Kabul Beauty School: Beneath the Veil of Afghan Women
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 sh...more
It was a ridiculously easy read. I felt like I was browsing through a woman's blog about her stay in Afghanistan. Which is fine - she had tons of in ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. It's easy to read and provides an interesting and informative portrayal of life for the women of Afghanistan. I'm not sorry I read it, but it did drag on in the end and I started counting pages wondering when it would be over. There is one heartbreaking and shocking story after the next, and too many "characters" to wrap one's mind around. This mélange of stories boils down to: Terrorizing Men and Ter...more
I give the actual writing in this book 2*, as well as the American woman who penned it. The language is very simplistic; it reads like a blog actually. I started to lose interest somewhere around the middle of the book, and especially after the aut ...more
-- Edited 08.08.08 --
I can't believe this was all I had to say about this book. First, just after I read it, I was only mildly annoyed. The author is an incompetent, brash, selfish, idiotic woman who made no effort to even pretend to respect or assimilate into the culture she encountered. She bashed her way into Kabul, first perhaps with good intentions, and then she just proceeded to ignore every cultural more that she could. Her dec ...more
When my mother-in-law noticed this book at my house and asked me about it, I had a hard time putting my finger on exactly what was wrong with it. But, the introduction to Julia Child's My Life in France cleared things up for me. As she professes her love of France and Paris, she says "I devoted myself ...more
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 heart ...more
I am not going to question the author's motives because I think she is a sincere per ...more
* Glimpse into the lives of women in Kabul post-2001, so for that, worth the read. The book states that being a hairdresser is the only profession for women in Kabul acceptable to nearly all husbands, because men aren't allowed in salons, so it's one place where women can be "free" to earn a decent living, despite being frequently accused of being prostitutes at a brothel.
* So sad! All of the women affiliated with the school were abused at home and in public in some way because ...more
In case you're not familiar with this, it's the story of an American hairdresser who went to ...more
What I did not like was the author. I do admire what she did and the strength it must have taken. However, she was whiny and annoying and spent way to much time talking about herself and her over dramatized life.
Overall it was not that well written an ...more
This was an interesting read. It was a reading group pick and sparked controversy in the group discussion as it did in the world.
Debbie Rodriguez is the daughter of a hairdresser from Holland, MI. I have spent some time in that town. My Top 40 cover band used to play at the Holiday Inn there in the early 1980s. The first wet burrito I ever ate was at a Mexican Restaurant in Holland. It is a small, mostly blue collar central Michigan town. Debbie is one of those women who do before they think and ...more
It was a very "lite" read (I agree with reviewers who said it was more like a blog on paper than a book) and there were things about it that I liked. I liked how the author brought out certain resonances between her own past experience as the emotionally and physically abused wife of a ...more
Debbie tells her story of when she left her family at Michigan to move permanently to Afghanistan, to give hope and in ...more
anyway, it's an easy/quick read.
i was torn... in my opinions of how she wrote the book and what she wanted readers to get out of her experience. e.g. in terms of her writing style, her transitions between scenes/memories were sometimes jarring; several times, i had to try to figure out what was the main point of the chapter or how the different sequences were related. in terms of the content, i was torn wi ...more
Yet, the writing isn't that good. I think Rodriguez is trying to be honest with the reader. She isn't frightened to make herself look stupid, though some of her choices are mind boggling. It just seemed like a who ...more
NPR did a few stories on her and the women in her school who are now actually in danger of losing their lives from the detail the Rodruiguez writes about them ...more
My mother used to ...more
She spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House.
She currently lives in Mexico.