We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Mar 8, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 330 pages
Here are Afghan women in their own words. Words that are by turns inspiring, moving, courageous, and heartbreaking. Their powerful stories create a compelling portrait of the lives, struggles, and successes of this extraordinary nation and its extraordinarily resilient women. With an introduction by Laura Bush, honorary founding co-chair of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council.

Afghanistan has been described as “the worst nation in the world to be a woman.” More than fifty percent of girls who are forced into marriage are sixteen or younger. Too many women live in fear and in many areas, education and employment for women are still condemned. The women featured in We Are Afghan Women are fighting to change all that. From rug weavers to domestic violence counselors to business owners, educators, and activists, these courageous women are charting a new path for themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation. Told in their own voices, their stories vividly capture a country undone by decades of war and now struggling to build a lasting peace.

Meet Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, who ran underground schools for girls until the Taliban fell, and today has established educational centers across Afghanistan to teach women and girls basic literacy. Or Freshta Hazeq, who as a female business owner, has faced death threats, sabotage, and even kidnapping threats against her children. Naheed Farid is the youngest female member of Afghanistan’s parliament. During her campaign, opponents cut Naheed’s face out of campaign posters and her family risked complete ruin, but her husband and father-in-law never wavered, encouraging her to persevere. Here, too are compassionate women such as Masooma Jafari, who started a national midwives association. Her own mother was forced into marriage at age twelve and gave birth to her first child at age thirteen.

With an introduction by former First Lady Laura Bush, We Are Afghan Women chronicles the lives of young and old, daughters and mothers, educated, and those who are still learning. These determined women are defying the odds to lead Afghanistan to a better future. Their stories are a stark reminder that in some corners of the world the struggle continues and that women’s progress in society, business, and politics cannot be taken for granted. Their eloquent words challenge all of us to answer: What does it truly mean to be a woman in the twenty-first century?
 

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User Review  - dtwoodford - LibraryThing

I received an audio book as a member give away from Library Thing for which I am greatly appreciative. After reading the comments of other Library Thing Early Reviewers I found that I agreed with most ... Read full review

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User Review  - WeeziesBooks - LibraryThing

The stories told in this collection are indeed intense and difficult and yet hopeful. They show the resilience of Afghan women, or perhaps women anywhere, when faced with terribly difficult ... Read full review

Contents

LIVING
1
Lives in Ghazni
7
Belquis Gavagan
13
Shamsi
43
Razia Jan
51
Wazhma Furmuli
63
LEARNING
85
Nang Attal
97
Kobra Dastgirzada
187
Manizha Wafeq
193
SURVIVING
203
Massoma Jafari
217
Born in Bamiyan 1983
223
Laila Hayat
229
Najia Nasim
235
CHALLENGING
243

Born in Chack Wardack 1988
119
Mastoora Arezoo
129
WORKING
135
Zahra
161
Najiba Faiz
175
Born in Lashkar Gah Helmand province 1964
181
Born in Nangarhar 1988
259
Samira Kitman
267
Nasima Rahmani
269
Naheed Farid
293
Acknowledgments
309
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About the author (2016)

Laura Bush was First Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. She founded both the National Book Festival and the Texas Book Festival.

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