Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

by Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 1400065593 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Ri of Cincinnati, Ohio USA on 3/1/2007
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Ri from Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Thursday, March 01, 2007
I received this copy for the ELLE magazine June non-fiction jury.

Journal Entry 2 by Ri from Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Friday, March 09, 2007
I really enjoyed Kabul Beauty School! At times it was quite difficult to read about the horrors the Afgani women endured, but there are enough joyful moments and glimmers of hope that compelled me to keep reading. Who knew that a beauty salon could bring such vibrant energy to an area really lacking both physical and emotional luster? Having traveled in several Muslim countries (Indonesia, Turkey and Lebanon), I could relate a bit more to the story and to Debbie's feeling of "otherness" - being immersed in a culture but not quite bound by the rules there, creating both a freedom and a level of distance from others. This great read would be fabulous for a book group and can surely stir up plenty of discussion!

Journal Entry 3 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Thursday, September 06, 2007
This book arrived safe and sound in Buffalo, NY today. I'll pass it along to Aceofhearts and Hoserlauren next time I see either of them per the post-it on the book.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, September 09, 2007
received today. I think I got this as part of a swap:)

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Rodriguez decides to help women in Afghanistan by teaching them how to run a beauty salon. This is something that would allow these women some income and a small bit of independence. Debbie describes the ordeal of starting such a venture from the donation of products and equipment in the US to transportation and the set-up of a school and then even the lottery type system to pick out the students.

The bravery of the Afghani women is unbelievable and their ambition and thirst for knowledge is wonderful to see.

This is not the best written book as the language is simplistic. I did not connect with Debbie at all but felt she was one of those brash, loud, opinionated 'Americans' the rest of the world has come to dislike. Debbie was just out of an abusive relationship when she started this project and I wondered how she could leave her young sons over and over again. Surely they would need her at this time.

While in Afghanistan Debbie becomes the second wife of an Afghani. He is very open-minded, but she becomes upset when she finds out that his first wife is pregnant. Please, is she that naive?

This was an extremely interesting story but I just couldn't relate to the author.

Journal Entry 6 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Friday, August 26, 2011
Reading now!

Journal Entry 7 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, September 05, 2011
Debbie Rodriguez is a hair dresser who decides to go to Afghanistan and open up a beauty school to teach Afghan women about hair dressing, makeup, and other similar activities to make them more self-sufficient. As expected, there's a lot of problems for women in Afghanistan and Debbie is right in the middle of it. She learns of her students' problems, some of which are heart wrenching. Debbie only sort of tries to assimilate to the culture. She never really seems to learn the language but ends up marrying an Afghan man. She takes her mission to teach the women of Afghanistan to be self-sufficient through opening up a beauty school and becomes fairly successful.

I enjoyed this novel's story, but I couldn't really understand or connect to Debbie. She left her kids behind after a bad divorce and it seems like she didn't give much thought to them after landing in Afghanistan. She also married an Afghan man without being able to speak the same language as him or understand who he was. She knew he had another wife, but would throw a tantrum when that wife got pregnant. She seemed to throw tantrums quite frequently which became annoying. How she survived in that environment with her attitude is beyond me. If you can ignore this part of the book, the rest of it is quite touching and a good idea of how to help out women in a troubled nation.

Journal Entry 8 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, September 18, 2011
This book is back with me :)

Journal Entry 9 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, November 10, 2013
My mom, AceofHearts, passed away from breast cancer on September 17, 2013. Aside from being one of the best people I know, she was an avid reader and took immense pleasure in Bookcrossing, her book club, and reading many great books.

Before she passed, she showed me all of her owed books and the books she wanted to give away as RABCKs, making sure that I would send everything on should anything happen. This book was marked for TITurtle1 as a RABCK.

Sent today.

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