The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Pages: 366
ISBN: 9780307952509
Available:
Release: 2015
Editor: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An award-winning foreign correspondent who contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series reveals the secret Afghan custom of disguising girls as boys to improve their prospects, discussing its political and social significance as well as the experiences of its practitioners.

The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780307952516
Available:
Release: 2014-09-16
Editor: Crown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.

The Underground Girls Of Kabul

The Underground Girls Of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780748129553
Available:
Release: 2014-09-16
Editor: Hachette UK
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An Afghan woman's life expectancy is just 44 years, and her life cycle often begins and ends in disappointment: being born a girl and finally, having a daughter of her own. For some, disguising themselves as boys is the only way to get ahead. Nordberg follows women such as Azita Rafaat, a parliamentarian who once lived as a Bacha Posh, the mother of seven-year-old Mehran, who she is raising as a Bacha Posh as well, but for different reasons than in the past. There's Zahra, a teenage student living as a boy who is about to display signs of womanhood as she enters puberty. And Skukria, a hospital nurse who remained in a bacha posh disguise until she was 20, and who now has three children of her own. Exploring the historical and religious roots of this tradition, The Underground Girls of Kabul is a fascinating and moving narrative that speaks to the roots of gender.

The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Pages: 368
ISBN: 1844087751
Available:
Release: 2015-05-01
Editor: virago
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An Afghan woman's life expectancy is just 44 years, and her life cycle often begins and ends in disappointment: being born a girl and finally, having a daughter of her own. For some, disguising themselves as boys is the only way to get ahead. Nordberg follows women such as Azita Rafaat, a parliamentarian who once lived as a Bacha Posh, the mother of seven-year-old Mehran, who she is raising as a Bacha Posh as well, but for different reasons than in the past. There's Zahra, a teenage student living as a boy who is about to display signs of womanhood as she enters puberty. And Skukria, a hospital nurse who remained in a bacha posh disguise until she was 20, and who now has three children of her own. Exploring the historical and religious roots of this tradition, The Underground Girls of Kabul is a fascinating and moving narrative that speaks to the roots of gender.

We Are Afghan Women

We Are Afghan Women
Author: George W. Bush Institute
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781501120510
Available:
Release: 2017-03-07
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Inspiring stories that not only capture the suffering of Afghan women, but also show their tremendous courage and resilience and the contribution they are making to build a better future for Afghanistan” (Hillary Rodham Clinton). Told in their own voices, the moving, courageous, and personal stories in We Are Afghan Women vividly describe a country that is one of the most dangerous places to be a young girl or pregnant woman; a country undone by decades of war and now struggling to build a lasting peace; a country where women have defied the odds. Women like Dr. Sakena Yacobi, who ran underground schools for girls until the Taliban fell, after which she established schools across Afghanistan to teach women to read and to educate and prepare girls to become teachers, doctors, lawyers, business owners, and politicians, and Masooma Jafari, who started a national midwives association, after her own mother was forced into marriage when she was twelve years old and gave birth to her first child at thirteen. “An incredible portrait of the Afghan women working to create a better future for their communities and future generations. Their stories of strength and resilience can inspire us all to reach for a more equal and peaceful world” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org) and remind us of the dangers of tactics that target women in order to limit their roles in society and in government. Fifteen thousand women are now enrolled in Afghanistan’s universities, but girls continue to face violence for pursuing an education. The realities of life in this part of the world, one of the most dangerous places to be a child or pregnant woman, are tough, but this unique book celebrates the lives of women who have defied the odds. Their eloquent words challenge all of us to answer: What does it truly mean to be a woman in the twenty-first century?

I Am a Bacha Posh

I Am a Bacha Posh
Author: Ukmina Manoori
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781632200013
Available:
Release: 2014-10-14
Editor: Skyhorse
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A 2015 Amelia Bloomer List Selection "You will be a son, my daughter." With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy. In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally "girls dressed as boys." This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work—and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom. Ukmina decided to confront social and family pressure and keep her menswear. This brave choice paved the way for an extraordinary destiny: she wages war against the Soviets, assists the mujaheddin and ultimately commands the respect of all whom she encounters. She eventually becomes one of the elected council members of her province. But freedom always has a price. For "Ukmina warrior" that price was her life as a woman. This is a stunning and brave memoir about a little known practice that will challenge your perceptions about gender and the courage it takes to live your life to the fullest. Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Kabul Beauty School

Kabul Beauty School
Author: Deborah Rodriguez,Kristin Ohlson
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781588366078
Available:
Release: 2007-04-10
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup. Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom.

Love in Despair

Love in Despair
Author: Shughla Karzai
Pages: 202
ISBN: 9781664163539
Available:
Release: 2021-03-24
Editor: Xlibris Corporation
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The book will be divided into two major parts, each with a number of shorter chapters. Part I will tell the story of Shughla’s journey and how Sana Orphanage came into existence, in chronological order. Each chapter will tell about a particular step on the way, an incident or a milestone that was significant. Part II will tell the stories of some of the individual children at Sana. Some chapters will be extremely brief, while others will be longer. Not all of the children’s stories can be told, as there are over fifty children now at the orphanage; but a sampling of various stories will be included, to give the reader an idea of the kinds of things these children have been forced to deal with in their short lives.

One Half from the East

One Half from the East
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780062421920
Available:
Release: 2016-09-06
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh—a preteen girl dressed as a boy. Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune, and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck—dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh. Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won’t last forever, though—unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure. Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for adults, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was a bestseller that shares a bacha posh character with One Half from the East.

Dear Zari

Dear Zari
Author: Zarghuna Kargar
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781409029144
Available:
Release: 2011-05-05
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Dear Zari gives voice to the secret lives of women across Afghanistan and allows them to tell their stories in their own words: from the child bride given as payment to end a family feud; to a life spent in a dark, dusty room weaving carpets; to a young girl brought up as a boy; to life as a widow shunned by society. Compelling and enlightening, Dear Zari uncovers the reality of life in Afghanistan in stories that are by turn heart-breaking and uplifting.

Mighty Be Our Powers

Mighty Be Our Powers
Author: Perseus
Pages: 260
ISBN: 9780984295142
Available:
Release: 2011-09-13
Editor: Beast Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

WINNER OF THE 2011 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE In a time of death and terror, Leymah Gbowee brought Liberia’s women together—and together they led a nation to peace. As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and shattered Gbowee’s girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. In 2003, the passionate and charismatic Gbowee helped organize and then led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia’s ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. With an army of women, Gbowee helped lead her nation to peace—in the process emerging as an international leader who changed history. Mighty Be Our Powers is the gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world.

Ground Zero

Ground Zero
Author: Alan Gratz
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781338245776
Available:
Release: 2021-02-02
Editor: Scholastic Inc.
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller. In time for the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, master storyteller Alan Gratz (Refugee) delivers a pulse-pounding and unforgettable take on history and hope, revenge and fear -- and the stunning links between the past and present. September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive -- and escape? September 11, 2019, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz -- and put herself and her family in mortal danger? Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

The House Without Windows

The House Without Windows
Author: Barbara Newhall Follett
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780241986080
Available:
Release: 2019-10-03
Editor: Penguin UK
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Discover a dazzling lost classic of nature writing and a visionary work of feminist empowerment - written almost a century ago by a twelve-year-old child... Eepersip is a girl with the wild in her heart. She does not want to live locked up behind the walls of a house. So she runs away - first to the Meadow, then to the Sea, and finally to the Mountain. Her heartbroken parents follow their daughter, trying to bring her home safe, but Eepersip has other ideas... Republished by Penguin with a new introduction and hand-inked illustrations by beloved artist Jackie Morris, The House Without Windows is a timeless fable about wildness, freedom and the redemptive power of the natural world. 'I can safely promise joy to any reader of The House Without Windows. Perfection' Eleanor Farjeon, winner of the Carnegie Medal and The Hans Christian Andersen Award 'Gloriously illuminated by Jackie Morris's moving art, this is a work of strange power for our own bewildered times' Nick Drake 'A classic, as miraculous and awe-inspiring as the author' Xinran, author of The Good Women of China

Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse

Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse
Author: Suraya Sadeed,Damien Lewis
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781401342708
Available:
Release: 2011-06-21
Editor: Hachette Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Includes a Reading Group Guide and Author Q&A From her first humanitarian visit to Afghanistan in 1994, Suraya Sadeed has been personally delivering relief and hope to Afghan orphans and refugees, to women and girls in inhuman situations deemed too dangerous for other aid workers or for journalists. Her memoir of these missions, Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, is as unconventional as the woman who has lived it. This is no humanitarian missive; it is an adventure story with heart. To help the Afghan people, Suraya has flown in a helicopter piloted by a man who was stoned beyond reason. She has traveled through mountain passes on horseback alongside mules, teenage militiamen, and Afghan leaders. She has stared defiantly into the eyes of members of the Taliban and of the Mujahideen who were determined to slow or stop her. She has hidden and carried $100,000 in aid, strapped to her stomach, into ruined villages. She has built clinics. She has created secret schools for Afghan girls. She has dedicated the second half of her life to the education and welfare of Afghan women and children, founding the organization Help the Afghan Children (HTAC) to fund her efforts. Suraya was born the daughter of the governor of Kabul amid grand walls, beautiful gardens, and peace. In the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, she fled to the United States with her husband, their young daughter, their I-94 papers, and little else. In America, she became the workaholic owner of a prosperous real estate company, enjoying all the worldly comforts anyone could want, but when a personal tragedy struck in the early 1990s, Suraya seriously questioned how she was living and soon sharply changed the direction of her life. Now, in Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, she shares her story of passion, courage, and love, painting a complex portrait of Afghanistan, its people, and its foreign visitors that defies every stereotype and invites us all to contribute to the lives of others and to hope.

Excellent Daughters

Excellent Daughters
Author: Katherine Zoepf
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780698411470
Available:
Release: 2016-01-12
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals. Hundreds of thousands of devout girls and women are attending Qur’anic schools—and using the training to argue for greater rights and freedoms from an Islamic perspective. And, in 2011, young women helped to lead antigovernment protests in the Arab Spring. But their voices have not been heard. Their stories have not been told. In Syria, before its civil war, she documents a complex society in the midst of soul searching about its place in the world and about the role of women. In Lebanon, she documents a country that on the surface is freer than other Arab nations but whose women must balance extreme standards of self-presentation with Islamic codes of virtue. In Abu Dhabi, Zoepf reports on a generation of Arab women who’ve found freedom in work outside the home. In Saudi Arabia she chronicles driving protests and women entering the retail industry for the first time. In the aftermath of Tahrir Square, she examines the crucial role of women in Egypt's popular uprising. Deeply informed, heartfelt, and urgent, Excellent Daughters brings us a new understanding of the changing Arab societies—from 9/11 to Tahrir Square to the rise of ISIS—and gives voice to the remarkable women at the forefront of this change.

A Woman Among Warlords

A Woman Among Warlords
Author: Malalai Joya
Pages: 240
ISBN: 1439132488
Available:
Release: 2009-10-20
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Malalai Joya has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." At a constitutional assembly in Kabul in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country's powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan's new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from Parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date, is accompanied at all times by armed guards, and sleeps only in safe houses. Often compared to democratic leaders such as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, this extraordinary young woman was raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan. Inspired in part by her father's activism, Malalai became a teacher in secret girls' schools, holding classes in a series of basements. She hid her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn't find them. She also helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah. The endless wars of Afghanistan have created a generation of children without parents. Like so many others who have lost people they care about, Malalai lost one of her orphans when the girl's family members sold her into marriage. While many have talked about the serious plight of women in Afghanistan, Malalai Joya takes us inside the country and shows us the desperate dayto-day situations these remarkable people face at every turn. She recounts some of the many acts of rebellion that are helping to change the country -- the women who bravely take to the streets in peaceful protest against their oppression; the men who step forward and claim "I am her mahram," so the fundamentalists won't punish a woman for walking alone; and the families that give their basements as classrooms for female students. A controversial political figure in one of the most dangerous places on earth, Malalai Joya is a hero for our times, a young woman who refused to be silent, a young woman committed to making a difference in the world, no matter the cost.

My Forbidden Face

My Forbidden Face
Author: Latifa,
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780748109128
Available:
Release: 2008-09-04
Editor: Virago
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Latifa was born into an educated middle-class Afghan family in Kabul in 1980. She dreamed of one day of becoming a journalist, she was interested in fashion, movies and friends. Her father was in the import/export business and her mother was a doctor. Then in September 1996, Taliban soldiers seized power in Kabul. From that moment, Latifa, just 16 years old became a prisoner in her own home. Her school was closed. Her mother was banned from working. The simplest and most basic freedoms - walking down the street, looking out a window - were no longer hers. She was now forced to wear a chadri. My Forbidden Face provides a poignant and highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. With painful honesty and clarity Latifa describes the way she watched her world falling apart, in the name of a fanatical interpretation of a faith that she could not comprehend. Her voice captures a lost innocence, but also echoes her determination to live in freedom and hope. Earlier this year, Latifa and her parents escaped Afghanistan with the help of a French-based Afghan resistance group.

Raising my Voice

Raising my Voice
Author: Malalai Joya
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781407028729
Available:
Release: 2009-09-15
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Malalai Joya is the youngest and most famous female MP in Afghanistan, whose bravery and vision have won her an international following. She made world headlines with her very first speech, in which she courageously denounced the presence of warlords in the new Afghan government. She has spoken out for justice ever since, and for the rights of women in the country she loves. Raising My Voice shares her extraordinary story. Born during the Russian invasion and spending her youth in refugee camps, Malalai Joya describes how she first became a political activist. When she returned to Afghanistan, the country was under the grip of the Taliban and she ran a secret school for girls. A popular MP with her constituents, she received global support when she was suspended from parliament in 2007 because of her forthright views. Malalai Joya's work has brought her awards and death threats in equal measure. She lives in constant danger. In this gripping account, she reveals the truth about life in a country embroiled in war - especially for the women - and speaks candidly about the future of Afghanistan, a future that has implications for us all.

Afghanistan Where God Only Comes To Weep

Afghanistan  Where God Only Comes To Weep
Author: Siba Shakib
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781448183500
Available:
Release: 2015-09-24
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Shirin-Gol was just a young girl when her village was levelled by the Russians' bombs in 1979. After the men in her family joined the resistance, she fled with the women and children to the capital, Kabul, and so began a life of day-to-day struggle in her war-torn country. A life that includes a period living in the harsh conditions of a Pakistani refugee camp, being forced into a marriage to pay off her brother's gambling debts, selling her body and begging for the money to feed her growing family, an attempted suicide, and an unsuccessful endeavour to leave Afghanistan for Iran after the Taliban seized control of her country. Told truthfully and with unflinching detail to writer and documentary-maker Siba Shakib, and incorporating some of the shocking experiences of Shirin-Gol's friends and family members, this is the story of the fate of many of the women in Afghanistan. But it is also a story of great courage, the moving story of a proud woman, a woman who did not want to be banished to a life behind the walls of her house, or told how to dress, who wanted an education for her children so that they could have a chance of a future, to live their lives without fear and poverty. .

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780062244772
Available:
Release: 2014-05-06
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See. In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters. But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way. Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?