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El rostre robat

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,455 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
An astonishing first-hand account of a young womans life lived under the tyranny of the Taliban.Born into a middle-class Afghan family in Kabul in 1980, Latifa spent her teenage days talking fashion and movies with her friends, listening to music, and dreaming of one day becoming a journalist. Then, on September 26, 1996, Taliban soldiers seized power in Kabul. Suddenly, s ...more
1, 168 pages
Published January 2002 by Columna Textos (first published 2001)
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Deb More about being forced to grow up with the Taliban in power in her country. I highly recommend reading this book!
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Jul 22, 2009 Xxxbabyxxx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I find it disgusting that people want more from this girl. I’m sorry but did you miss the people being raped and killed? Have people become so selfish that they can only see but their own suffering. Anyone that says this book is a bore is a pathetic excuse for a human being. Latifa didn’t write this book for you to come on here and say it’s boring or it needs something more. She wrote what she wanted people to hear about her life. She wasn’t thinking to herself,” How many book ...more
esmat zarei
چهره ممنوعه من» را چندین سال پیش خواندم. حالا بعد از دیدن فیلم مزارشریف و آن صحنههای دلخراش، یاد این کتاب افتادم. کتابی به غایت سنگین برای خواندن. سنگین به معنای وزنی که بر روح و روان آدمی وارد می
.این کتاب، روایت زندگی در دوره طالبان را از زبان دختری افغان -گویا خبرنگار- بیان میکند.
و البته از آنجایی که راوی زن است، و صد البتهتر اینکه هر وقت جهل و قساوت، از دری وارد میشود، بیشترین ظلم و ستمها را به مظلومترین اقشار وارد میکند، خفقان طالبانی در این کتاب در حوزه زنان، نمود آشکارتر و بارزتری دارد.
Jan 16, 2012 Monk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started reading this when my daughter had to buy it for a high school class. Actually, she told me that she was reading a book by Queen Latifa in her Geography class. After some time, we sorted out that this was NOT written by Queen Latifa, who, despite being the size of a planet, is not a proper subject of study for AP Geography.
Anyhoo, picked it up and had a hard time putting it down. It's not a great book...the structure falls apart several times and even at 200 pages it can drag a bit...but
Sep 22, 2010 Sanz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why do I get to live a privileged life and these women are beaten, tortured, banned from receiving medical/healthcare and not allowed to leave their homes without a male family member? This is the story of a young woman growing up in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over in the mid nineties. According to the author (who wrote this book under a false name) Pakistan supported the Taliban and yet the rest of the world (including the U.S.) was supporting Pakistan. I didn't realize the influence Pak ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not a good example of the whole women/fundamentalist Islam genre which had its heyday in the early years of the new millennium. There are far more stirring tales of such woes on the market. While the plight of Latifa is not to be sneered at, the book is not one of the best mediums to convey the real difficulties of women under the Taliban. Readers should try other books for a deeper understanding and to gain more empathy.
Sep 04, 2007 bridget. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-bookcase
the content is so interesting. so little i know as an american. her writing is simple.. not particularly great, but very readable. she is a journalist at heart, and her book is writtne much in this way.
Jun 28, 2007 Babsmu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
an important book, but it moves sooooo slow. I feel bad that I have to teach it.
Jennifer Jacobs
One of the most powerful memoir by a woman I have ever read!
This is a great book,it's a story of Latifa,her life in Afghanistan in 'good ol days' before Taliban took over their lives in 1996,during Taliban rule and a little after the US liberated them!
How sinister this radical transformation can get for a woman can be seen in cases like Malala too,well this book describes it too well!
I got this book for very cheap from a used book shop in India(roadside!) and I was totally captivated by this sto
Aliyah Abdullah
Mar 24, 2011 Aliyah Abdullah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this story Latifa, a sixteen year old girl born and raised in Afghanistan, has her rights stripped from her under Taliban tyranny. Latifa has to go from being free and allowed an education and able to follow her dreams as a journalist, to basically becoming a canary in a cage. The Taliban decree laws that are sexist and demoralizing to women. Latifa brings us through the years of suffering endured by her family and other Afghans. This Story gave me a very heartfelt understanding to Latifa, in ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memior
I rate this book at a 4 star count.

After the Taliban showed up to Kabul Latifa's whole life change from being able to go to school, be outside when she wanted to be, to having to be inside her house 24/7. The women/girls had no rights as soon as the Taliban took over their town; they had everything under their control. All the men had to do what the Taliban men said they had to do and the women had to stay home while their husbands, fathers, brother, etc., were out being control under what they
Evelyn Chen
Feb 16, 2010 Evelyn Chen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-eastern
This is the testimony of Latifa, a 16-year-old girl, who lived in Kabul when the Taliban turned it upside down. Writing under a pseudonym, her story enlightens the dark reality of how this oppressive regime shut the voices of women. Female faces were to be unseen, concealed behind a burka, they were banned from leaving their homes without a male relative, and they were also banned them from work, schools, and public life. Latifa had planned on pursuing journalism, bt when the Taliban took over, ...more
Apr 23, 2009 Milan/zzz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, nonfiction
"So, since men as well as women are forbidden by law to laugh in the streets and children are forbidden to play ..."

Can you imagine living under law that forbids laughter? And why on earth someone would force that law? We all know (I suppose) that Talibans are utter fanatics but I’m sure Islam doesn’t forbids laughter. I mean every religion should bring joy to its believer so how come this paradox? And that’s not the only one of course.
To anyone who is familiar with Taliban regime this book will
Lindsey Martin
Sep 04, 2013 Lindsey Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Forbidden Face by Latifa was a great tale I found worthy of 4 out of 5 stars.
This story takes place in Latifa’s hometown of Kabul where she grows up. When Latifa is 14 the Taliban takes control of her city and begins forcing their strict rules on to the people who live there. Latifa’s memoir follows her life and her family’s as she grows up under the Taliban’s rein.
The main strength of this book is the passion that Latifa carries throughout the story. Through her words you see her exact feeli
Dec 11, 2016 ELIZABETH-ANNE rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is very similar to Zoya's Story, another book about a young Afghan girl trying to survive before and during the Taliban as well as the Soviet invasion in 1979.

It must be the masochist in me that keeps returning to the most evil, sadistic, cruel anti-woman country on the planet, where you could have your hands chopped off for wearing nail polish and where women were not allowed to work or be seen by a male doctor, meaning women were unable to get any health care at all.


I bought this book out of curiosity. All the discussions about burqa's, voiles, women covering their head. I wanted t know more about the country that is, for me, symbolic for the burqa. It was in a report on Afghanistan that I first saw these blue things that women were hiding in.
Once again I am happy that I grew up and live in a free country... To have to fight for your human (let alone female) rights, have to hide yourself and your ideas... I stil canno
Apr 14, 2009 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a young girl who grew up in Soviet occupied Afghanistan and was 16 years old when the Taliban came. The most profound thing I learned is how the change that women experienced under the Taliban was literally overnight - at least for those who lived in Kabul. One day this girl was going to school and applying for college. Her sister worked for the airlines. The next day all businesses were closed, the radio and television stations were off the air, and women could not leave th ...more
Mar 07, 2011 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read is one of three that I have selected for an independent study I am conducting with a student. In my opinion, this book did for Afghani life during the Taliban takeover what Schindler's List did for broadening the understanding of the small details of the Jewish Holocaust.

Imagine being a teenage girl, one moment living in freedom having just finished your first exam for entrance into journalism school, the next moment rights are stripped away. Written under pseudonym, this true account
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I was fascinating with how Afghanistan
changed under the Taliban. At first,
simple laws were passed that restricted
activities the Taliban considered evil.
Slowly, more and more laws were passed,
making more and more activities declared
evil. Finally, the laws were so stringent
that no one, not even the Taliban, was
following them.

Iris Robinson
Apr 07, 2012 Iris Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is astonishing in many ways. Latifa's writing is beautiful, even if it's translated. This book has transformed what I thought I knew about the Afghani culture...I was absolutely shocked while reading it. My heart aches for Latifa and her family while reading about their struggles. I can't imagine living that way for so long. Now I really want to know what has happened to them in the past decade! Latifa is so full of hope and sounds like an amazing woman. Her entire family sounds like t ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marnie Lansdown
Jun 07, 2013 Marnie Lansdown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We have all heard the horrors of life in Afghanistan under the Taliban, especially for women--a literal hell on earth. This book is a first-person account written in fairly plain style, but it packs a punch. The rule of the Taliban sounds like something made up in a dark fairy tale. This book is a good reminder of why the U.S. can't just lock our borders and bury our heads when such a horrific human rights crisis is happening elsewhere.
♥ Marlene♥
This book took me 3 days to read and this is such a thin little book. I did think it was interesting, the life of the people of Afghanistan, but it wasn't like, i want to know more, I cannot stop reading. To be honest this book was a bit of a bore. There are much better accounts like this one. I do think it was okay though. Glad that I was able to read. 7.5 out of 10
Sophie Zapoli
A stunning and brutal tale told through the eyes of the innocent girl trapped inside of it. I would recomend this book to anyone and everyone interested in learning about how the Taliban have affected the daily lives of those living under their control.
Stasia Majerick
My forbidden face
“We were all in tears while Wahid kissed our parent’s hands and begged us not to cry” (page 107) is a strong statement to me because it makes me think about how I would feel if I got some sort of earth stopping news in the book My Forbidden Face written by Latifa. Latifa is a young girl, about 15, who lives in Afghanistan during the time the Tailban was attacking. She lives with her family; Mom dad, sister Soraya and her brothers Farad and Daoud.
While reading the book, My Forb
Viktoria Jean
Oct 28, 2007 Viktoria Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ogle
During the first week of school, we learnt about the Taliban rule in Afghanistan and the effects and disadvantages that the women faced under the harsh and suppressing rulers. The Taliban, upon seizing power, started a system of gender discrimination effectively thrusting the women of Afghanistan into a state of virtual house arrest, as seen in this website stating all the harsh rules that women had to follow. When i first knew of these, i was shocked that i have never knew of their cruelty and ...more
Stef Rozitis
Even though I have called it a YA book, it would take a gutsy young person to grapple with even reading what Latifa experiences. This is a coming of age story that makes most of the ones we read seem very soft and makes authors like John Green seem trivial by comparison (to be fair Latifa has the advantage of a true story which is always going to be more urgent). It is not that the protagonist wouldn;t like the self-indulgence of angst about a boy or of spoiling herself to make up for how hard l ...more
Rani Februandari
Mar 15, 2017 Rani Februandari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Need several days to finish this book. Some parts are too violent for me. Yet, this book speaks a lot about the life under Taliban through a teenage girl's eye.
Oct 13, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a first-hand account of daily life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Latifa (a pseudonym made necessary by death threats to the author and her family members) lived with her family in a middle-class area of Kabul. Her country had been at war her entire life. Over the years, Latifa and her family members struggled to be apolitical just so they could survive the frequent regime changes. One of her brothers served in the army under the Soviets, only to become a political prisoner ...more
Windy hapsari
Dec 10, 2008 Windy hapsari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: narrow-minded, radical,extremist
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lara K
Oct 13, 2016 Lara K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“My Forbidden Face” by Latifa tells the horrific story of a young girl and her family growing up in Afghanistan when the Taliban have taken over the country. Throughout the book, Latifa shares about her struggles of growing up as a woman under the Taliban rule. As someone who hasn’t really dealt with sexism and has always grown up in a first world country, this book was really eye opening to me. At first I was astonished about how recent these events took place (about 20 years ago) and how I had ...more
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book review 1 6 Apr 20, 2014 07:10PM  
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“I pray God that whoever will lead our country may be, in his heart, as much Pashtun as Tajik, as much Uzbek as Hazara. That his wife may counsel and assist him; that he may choose advisors of great character and wisdom. That books may replace weapons, that education may teach us to respect one another, that our hospitals may be worthy of their mission, and that our culture may be reborn from the ruins of our pillaged museums. That the camps of famished refugees may disappear from our borders, and that the bread the hungry eat be kneaded by their own hands.

I will do more than pray, because when the last talib has put away his black turban and I can be a free woman in a free Afghanistan, I will take up my life there once more and do my duty as a citizen, as a woman, and, I hope, as a mother.”
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