Zainab Salbi was eleven years old when her father was chosen to be Saddam Hussein's personal pilot and her family's life was grafted onto...
If I were to choose another book to read, I'd pick Between Two World. This book is about a woman whose father becomes Saddam Hussein's personal pilot. As she grows up she is raised to not keep memories, to just look past the awful things she sees. This would be really interesting because personally I have no idea what occurred with Hussein really and reading about his personal life and all the secrets his family and friends held would be interesting. It also is really scary that as a child and throughout her whole childhood she was a wallflower in this house.
This article reports on the state of tourism in Afghanistan. Taliban threats and violence continue throughout the country although their rule has ended, and their message to foreigners traveling in the country is that it is a "big mistake" (Nordland). The dangers are very real, with a pregnant couple being kidnapped last October and having not been heard from since. This kind of risk prompted a Russian couple to travel with both an armored car and bodyguards. However, hotels are not barren. One highly acclaimed hotel in one of the safest provinces only accommodates a few people a year, but it is more than none. The hotels are "immaculate" (Nordland) and tourists love the "exotic" (Nordland). The advice given to tourists or potential tourists is to travel in a group, never by yourself, possibly with an NGO. Also, traveling in a known insurgent area like the first previously mentioned couple did is not the safest thing to do in this dangerous country. Although some hotels have been attacked recently, tourists continue to travel to this adventurous destination.
The documentary Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death tells the story of the thousands of people who surrendered to Afghan allies of the US military after the siege of Kunduz, Afghanistan. The video is brutal in its honesty about the cruelties these prisoners faced, including being put into sealed containers crowded with 200 to 300 men with very little air, being shipped to a prison, and being shot and buried in mass graves in the middle of the desert by these US Afghan allies. What makes it so hard to watch morally is that these men were part of the Taliban fighters. The film shows the horrors these men faced as they result to barbaric behavior to attempt to survive the trips in these containers, but you are also reminded that they are members of the Taliban.
Join Women for Women International. Since 1993, we have empowered thousands of women survivors of war and distributed millions in aid. - Women for Women International
Women for Women International provides women with enrollment in a one-year program to train them with job skills to earn a living. The women affected live in areas where war has devastated the land and conflict has destroyed the lives of many. They have emotional stories filled with hardship and struggle, abuse and despair. In Afghanistan specifically, the organization gives women skills such as gem cutting, producing food, taking care of livestock, and weaving rugs. In a country where a woman’s worth is not very much, earning a living can be vital to escaping an abusive marriage or just staying alive.
The article titled “’They will give me a terrible death,’” tells of a teenage bride’s escape from an arranged marriage to a Taliban insurgent. The girl, Sonia, had been engaged to an insurgent since the age of 10 due to the control of her uncles and older brothers. When her fiancée disappeared, she was told she was to marry his brother instead. The family had a reputation for beating women horrendously, so she decided to run. She stole some money and convinced a bus driver in Jalalabad to let her on by saying her brother had died in Kabul. An old woman that she met along the way introduced her to a secret women’s shelter in Kabul, where she has stayed for the past 4 years. She has only ventured out twice. If her family or the fiancée’s family were to find her, they would kill her, just as they did a cousin of hers who eloped in Pakistan and was consequentially stoned by her own family in the mountains.
Women Without Borders was founded in 2002 by Edit Schlaffer, a social scientist, activist, and author, and Mag. Elisabeth Kasbauer. The organization works to give women a voice in places where they are not entitled to so much as an opinion. They stand for "non-violent conflict resolution" (Women) in countries of change and conflict. They also "advocate a future without fear, suppression or violence, and [they] work towards positive politics that cultivate the participation of women" (Women). They give women a value in the workforce and a way to better their lives.
The article Spreading Good, Forbidding Evil begins with a back story of how the Taliban came to power. After Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the Mujahideen took control of the government. This force was the resistance against the Soviets and tried to unite the many ethnicities of the country under Islam, however the government turned to anarchy as factions fell out and entered a civil war. At this time the Taliban slipped in and took power from the Mujahideen. They provided a fundamentalist government and promised to uphold Sha’ria. One of their first acts, which demonstrated the severity of their coming rule, was to hang the president and his brother in the town square. The primary source of this document is a translated version of Taliban law. The rules listed are intense and restrictive. They outlaw kite flying, beard cutting, music, dancing, and many extreme laws against women. The section after the official primary source explains the significance of these laws. The attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, gave the Taliban a reputation in the world for terrorism. For years the Taliban helped hide Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, which sparked a short war between the country and the US and ended in the fall of Taliban rule. Although a new president was installed, Bin Laden remained free.
Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this w...
Kabul Beauty School is the autobiography of Deborah Rodriguez, a hairdresser from Holland, Michigan. Rodriguez begins with the wedding of her best friend Roshanna. This Afghan wedding differs in almost every way from the typical American wedding. The cultural differences are immediately thrown at you, with the main focus as the separation of men and women. Rodriguez continues with the taleof the wedding and how Roshanna was forced to have sex with her ex-fiancee which leads to her having to lie about being a virgin to her new husband and their families. After the wedding, the book begins to tell of how Rodriguez first came to Afghanistan through an NGO and fell in love with both the country and the people. She describes her childhood in Holland with her beautician mother, who she idolized. As she grew up she came to be a beautician as well, got married to her college sweetheart, and had 2 boys. They divorced, and she married an abusive priest that she met on a mission trip to India. She had begun doing mission trips after the time of the attacks on 9/11. In order to escape her hateful marriage, she goes on a trip to Afghanistan, where she decides to open up a beauty school to help the women, who only have hair salons as a real escape from men, who abuse and terrorize them, as they are not allowed inside. Rodriguez has many struggles with opening the school, but receives both funding and donations from many profitable companies back in the US. After being kicked out of her building and having to steal back her supplies, she reopens and successfully graduates multiple classes of hair dressers. She marries an Afghan man named Sam after meeting him through friends in Kabul. Their marriage is a roller coaster ride, but in the end they settle what they can and enjoy a marriage full of love. Through the companionship of her new friends and the strength the stories of their terrifying pasts give her, Rodriguez finds a new home that she had never expected as a child in a little town in Michigan.
My statements of scope are Islamic marriages, Taliban laws, tourism in Afghanistan, and NGOs in Afghanistan. I chose these topics because they are actually the central themes of the book. Rodriguez works with an NGO while in Afghanistan, it is the entire reason she went in the first place. Islamic marriages and laws affect the lives of every person she meets while living there, and the laws put in place years before by the Taliban are part of the reason the women are so oppressed - men continue to treat women the way the Taliban tried to treat them. In Kabul Beauty School, Rodriguez has many foreign clients, which made me interested in how the tourism industry is in Afghanistan.
I actually really liked this book! It was super interesting to hear about all these cultural differences from a western viewpoint, since Kite Runner was from the perspective of a boy who grew up in Afghanistan. The way that she had to adjust to such a new life, a new marriage, new friendships, was really interesting. I loved how hard she worked to make her beauty school work even though she had many different road bumps along the way.
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