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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
Kabul Beauty School An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
Author: Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson
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, despaire...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781400065592
ISBN-10: 1400065593
Publication Date: 4/10/2007
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 73

3.9 stars, based on 73 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 330 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I know that there is a bit of controversy concerning the "good" that Debbie Rodriguez did in Kabul, but I really enjoyed this quick read book. Debbie is a young woman who is bored with her life and after two failed marriages decides that she would like to join up with an NGO (Non-Governmental Oraganization) and help people somewhere in the world. She is attached to a group of medical professionals sent to Afghanistan and not knowing how she could help - mentions by chance that she is a hair stylist. Little did she know that this profession had been banned by the Taliban and finding someone who could do hair was next to impossible in this country. Westerners, aid works and Afghani women swarmed to her. Knowing that there had to be more then just doing hair she approached US companies to see if they would support her desires to open a beauty school in Kabul to train the women there how to be successful beauticians so they could support themselves and their families without being hidden in the shadows like they had been for some many years. The women, their stories, their personal trials are just amazing and inspiring. Just to know that when presented with insurmountable odds, the human spirit can still beat those odds.
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I really enjoyed reading this book. Having grown up in the middle east, I was able to connect well with the author and her description of her experiences in Afghanistan. Although she is not a strong writer, the story is an enjoyable easy read. I've read many memoirs and what I like most about this is the author's honesty and tenacity about her life and experiences. She does not embellish the truth nor does she exaggerate about the difficulties she faced. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs.
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Debbie Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as an aid worker. She went because she has a big heart and also to escape from her abusive husband. She is a hairdresser and at first feels like she cannot contribute much as everyone else on her aid team is trained in the medical field. She eventually learns that the Taliban closed all of the hair salons because they thought they were immoral. Debbie ends up going back to Afghanistan to open up a school as being a hairdresser is one of the few jobs open to women. She also ends up in an arranged marriage to an Afghani man - and they don't even speak each other's language when the first get married!! The book is basically a series of stories about the people she encountered in her life in Kabul. Some of the stories were horrifying, some of them were amusing. It gave me a glimpse into the life of an Afghani woman ... and made me very glad that I live here in the USA, not in Afghanistan!
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 410 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Absolutely fascinating glimpse into the lives of Afghani women. Endearing, interesting. Lovely read.
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Light reading. Debbie, with her US experience in her mothers Beaty Salon, goes to Kabul. Eventually she sets up and runs a Beauty School for Afagani women. The book is composed of her story laced with the stories of the women she met. She has sucess as well as failure stories. I am amazed that with her culture naivity she didn't end up getting herself killed.
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reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 8 more book reviews
This book is very informative and will open your eyes to what the women in Kabul go through just to get an education that we in the United States tend to take for granted. It is definitely worth the read.
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 101 more book reviews
I absolutely loved this book! If your looking for the inside scoop into middle eastern womens lives then this book has what your looking for! This is not a deeply political read, to me it was more about a group of women, their friendships, and their secrets!
reviewed Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

Deborah Rodriguez is a beautician from Michigan who went over to Afghanistan after September 11th to help in any way she could. She quickly fell in love with the country and wanted to reestablish the Afghan beauticians who went out of existence when the Taliban took over. Along with help from others, she opened a beauty school where she trained Afghan women to become beauticians who could then open up their own beauty salons.

This amazing true story is heartwarming yet incredibly sad at the same time. The reader learns the personal and tragic story of the many Afghan women that Rodriguez befriends. We learn of their arranged marriages to men twice their age, abusive husbands who will divorce them if the women can't bear a son, and monetary struggles and desperate attempts to find that money. It is also wonderful to read about these same women becoming independent and happy due to their education from the beauty school and their friendship with Ms. Rodriguez.

This book is truly inspiring and educational. The reader learns about many customs and misconceptions about Afghanistan and its people through the real life experiences of Rodriguez. Her desire to help the kind Afghan people can inspire anyone to do the same.

KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL is sure to please all readers who are open to learning about a foreign people, their customs, and an American woman who felt the need to dedicate her life to those less fortunate.

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