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Beyond Hope: From an Auckland prison to changing lives in Afghanistan

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Bariz Shah
March 2024
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A powerful story of how one man didn't let other people define him

'Bariz gifts us his truth-telling, delivered with unwavering optimism.' Matt Brown, author of She Is Not Your Rehab

'Extraordinary. A powerful story of redemption and hope.' Hon Lianne Dalziel CNZM, former Mayor of Christchurch

'Bariz has been through adversity and emerged with love, care and kindness. He shows that nothing is impossible.' Meng Foon, Race Relations Commissioner 2019-2023

At age 18, Bariz Shah ended up in an Auckland prison. As an Afghan migrant who was deeply affected by 9/11, Bariz spiralled from schoolyard fights into crime and drugs - until prison made him rethink the story of his life.

Years later, in Christchurch, Bariz had turned everything around when a terrorist walked into the local mosque and took the lives of 51 people in his community. Driven by a new purpose, Bariz and his wife Saba raised money to return to Afghanistan and establish 51 small businesses in honour of those they lost.

In this memoir about finding self-belief, belonging and positive change, Bariz's story reminds us that we always have the power to change ourselves for the better.