By Deborah Rodriguez
Quickly after the autumn of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as a part of a gaggle delivering humanitarian relief to this war-torn state. Surrounded via women and men whose skills–as medical professionals, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more effective than her personal, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mom of 2 from Michigan, despaired of being of any actual use. but she quickly stumbled on she had a present for befriending Afghans, and as soon as her career grew to become recognized she used to be eagerly sought out by way of Westerners determined for an outstanding haircut and by means of Afghan ladies, who've an extended and proud culture of working their very own good looks salons. hence an concept was once born.
With assistance from company and foreign sponsors, the Kabul attractiveness college welcomed its first-class in 2003. good that means yet occasionally brazen, Rodriguez stumbled via language obstacles, overstepped cultural customs, and always juggled the demanding situations of a postwar state while she realized find out how to empower her scholars to turn into their households’ breadwinners through studying the basics of coloring innovations, haircutting, and makeup.
Yet in the small haven of the sweetness college, the road among instructor and scholar speedy blurred as those shiny ladies shared with Rodriguez their tales and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her marriage ceremony evening, the twelve-year-old bride bought into marriage to pay her family’s accounts, the Taliban member’s spouse who pursued her education regardless of her husband’s consistent beatings. via those and different tales, Rodriguez stumbled on the energy to depart her personal bad marriage and make allowance herself to like back, Afghan style.
With heat and humor, Rodriguez information the lushness of a probably desolate area and divulges the beauty in the back of the burqa. Kabul attractiveness tuition is a impressive story of a rare group of ladies who come jointly and research the humanities of perms, friendship, and freedom.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional info for Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
A live sheep was tied up on a rope next to it. As we rolled by, I imagined that the live sheep was hoping that everyone would fill themselves on his dead, dried-up, fly-covered brother. There were brightly painted carts along the street heaped with fruits and vegetables that seemed bigger than any I’d ever seen. Were cauliflowers usually the size of basketballs? Were cantaloupes usually so large that you’d need two hands to carry them? We sped past shops that had big white plastic containers that held conical heaps of spices and nuts—red heaps, gold heaps, brown heaps—and shops with hundreds of things that looked like snowshoes hanging from their roofs.
As Roshanna finished her story, she sobbed, and I held her just as I had once held my children. Even though I hadn’t been in Afghanistan long, I knew that things could hardly be worse for a girl. People don’t dismiss a divorce with a benign label such as “irreconcilable differences” in Afghanistan. If a man divorces you, other people assume there must be something wrong with you. People will whisper that you are lazy or willful or a bad cook or—worst of all—that you were not a virgin. I love the Afghan people, but their true national sport is gossip.
The men are dancing with one another, snaking their arms, thrusting their hips, holding one another close, shimmying to the ground while running their hands down one anothers’ sides—all of it. I’m stunned, and I let the curtain flap open a little more so that I can watch. The men are obviously very comfortable touching one another, dancing with one another. They show one another not only affection but also sexual vigor. I wonder what would happen if the two sides of the room ever got together, wonder if any of the men and women ever find a way to sneak off together, and then suddenly I don’t have any more time to wonder about it.
Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez