its sense of space, freshness and humour.

– Prof Iftikhar Malik, Fellow of Royal Historical Society (UK), author of The Silk Road and Beyond; Narratives of a Muslim Historian.

Writing with a researcher’s insight, a romantic’s heart and a wanderer’s intuition, and often assuming a subliminal role, Razi Azmi takes the reader on his extraordinary personal journey.

– Dr Abbas Zaidi, University of New South Wales, Australia, author of The Infidels of Mecca.

Migrating often, the author emerges as a citizen of the world, a believer in tolerance, diversity, peace and human decency. His rejection of the narrow ideologies of nationalism, racism, ethnic and religious bigotry is inspiring.

– Prof Tariq Rahman, Dean, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan, author of From Hindi to Urdu: A Social and Political History.

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