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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil Cover

ISBN13: 9781400065592
ISBN10: 1400065593
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 the idea for the Kabul Beauty School was born.

With the help of corporate and international sponsors, Rodriguez founded the Kabul Beauty School and welcomed the first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, she 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 tolove 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.

Review:

"Almost anywhere in the world, a beauty parlor is a sanctuary from the male world, a hive of gossip, a school of feminine wiles and fount of sage advice for jittery brides-to-be.

In Afghanistan, where war and religious oppression have long kept women socially isolated, and where displays of sensual allure became criminal offenses under Taliban rule in the 1990s, the reopening of beauty... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"There's a lot of crying and a lot of laughing, but Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author's superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor." New York Times

Review:

"Rodriguez introduces a culture that will be foreign to many readers, but then proves that obstacles can be overcome when they're approached with the unshakable belief that they must be." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Rodriguez...manages to make it all seem almost reasonable." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Brash and clearly uninterested in political niceties, Rodriguez understands the needs and fears of the Afghan women who befriend her because she, too, has left a brutal husband back in the United States." Library Journal

Review:

"Terrifically readable, and rich in personal stories." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Rodriguez tells the story of the beauty school she founds in the middle of the Afghan city of Kabul, and lifts the veil of secrecy about the vibrant women who were her students there.

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About the Author

Deborah Rodriguez has been as a hairdresser since 1979, except for one brief stint when she worked as a corrections officer in her hometown of Holland, Michigan. She currently directs the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owns the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House. She lives in Kabul with her Afghan husband.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

halofriendly, March 14, 2007 (view all comments by halofriendly)
I picked this up on a whim and it didn't disappoint. What I liked best about this book is that it proves to the reader that anyone can help anyone. Rodriguez tells her story of being a hairdresser in the US and finding herself in Afghanistan with a humanitarian group feeling as though she had nothing to offer because she wasn't in the medical field. What she finds she CAN offer though, is a helping hand to the women of Afghanistan who are trying to put their lives back together, who are trying to build sisterhood, and who are trying to make a living. Rodriguez helps, but she also receives a lot of help in return.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400065592
Subtitle:
An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
Author:
Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson
With:
Ohlson, Kristin
Author:
Deborah Rodriguez with Kristin Ohlson
Author:
Ohlson, Kristin
Author:
Rodriguez, Deborah
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Muslim women
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Islamic Studies
Subject:
Kabul (Afghanistan)
Subject:
Muslim women - Afghanistan - Kabul -
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070410
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.30x5.80x1.08 in. .87 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » World Feminism
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » Afghanistan and Pakistan

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.75 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Random House - English 9781400065592 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There's a lot of crying and a lot of laughing, but Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author's superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor."
"Review" by , "Rodriguez introduces a culture that will be foreign to many readers, but then proves that obstacles can be overcome when they're approached with the unshakable belief that they must be."
"Review" by , "Rodriguez...manages to make it all seem almost reasonable."
"Review" by , "Brash and clearly uninterested in political niceties, Rodriguez understands the needs and fears of the Afghan women who befriend her because she, too, has left a brutal husband back in the United States."
"Review" by , "Terrifically readable, and rich in personal stories."
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Rodriguez tells the story of the beauty school she founds in the middle of the Afghan city of Kabul, and lifts the veil of secrecy about the vibrant women who were her students there.
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