Nichola's Reviews > Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
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Oct 02, 2011

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Read in October, 2011

Reading this book I was reminded what it is really like to enter another culture. All those unwritten rules, all the social lines that we ourselves enforce by accepting. I loved the message that this woman made a difference doing what she does best, being a hairdresser, and not just cutting hair, but identifying and expanding opportunities for women by teaching them this exact skill, and more.
She seemed to understand the real people better than anyone on the medical side of the intervention team and viewed the Afghan women as whole people, equals who could benefit from her as much as she benefitted from being with them.
In seeing all the hubbub that came after the book was published(discussed in the afterword in the paperback), it seems some have tried to paint her as one who did all this work so that she could profit from the sale of her book and exploit those that trusted her, and create a dramatic situation to bolster its sales numbers. But I feel her work was genuine, and the consequences were unavoidable in the continuing political climate and that even without the book her time was probably limited there. Not all inspirational stories have a happy ending, or even a neatly tied up one, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth telling.
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