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The Underground Girls Of Kabul

Author : Jenny Nordberg
ISBN : 9780307952509
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25.36 MB
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An award-winning foreign correspondent who contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series reveals the secret Afghan custom of disguising girls as boys to improve their prospects, discussing its political and social significance as well as the experiences of its practitioners.
Category: Social Science

The Underground Girls Of Kabul

Author : Jenny Nordberg
ISBN : 9780307952516
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66.61 MB
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An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
Category: Social Science

The Underground Girls Of Kabul

Author : Jenny Nordberg
ISBN : 1844087751
Genre :
File Size : 61.31 MB
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An Afghan woman's life expectancy is just 44 years, and her life cycle often begins and ends in disappointment: being born a girl and finally, having a daughter of her own. For some, disguising themselves as boys is the only way to get ahead. Nordberg follows women such as Azita Rafaat, a parliamentarian who once lived as a Bacha Posh, the mother of seven-year-old Mehran, who she is raising as a Bacha Posh as well, but for different reasons than in the past. There's Zahra, a teenage student living as a boy who is about to display signs of womanhood as she enters puberty. And Skukria, a hospital nurse who remained in a bacha posh disguise until she was 20, and who now has three children of her own. Exploring the historical and religious roots of this tradition, The Underground Girls of Kabul is a fascinating and moving narrative that speaks to the roots of gender.

Dear Zari

Author : Zarghuna Kargar
ISBN : 9781402268380
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81.50 MB
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"A powerful collection of testimonies that depict the struggles and hopes of Afghan women. An often emotional and at times painful read, this book is ultimately a poignant celebration of human resilience under unimaginable duress. " —KHALED HOSSEINI, New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner "I am deeply touched by these stories...Dear Zari should be read by anyone who cares and wants to know about Asia and Asian women." —XINRAN "All the stories in Dear Zari illustrate the suffering caused by deeply ingrained Afghan traditions. But [the women's} bravery and resilience shines through and Kargar touchingly reveals how hearing others' life stories finally gave her the courage to share her own. " —The Independent Moving, enlightening, and heartbreaking, Dear Zari gives voice to the secret lives of Afghan women. For the first time, Dear Zari allows these women to tell their stories in their own words: from the child bride given as payment to end of a family feud, to a life spent in a dark, dusty room weaving carpets, from a young girl being brought up as a boy, to a woman living as a widow shunned by society. Intimate, emotional, painful and uplifting, these stories uncover the suffering and strength of women in this deeply religious and intensely traditional society, and show how their courage is an inspiration to women everywhere.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Office Ladies And Salaried Men

Author : Yuko Ogasawara
ISBN : 0520919750
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 41.24 MB
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In large corporations in Japan, much of the clerical work is carried out by young women known as "office ladies" (OLs) or "flowers of the workplace." Largely nameless, OLs serve tea to the men and type and file their reports. They are exempt from the traditional lifetime employment and have few opportunities for promotion. In this engaging ethnography, Yuko Ogasawara exposes the ways that these women resist men's power, and why the men, despite their exclusive command of authority, often subject themselves to the women's control. Ogasawara, a Japanese sociologist trained in the United States, skillfully mines perceptive participant-observation analyses and numerous interviews to outline the tensions and humiliations of OL work. She details the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that OLs who are frustrated by demeaning, dead-end jobs thwart their managers and subvert the power structure to their advantage. Using gossip, outright work refusal, and public gift-giving as manipulative strategies, they can ultimately make or break the careers of the men. This intimate and absorbing analysis illustrates how the relationships between women and work, and women and men, are far more complex than the previous literature has shown.
Category: Political Science

I Am A Bacha Posh

Author : Ukmina Manoori
ISBN : 9781632200013
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76.51 MB
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"You will be a son, my daughter." With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy. In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally "girls dressed as boys." This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work—and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom. Ukmina decided to confront social and family pressure and keep her menswear. This brave choice paved the way for an extraordinary destiny: she wages war against the Soviets, assists the mujaheddin and ultimately commands the respect of all whom she encounters. She eventually becomes one of the elected council members of her province. But freedom always has a price. For "Ukmina warrior" that price was her life as a woman. This is a stunning and brave memoir about a little known practice that will challenge your perceptions about gender and the courage it takes to live your life to the fullest.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Favored Daughter

Author : Fawzia Koofi
ISBN : 9780230341883
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 51.90 MB
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The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan. Koofi's New York Times bestseller, The Favored Daughter, movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Veiled Courage

Author : Cheryl Benard
ISBN : 9780767913065
Genre : History
File Size : 83.13 MB
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In Afghanistan under Taliban rule, women were forbidden to work or go to school, they could not leave their homes without a male chaperone, and they could not be seen without a head-to-toe covering called the burqa. A woman’s slightest infractions were met with brutal public beatings. That is why it is both appropriate and incredible that the sole effective civil resistance to Taliban rule was made by women. Veiled Courage reveals the remarkable bravery and spirit of the women of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), whose daring clandestine activities defied the forces of the Taliban and earned the world’s fierce admiration. The complete subordination of women was one of the first acts of the Taliban. But the women of RAWA refused to cower. They used the burqa to their advantage, secretly photographing Taliban beatings and executions, and posting the gruesome pictures on their multi-language website,, which is read around the world. They organized to educate girls and women in underground schools and to run small businesses in the border towns of Pakistan that allowed widows to support their families. If caught, any RAWA activist would have faced sure death. Yet they persisted. With the overthrow of the Taliban now a reality, RAWA faces a new challenge: defeating the powers of Islamic fundamentalism of which the Taliban are only one face and helping build a society in which women are guaranteed full human rights. Cheryl Benard, an American sociologist and an important advisor to RAWA, uses her inside access to write the first behind-the-scenes story of RAWA and its remarkably brave women. Veiled Courage will change the way Americans think of Afghanistan, casting its people and its future in a new, more hopeful light. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: History

Raising My Voice

Author : Malalai Joya
ISBN : 9781407028729
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 54.69 MB
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Malalai Joya is the youngest and most famous female MP in Afghanistan, whose bravery and vision have won her an international following. She made world headlines with her very first speech, in which she courageously denounced the presence of warlords in the new Afghan government. She has spoken out for justice ever since, and for the rights of women in the country she loves. Raising My Voice shares her extraordinary story. Born during the Russian invasion and spending her youth in refugee camps, Malalai Joya describes how she first became a political activist. When she returned to Afghanistan, the country was under the grip of the Taliban and she ran a secret school for girls. A popular MP with her constituents, she received global support when she was suspended from parliament in 2007 because of her forthright views. Malalai Joya's work has brought her awards and death threats in equal measure. She lives in constant danger. In this gripping account, she reveals the truth about life in a country embroiled in war - especially for the women - and speaks candidly about the future of Afghanistan, a future that has implications for us all.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

A Bed Of Red Flowers

Author : Nelofer Pazira
ISBN : 9780743290005
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 23.42 MB
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Written with compassion, intelligence and insight, A Bed of Red Flowers is a profoundly moving portrait of life under occupation and the unforgettable story of a family, a people and a country. "The picnic of the red flower" is a traditional time of celebration for Afghans. One of Nelofer Pazira's earliest memories is of people gathering in the countryside to admire the tulips and poppies carpeting the landscape. It is the mid-1970s, and her parents are building a future for themselves and their young children in the city of Kabul. But when Nelofer is just five the Communists take power and her father, a respected doctor, is imprisoned along with thousands of other Afghans. The following year, the Russians invade Afghanistan, which becomes a police state and the center of a bloody conflict between the Soviet army and American-backed mujahidin fighters. A climate of violence and fear reigns. For Nelofer, there is no choice but to grow up fast. At eleven, she and her friends throw stones at the Russian tanks that stir up dust and animosity in the streets of Kabul. As a teenager she joins a resistance group, hiding her gun from her parents. Her emotional refuge is her friendship with her classmate Dyana, with whom she shares a passion for poetry, dreams and a better life. After a decade of war, Nelofer's family escapes across the mountains to Pakistan and later to Canada, where she continues to write to Dyana. When her friend suddenly stops writing, Nelofer fears for Dyana's life. With lyrical, narrative prose, A Bed of Red Flowers movingly tells Pazira's haunting story, as well as Afghanistan's story as a nation.
Category: Biography & Autobiography