An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice
by Khizr Khan
“Sometimes it takes a newcomer to point out the beauty that old-timers take for granted. America, more than any other country, was founded upon ideals: individual freedoms, equal protection and due process of law. Khan reminds us that these ideals are worth fighting—and even dying—for. The Khans truly are the most American of families.”—BookPage
This deeply moving memoir by the Gold Star father and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family’s pursuit of the American dream and why—especially in these tumultuous times—we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most.
Timely and timeless, An American Family is an intensely personal immigrant story. Khizr Khan traces his remarkable journey from humble beginnings as one of ten children born on a farm in rural Pakistan, his grandfather reading Rumi beneath the moonlight and instilling in young Khizr a yearning for education that ultimately leads him to Harvard Law. A moving love story builds between Khizr and Ghazala when they meet at University, as he tries to get the girl who is out of his league. Always helping others with the little they have, the Khans move to Texas and become citizens as they build a humble, family-focused life in a place that affords them freedom and dignity. Having instilled the same ideals that brought him to America in the first place, Khan relates the heroic and tragic story of his middle son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who is killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq, and the ways in which their undying pride in him and his sacrifice have helped them endure the deepest despair a parent can know. An American Family is a lyrical and intimate depiction of what being an American really means.
Khizr Khan was born in 1950, the eldest of ten children, in Gujranwala, a district in rural Pakistan. He moved to the United States with his wife, Ghazala, in 1980. The couple became American citizens and raised their three sons in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their middle son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, a graduate of the University of Virginia and its Army ROTC program, was killed in 2004 while stopping a suicide attack near Baqubah, Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Khizr Khan holds a BA degree from Punjab University, an LLB from Punjab University Law College, and an LLM from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the Washington DC State Bar, the New York State Bar and the American Bar Association. The focus of Khan’s law Complex Civil Litigation Electronic Discovery, Health Privacy Compliance Law, Civil Rights and Veterans’ Rights Advocacy. He and Ghazala live in Charlottesville, Virginia.