Thursday, March 06, 2008

[Book Review] KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL by Deborah Rodriguez


Beth reviews KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez (Random House, 2007)

I’ve never been much for nonfiction. It just seems so normal. But after seeing the wonderful cover of Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil for nearly a year and watching many customers check it out and rave about it upon returning it, I decided I just had to read it too.

Soon after the Taliban had been driven out of Afghanistan, Deborah Rodriguez joined an aid organization and went to this small, scarred country. Being the only non-medical person in her group, Deborah often felt useless…until she discovered that the Taliban had closed down most of Afghanistan’s beauty schools. Other relief workers flocked to her for good hair cuts and to bemoan their previous futile searches for beauty help. On a trip back to the U.S., she decided to start a training school to help the women of Afghanistan support themselves and their families through something the women needed most—companionship, support and the ability to feel beautiful even with head scarves and burkas. The Kabul Beauty School began with many hopes, dreams and 10,000 boxes of donated products and supplies. The school faced many political, financial, and cultural problems.

Was the school a success? Did Deborah Rodriguez help those she sought out? Honestly, I don’t know. If you had asked me the day I finished the book, I’d have said “YES!” But after doing some research, I’m not as certain. One thing I do know—this was a great book and showed a new face on the problems we see daily on the news. My heart goes out to all women that must suffer, no matter where they live.

Articles you might find interesting:

Read NPR: Subjects of Kabul Beauty School Face New Risks

Daily Mail: Kabul Beauty School Dropout

USA TODAY: Kabul Beauty School Cuts Through Cultures

Beth, Highland Branch Library

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