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.
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!
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.
Absolutely fascinating glimpse into the lives of Afghani women. Endearing, interesting. Lovely read.
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.