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A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfiction of the Year An exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother’s unimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfiction of the Year An exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother’s unimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions. With the city and the military on edge, it was not uncommon for an armed soldier to point his gun at the pregnant woman’s bulging stomach, terrified that she was hiding a bomb. Frightened and in pain, she was once forced to make her way on foot. Propelled by the love she held for her soon-to-be-born child, Homeira walked through blood and wreckage to reach the hospital doors. But the joy of her beautiful son’s birth was soon overshadowed by other dangers that would threaten her life. No ordinary Afghan woman, Homeira refused to cower under the strictures of a misogynistic social order. Defying the law, she risked her freedom to teach children reading and writing and fought for women’s rights in her theocratic and patriarchal society. Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. In telling her story—and that of Afghan women—Homeira challenges you to reconsider the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice, and survival. Her story asks you to consider the lengths you would go to protect yourself, your family, and your dignity.


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A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfiction of the Year An exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother’s unimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfiction of the Year An exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother’s unimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions. With the city and the military on edge, it was not uncommon for an armed soldier to point his gun at the pregnant woman’s bulging stomach, terrified that she was hiding a bomb. Frightened and in pain, she was once forced to make her way on foot. Propelled by the love she held for her soon-to-be-born child, Homeira walked through blood and wreckage to reach the hospital doors. But the joy of her beautiful son’s birth was soon overshadowed by other dangers that would threaten her life. No ordinary Afghan woman, Homeira refused to cower under the strictures of a misogynistic social order. Defying the law, she risked her freedom to teach children reading and writing and fought for women’s rights in her theocratic and patriarchal society. Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. In telling her story—and that of Afghan women—Homeira challenges you to reconsider the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice, and survival. Her story asks you to consider the lengths you would go to protect yourself, your family, and your dignity.

30 review for Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    The more I think about this book and I have been thinking about it since I finished reading it, I have to change my rating. It deserves 5 stars. *********************************************** As a young girl, growing up in Afghanistan, Homeira Qaderi received supportive and wise advice from her father : “By reading more novels, Homeira , you will become more creative. You will know more people and you will experience many different lives.” And from her mother : “They have written about their own The more I think about this book and I have been thinking about it since I finished reading it, I have to change my rating. It deserves 5 stars. *********************************************** As a young girl, growing up in Afghanistan, Homeira Qaderi received supportive and wise advice from her father : “By reading more novels, Homeira , you will become more creative. You will know more people and you will experience many different lives.” And from her mother : “They have written about their own lives. You must write about you. “ This inspiring memoir reflects so beautifully that she heeded their advice. The narratives of her life experiences are interspersed with letters to her son who she had to leave behind in Afghanistan when she leaves for the US. A precocious rebel as a child, inquisitive even in the hellishness of her experiences : “ I can’t remember a time when my homeland was not at war. My childhood began with fighter-jet attacks, bombs falling from the sky, and me trying to count invisible bullets. War and hunger, those are my earliest memories.” After the Russians, the Taliban came and closed all schools for girls and women were not allowed to leave their homes. Her bold mother recommended that she teach young girls in their home and at thirteen years old, she does, and then later holding classes in the mosque for both boys and girls under the guise of teaching them the Koran. They learned, they read and yes, even danced in the mosque. Books were banned and her father who revered books and learning, buried books in a chest in their yard. He dug them up and hid them in the cellar when Homeira read her family the first story she wrote so she could read. This girl who wrote could not publish stories under her own name, but when one appeared, her whole family was in danger. Today she is a writer, a professor and advises the Afghan government on issue of equality for women. When she marries, she became the “ property” of her husband. They moved to Iran and in Tehran, her life changes. She becomes educated and blossoms into the woman she hoped to be, but things took a turn when they returned to Afghanistan. “ Divorce, divorce, divorce, “ in a text from her husband. According to their culture, if a husband says it three times it makes their marriage “ null and void.” Heartbreakingly, her son now belonged only to his father. Her telling of her life growing up and as an adult is inspiring, enlightening, hopeful, yet heartbreaking. Her letters to her son are filled with anguish, grief, regret and most of all love. “Do not believe them! I haven’t died. I am living a life of exile, in a place that has its own beauty, its own laws, and its own problems. But to my eternal pain, it does not have the most important element of my being, of my soul. It does not have you.” “How could a mother just walk away and leave her child behind? It was never my wish.” It’s hard to imagine sometimes a life so very different from our own, making me wonder what decisions I may have made under the same circumstances, how I would have survived under the same conditions and cultural norms. Homeira Qaderi in her powerful memoir affords us the opportunity for some understanding. Well written and highly recommended. An NPR interview with the author: https://www.npr.org/2020/11/28/939629... I received a copy of this book from Harper through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    This book was just the perfect read for those of us who think our lives have been difficult as women. In it, Homeira Quderi vividly relates what life was like for a young girl growing into adulthood under Taliban rule. Most of us are aware of the indignities done to girls by the Taliban, forbidden to learn, to go outside without the company of a man, to forever be covered from head to toe with the consequences of not following the rules. The consequences were at best a severe beating and at worst This book was just the perfect read for those of us who think our lives have been difficult as women. In it, Homeira Quderi vividly relates what life was like for a young girl growing into adulthood under Taliban rule. Most of us are aware of the indignities done to girls by the Taliban, forbidden to learn, to go outside without the company of a man, to forever be covered from head to toe with the consequences of not following the rules. The consequences were at best a severe beating and at worst beheading. Homeira is a revolutionary who believes that all children need to be educated so she secretly runs a small school in a mosque. Ever vigilant to the dangers of both what she is doing, not only to herself but to the children, she allows them to dance, another thing forbidden, and learn to write and read. There are many close calls but miraculously she is never caught and eventually marries after being somewhat betrothed to a Taliban chieftain. Moving to Iran, she finds she is able to go to school. and eventually earns her PhD. However, her marriage falls apart as her husband decides he likes the ways of the Taliban, the couple move back to Afghanistan. He divorces her and takes her son and the book contains both poignant and emotional letters to a son she has not seen in years. Sad and mournful, Dancing in the Mosque makes the reader ever so grateful to live in a free country where women can be anything.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    This was just an excellent portrayal of the disgustingly unequal treatment of women in Afghanistan during Taliban rule (and before... and after). Homeira on the surface seems luckier than most, but she also paid a price, giving up her son for her freedom from a husband who decided she wasn't enough for him. Alternating chapters are of reading a letter to her son so he will know who and where she is. Hers is a story worth knowing and I'm glad my Goodreads friends Angela and Diane brought it to my This was just an excellent portrayal of the disgustingly unequal treatment of women in Afghanistan during Taliban rule (and before... and after). Homeira on the surface seems luckier than most, but she also paid a price, giving up her son for her freedom from a husband who decided she wasn't enough for him. Alternating chapters are of reading a letter to her son so he will know who and where she is. Hers is a story worth knowing and I'm glad my Goodreads friends Angela and Diane brought it to my attention with their excellent reviews. I loved the audio narrator as well. Can I mention an oddity in the recording, however? Several times, at least ten, I'd venture to guess, sentences -- portions of sentences or complete sentences -- were very obviously inserted, having been re-recorded at a different time and place. These sentences sounded like they were phoned in, literally, with a tinny tone to them. The only reason I can think of for this is the studio maybe closed during the pandemic and the edits were done from home. Maybe it could not be helped, but it was a distraction nonetheless.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Standeven

    This is the inspiring story of a very courageous young girl growing into a woman in Afghanistan. The book is to bear witness to the changes happening in her country, and on a more personal level to explain to her son (and to the reader) why she had to escape and leave him behind. “Losing you was the most severe pain I have ever suffered and I know you must be very, very angry. But I felt I had to make a choice, not just for myself, but also for my country and, ultimately, for you. I don’t wan This is the inspiring story of a very courageous young girl growing into a woman in Afghanistan. The book is to bear witness to the changes happening in her country, and on a more personal level to explain to her son (and to the reader) why she had to escape and leave him behind. “Losing you was the most severe pain I have ever suffered and I know you must be very, very angry. But I felt I had to make a choice, not just for myself, but also for my country and, ultimately, for you. I don’t want either of us to belong to a society that degrades women the way the Afghan society does. You, my son, are a new generation and it is my deepest hope that by the time you grow up, things will have changed—that you will become an instrument of that change.” She tells of her childhood, moving from the relative ‘safety’ of war-torn Herat under the Russian occupation, through the Mujahadeen, the Taliban and then ISIS. At the start of the book, the major dangers were exploding bombs and bullets, male relatives being imprisoned and tortured – but many children (including girls) still had access to an education. With the chaos of Mujahadeen, everyone was at risk, and the restrictions on girls and women began to tighten. By the time the Taliban are in charge, females could no longer leave their homes without a husband or male relative in attendance, they must wear a burka in public and all schooling for females is banned. For Homeira – who has always been a rebel and has always railed against the preferential treatment shown to her younger brother – this ruling needs to be thwarted. She loves education – needs education. And so, aged merely thirteen, she sets up a secret part-time school in a make-shift mosque. Initially it is for the local young girls – but soon refugee children (including some young boys) join in. The title refers to an incident where the children are happy and excited, and start to dance – and come so very close to being discovered by strict Taliban soldiers. That would have involved the destruction of the school, and almost certainly executions – or worse. All too soon, it is time for Homeira to marry. It is not something that the wife-to-be – nor her family – have any say in. Once a Talib man chooses a female for his first (or second, third or fourth) wife – the matter is settled. “The nekah matrimonial ceremony is the recitation of some verses in Arabic by a maulawi that, in an instant, allows a total stranger to become your master.” Homeira manages to avoid marriage for longer than most of her friends, but eventually a particularly cruel Talib leader claims her. Thankfully, he dies in battle before the ceremony. The next marriage does takes place – and your heart sinks along with the hearts of Homiera and her family. But then the wonderful twist. Her new husband takes her straight to Iran so that he can go to university there. And Homeira gets the opportunity to do the same. In the West, Iran is perpetually demonised, but to Homeira it was a beacon of hope – somewhere she could become the woman she wanted to be: “In Afghanistan, a good woman was defined as a good mother. In Iran, a good woman could be an independent and educated woman.” She is able to put off motherhood for years to focus on her education and writing career. Unfortunately, her husband (with whom she had fallen in love) eventually decides to return to Afghanistan – taking her with him, and she is pressured into having a child. She tries to continue her career in Afghanistan, but when her husband informs her that he is taking a second wife, it is the final straw: “It takes years and generations for men to accept strong women. And in the end, he felt more accountable to society than to me.” I found the family dynamics very interesting. Homeira is very influenced by her father and grandfather, who do their best to support and encourage her. Her grandfather is widely read, and hides his many works of Russian literature when the Taliban come. Her mother is a somewhat neutral figure, but her grandmother always just wants Homeira to conform – like a good woman should. “Pain and grief adorn a woman,” she said. “You should accept it for your own comfort. No woman’s life can be compared to a man’s. I swear that your eyes and ears will get used to the second wife. Don’t be afraid. It is difficult for all women, but when it happens, they accept it.” Homeira wants the men to change – but I cannot help but believe, that until the women change – nothing will. Education is a start, but while there continues to be acceptance of the woman’s submissive and second-class role, women will not be free. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits Dancing In The Mosque is an incredible memoir of perseverance and emotional strength. Homeira Qaderi has given up absolutely everything, including her own very young son, in order to fight for Afghan women's rights and, through reading this searingly personal memoir, I feel I understand a little of what this woman has been through and what drives her. The book is written as a chronological memoir, with chapters interspersed with Qaderi's inte See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits Dancing In The Mosque is an incredible memoir of perseverance and emotional strength. Homeira Qaderi has given up absolutely everything, including her own very young son, in order to fight for Afghan women's rights and, through reading this searingly personal memoir, I feel I understand a little of what this woman has been through and what drives her. The book is written as a chronological memoir, with chapters interspersed with Qaderi's intensely poignant letter to her son, Siawash, who remained with her husband in Afghanistan. Afghan law doesn't recognise women's rights to even see their children if the father doesn't wish it and, despite long drawn-out legal proceedings, mother and son have been kept apart for years. Siawash has even been told his mother died. Qaderi portrays Afghan life over several decades from Russian to Taliban oppression, showing how the Afghan people themselves have been pushed from pillar to post for years without any opportunity to determine their own lives. Swapping one set of men with guns for another set and then another. I cannot imagine the mental strength it would take to set oneself against a regime as Qaderi did. Despite my disagreeing with her grandmother's admonishments to knuckle down and accept patriarchal customs regardless of their unfairness, I could see why the older woman could think this way. She could stomach the repression and was, at least, alive to tell the tale. Qaderi took the opposite approach though, choosing as a teenager to teach literacy to refugee girls in direct defiance to Taliban edicts. She is an inspirational woman whose memoir I highly recommend to women everywhere.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Stansel

    Dancing in the Mosque is the powerful memoir of a woman growing up in Afghanistan both during Russian and then Taliban control. Her story is broken up as messages to the son taken from her when her husband divorced her. To a woman of similar age who had the luck of being born in a place where women are given equality, it was a painful reminder of the horrors women are faced with around the world. Yet the story is filled with hope and love as well, from her family and her determination to stand u Dancing in the Mosque is the powerful memoir of a woman growing up in Afghanistan both during Russian and then Taliban control. Her story is broken up as messages to the son taken from her when her husband divorced her. To a woman of similar age who had the luck of being born in a place where women are given equality, it was a painful reminder of the horrors women are faced with around the world. Yet the story is filled with hope and love as well, from her family and her determination to stand up for herself, those who were lost and those who come after her. Full disclosure- i received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    A child in Afghanistan does not belong to their mother; they are entirely and legally the property of their father. It's not just Afghanistan where that's the case; there are many other countries that take the same approach. And when your husband doesn't want you anymore and divorces you with a technique founded in historic sharia law but delivered in an oh-so-21st-century text message, the child is no longer yours. They belong to their father and you have no rights to access or parentage. This A child in Afghanistan does not belong to their mother; they are entirely and legally the property of their father. It's not just Afghanistan where that's the case; there are many other countries that take the same approach. And when your husband doesn't want you anymore and divorces you with a technique founded in historic sharia law but delivered in an oh-so-21st-century text message, the child is no longer yours. They belong to their father and you have no rights to access or parentage. This is the background to Homeira Qaderi's memoir, "Dancing in the Mosque". The book is part memoir - an account of growing up under the Russian invasion, the rise of the Taliban, and the rule of ISIS/Daesh - and part a letter to her young son who was taken from her in 2015. This is a challenging life but not an entirely bleak one. There is love, fun, inspiration, friendship and a great family at the heart of Homeira's story. Under each wave of occupation and oppression, she doesn't let her surroundings grind her down. There are horrifying things - beatings and molestations and abject unfairness - but also inspiring stories of fighting the system in quiet ways, of ignoring the 'no education' rules, and in one case 'dancing in the mosque'. I think it's the blend of oppression and inspiration that gives this book more power than many of the unremittingly miserable stories about Afghanistan. I particularly enjoyed the chapters about her time in Iran and the wonderful freedoms that she found in Tehran compared to being at home in Afghanistan. I've been to Iran a couple of times and I loved the role the country played in this book as a benchmark of relative freedom and indulgence. Nobody ever became great by staying home and following the rules and Homeria Qaderi has clearly achieved much greatness in her life, but the loss of her son continues to haunt her. Highly recommended. A bit confusing in the first few chapters, but well worth the effort.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kitty Fogliano

    My adult life parallels the historical time period of the rise of the Taliban, a mysterious, horrifying, and enigmatic monster living in a faraway land. A monster that has led women my age all over the world to reflect upon our own power and freedom and to warily watch forces everywhere that continue to try to put limitations on those powers and freedoms. This is the first work I have read written from inside the experience of a woman, barely younger than I, growing up under the shadow of that m My adult life parallels the historical time period of the rise of the Taliban, a mysterious, horrifying, and enigmatic monster living in a faraway land. A monster that has led women my age all over the world to reflect upon our own power and freedom and to warily watch forces everywhere that continue to try to put limitations on those powers and freedoms. This is the first work I have read written from inside the experience of a woman, barely younger than I, growing up under the shadow of that monster. A work in translation, the prose does not translate artfully. Rather, it is the details in the story that create a richly-woven tapestry. A mix of past-tense narrative and letters written directly to the author's son, this book took my breath away. It is a testimony to the struggle and strength of women through time and space, as well as the tremendous import of literature and storytelling.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shankar Singh

    “𝙄𝙩 𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙢𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣’𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚—𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙖𝙧𝙗 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙚𝙖𝙧. 𝙄𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙗𝙖𝙣–𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙖𝙣 𝙧𝙪𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝘼𝙛𝙜𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙞 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙙-𝙨𝙚𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡—𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙞𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣.” Dancing in the Mosque is a heart-wrenching memoir which the author, Homeira Qaderi, dedicated to her son who she was forced to leave behind in Afghanistan. She reflects on her own life and includ “𝙄𝙩 𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙢𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣’𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚—𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙖𝙧𝙗 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙚𝙖𝙧. 𝙄𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙗𝙖𝙣–𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙖𝙣 𝙧𝙪𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝘼𝙛𝙜𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙞 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙙-𝙨𝙚𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡—𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙞𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣.” Dancing in the Mosque is a heart-wrenching memoir which the author, Homeira Qaderi, dedicated to her son who she was forced to leave behind in Afghanistan. She reflects on her own life and includes a series of letters that she wrote for her son, but knows he will never receive. She portrays her life several decades moving from a war-torn Herat under Russian invasion to, through Mujahideen in civil war, the Taliban and then finally the ISIS. She recounted her past as she refused to cower under the strictures of a misogynistic social order. She told how Islam was turned into an instrument of retribution, into a stone with which to strike people, especially women, under Taliban rule. As a defiance to her lost freedom she started to teach children and risked her own life to learn to read and write. Until one day she’s forced to marry a Herati man at age of 17, to save her from being taken by a Talibani commander who wanted to marry her. This is not a light-hearted book. Her letters to her son are filled with anguish, grief, regret and most of all love. It is an intimate, personal, and riveting chronicle of one defiant girl’s coming of age in a war-torn Afghanistan. Well written and highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Meyrink

    “Madar, what does emigrating mean? Still searching the horizon Madar said: It means becoming a stranger in a foreign country. It means dying alone.” I picked this up from the library knowing nothing about it and I’m really glad I did. Homeira Qaderi’s memoir tells the story of her childhood from Soviet controlled Afghanistan to Taliban control. Qaderi’s memories of growing up and trying to get an education as woman’s rights were taken away is interspersed with a letter to her son who she can no long “Madar, what does emigrating mean? Still searching the horizon Madar said: It means becoming a stranger in a foreign country. It means dying alone.” I picked this up from the library knowing nothing about it and I’m really glad I did. Homeira Qaderi’s memoir tells the story of her childhood from Soviet controlled Afghanistan to Taliban control. Qaderi’s memories of growing up and trying to get an education as woman’s rights were taken away is interspersed with a letter to her son who she can no longer see because of divorce. Western, white feminism ignores the voices of women around the world. If you are looking to expand your feminism I highly recommend reading this. I can’t imagine how challenging writing this book was and I feel very great full to the Qaderi and her translators for sharing this story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    S.G. Wright

    Whoa this is a pretty dark story about Afghanistan by a girl who lived through the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, the civil war that followed, and the rise of the Taliban who conquered her family's town of Herat. Ugh this poor woman! She persevered despite all the violence and the prohibition of education to girls under the Taliban. Ugh what a vicious group! It's mind-boggling the conditions she & her family endured along with so many others of that country. It will disgust & infuriate anyone wit Whoa this is a pretty dark story about Afghanistan by a girl who lived through the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, the civil war that followed, and the rise of the Taliban who conquered her family's town of Herat. Ugh this poor woman! She persevered despite all the violence and the prohibition of education to girls under the Taliban. Ugh what a vicious group! It's mind-boggling the conditions she & her family endured along with so many others of that country. It will disgust & infuriate anyone with an ounce of feeling in their body. Still rebel Homeira is worth cheering for! She secretly teaches girls & boys within a mosque (without them finding out) and even a couple rogue Taliban too. But at age 17 she is forced into an arranged marriage to a local man and is taken to Tehran Iran ... where she flourishes seeing women's freedom there. Wow, she earns her degrees, teaches, and has a son but all changes when they return to Kabul 15 years later, and her husband wants to take a second Wife. No way, no how. Homeira has evolved & is not going back to such a life! I was thoroughly moved & impressed by Homeira -- her will & courage to live a life of freedom & not oppression -- despite all the repercussions & her son being taken from her. She is a heroine of Afghanistan and her storytelling brings the horrors and her perseverance to light.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mumtaz Noori

    I don’t have words to expound the way I was captivated by every words of the book, only an Afghan and that a woman can feel and write such inspiring memoir at the same time abhorrent facts of our structured patrimonial society where men are bestowed with every authority and blessings, and women with limited opportunity and value.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Chassen

    I really enjoyed this memoir for its raw truth. It wasn't trying to make you feel anything besides the authentic experience of being a woman in that world. There were moments that felt like triumph and ones that left me devastated. And yet, throughout the whole book you had these letters, which at first I thought were journal entries. So Homeira is telling us stories from two different times and periods in her life, but she's also letting you, the reader, know - she's ok. I will be recommending t I really enjoyed this memoir for its raw truth. It wasn't trying to make you feel anything besides the authentic experience of being a woman in that world. There were moments that felt like triumph and ones that left me devastated. And yet, throughout the whole book you had these letters, which at first I thought were journal entries. So Homeira is telling us stories from two different times and periods in her life, but she's also letting you, the reader, know - she's ok. I will be recommending this book to friends. It' so important that we explore lives that we will never live, shoes that we will never wear, and homes that will never be our own. This is, absolutely rr

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    What happens when your world and life are invaded by the Taliban, beautifully written, heartbreaking.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura Silverberg

    Meh..... 2.5 stars would be my true rating but that’s not an option. This book popped up as something I might be interested in and the summary really intrigued me. It is a story of a young Afghani woman and her life under various political systems in Afghanistan and later Iran. The story covers her youth, various family members and key players in her childhood. It also describes her marriage and lifelong yearning for more than her culture permitted of a woman at that time. Sounded like it would be Meh..... 2.5 stars would be my true rating but that’s not an option. This book popped up as something I might be interested in and the summary really intrigued me. It is a story of a young Afghani woman and her life under various political systems in Afghanistan and later Iran. The story covers her youth, various family members and key players in her childhood. It also describes her marriage and lifelong yearning for more than her culture permitted of a woman at that time. Sounded like it would be a great story. In fairness, I listened to this book and I do think that part of the problem was the narrator was very monotone., so the whole thing felt flat to me. Also, the first half of the book was really hard to follow. There wasn’t enough character development to help me build characters in my mind. The names of some of the key players were fairly similar and so without an attachment toward them, it was really hard to connect and care as much as I would have liked. The second part of the book to me was much more interesting. The protagonist got married and moved to Iran for a time with her husband. Ultimately, the book is a bit of a love letter to a son she was forced to abandon in order to have freedom and fight for equality for women. I knew that from the summary before I began the book. If I had not understood that, I’m not sure I would have been able to tie it together and tell him about 60% of the way through the story. Parts of this story were very interesting and it is based on true life events of the author. Certainly, it gives me much more respect for the women who have survived that type of a life. I just didn’t really grab me as much as I expected it to. I believe that was due partly to what I thought was limited character development, the back and forth between the present and the future without a clear woven path. Important topic, perhaps better covered in other books,

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brianne

    Powerful memoir and a look into a life very different from my own. Qaderi beautifully illustrates that the love of a parent is a constant across cultures. And her ability to nurture her passion for writing and women’s rights amidst so much war and oppression is inspiring. It was heartbreaking to imagine her father burying his books, but also uplifting when Qaderi’s own father tells her that to become a good writer she needs to read good writing and uncovers them, and her mother tells her others Powerful memoir and a look into a life very different from my own. Qaderi beautifully illustrates that the love of a parent is a constant across cultures. And her ability to nurture her passion for writing and women’s rights amidst so much war and oppression is inspiring. It was heartbreaking to imagine her father burying his books, but also uplifting when Qaderi’s own father tells her that to become a good writer she needs to read good writing and uncovers them, and her mother tells her others wrote their stories and now she needs to write her own. I loved these sentiments and the bravery of her whole family.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    An extraordinary book that is full of tension, twists and turns that hold you close to Homeira Qaderi’s life story. She was brave, bold and willing to take risks to benefit others. The political and religious impacts on families and especially, women were stifling but an appreciation for education and fairness were constantly playing into the way in which Homeira cared for others.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Disappointed An interesting story but written poorly. The early parts were written so simply, it was not a very enjoyable read. At the end she acknowledges that this book was translated by two different people, so perhaps the fault lies with the translation rather than the story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    This is a beautifully written heartbreaking and hopeful love letter to the son Qaderi was forced to leave behind in Afghanistan. After living through the Russian occupation of her country, she was then forced to deal with the Taliban, which oppressed women more than any other regime. Qaderi, however, not only read against the law, she also taught others to read, including one who taught her to dance. Her marriage at 17 seemed good, especially while the couple was living in Tehran. Unfortunately, This is a beautifully written heartbreaking and hopeful love letter to the son Qaderi was forced to leave behind in Afghanistan. After living through the Russian occupation of her country, she was then forced to deal with the Taliban, which oppressed women more than any other regime. Qaderi, however, not only read against the law, she also taught others to read, including one who taught her to dance. Her marriage at 17 seemed good, especially while the couple was living in Tehran. Unfortunately, however, they returned to Kabul where he announced his intent to take a second wife. Her objection lead him to divorce her and, under the law, take their young son. Qaderi eventually makes her way to the US, where she continues to hope for a reunion. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is so emotional and yet restrained- it's thoughtful and informative. It will stick with you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Meyer

    If you have read,"Reading Lolita in Tehran", you were probably disturbed by the increasingly oppressive testosterone led apartheid against xx chromosome creatures. That was about Iran. This novel is about Afghanistan. Here the oppression is far worse. This book could be described as Reading Lolita in Tehran on steroids. Each chapter is the autobiographical author's memory of some incident of her self. Moving chronologically, she evolves from living a quasi Anne Frank existence fearing Russian tr If you have read,"Reading Lolita in Tehran", you were probably disturbed by the increasingly oppressive testosterone led apartheid against xx chromosome creatures. That was about Iran. This novel is about Afghanistan. Here the oppression is far worse. This book could be described as Reading Lolita in Tehran on steroids. Each chapter is the autobiographical author's memory of some incident of her self. Moving chronologically, she evolves from living a quasi Anne Frank existence fearing Russian troops, then Mujahideen, and finally the Taliban. Ironically, after dodging bullets, dodging lascivious holy men, dodging shop owners, and evading Taliban conscripted marriage, she marries, and moves to a place where she can live more freely: Tehran. But, when the Taliban leave and she returns to Afghanistan, she learns that her "nice guy" husband lives up to the old line: you can take the boy out of Afghanistan, but you cannot take Afghanistan out of the boy. At the end of each chapter are italicized letters from exiled mother to biological son. The reader capable of perusing those letters without tears is indeed one hardened soul. Being an Afghan woman is so tough that the author's grandmother succinctly says, "In this land, it is better to be a stone than to be a girl." Read "Handmaids Tale", contrasted with recent DC events, and you feel that uncomfortable, disconcerting feeling that something like this author's travails could happen here. Ouch

  21. 4 out of 5

    Asmeeta

    This is the kind of book you cannot close once opened. A mother’s longing, a young girl’s struggle for education and her rights and sheer determination to keep going - the author has created a wonderful literary piece with her simple yet rich writing style. Highly recommended!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diana Welmerink

    This short memoir was beautifully written! Dr. Qaderi tells her coming of age story alongside letters to her son, which she no longer has the right to see or contact under Afghani law. Her writing transported me to a faraway land where life is so very different for women and girls than in the US. Her advocacy work for gender equality is inspiring.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gaby Brucker

    Inspired and educated by this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Layburn

    Homeira Qaderi has lived such a heartbreaking and inspiring life, and her memoir is as moving and thought provoking as you would expect from such an exceptional woman. Dancing in the Mosque is a memoir- telling of Qaderi's childhood living in Afghanistan while it was under Russian occupation, then while it was struck with civil war, and finally while it was under the control of the Taliban. Readers will learn how passionate she has always been about women's rights, and the ways she has put her l Homeira Qaderi has lived such a heartbreaking and inspiring life, and her memoir is as moving and thought provoking as you would expect from such an exceptional woman. Dancing in the Mosque is a memoir- telling of Qaderi's childhood living in Afghanistan while it was under Russian occupation, then while it was struck with civil war, and finally while it was under the control of the Taliban. Readers will learn how passionate she has always been about women's rights, and the ways she has put her life at risk to speak up, act out, and write about the norms that she considered unacceptable- especially the restrictive role that society tells her that females were meant to take on. But this book is not just a memoir of her formative years. It is also a heartfelt attempt to reach out to her son, whom she hasn't seen since he was a toddler, when her husband forced her to choose between her son and everything that makes her, her. She will never give up on her attempts to connect with her son, but life has taught her that her words are her strongest weapon, and she will use them. This ARC was obtained through Netgalley, with thanks to Harper Collins, in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alicia L. Johnson

    True story focusing on the plight of the women in Afghanistan. Riveting, startling, astounding. Don’t ever take your rights as a US citizen for granted.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Freshta

    This is a blood-boiling and heart-wrenching memoir of a brave and inspiring woman and a truly loving mother. Beautifully written, easy to read but hard to put down. Separated from her son and unwilling to give-in to the social pressure, she agonizes herself by sacrificing even her motherhood for the sake of a better future and while fighting a custody battle, she writes letters to her son with the hope that one day he will get to know her through the letters. “ I always have and always will want This is a blood-boiling and heart-wrenching memoir of a brave and inspiring woman and a truly loving mother. Beautifully written, easy to read but hard to put down. Separated from her son and unwilling to give-in to the social pressure, she agonizes herself by sacrificing even her motherhood for the sake of a better future and while fighting a custody battle, she writes letters to her son with the hope that one day he will get to know her through the letters. “ I always have and always will want to be a mother for you, but I also need to remain Homeira for myself...I am trying to save myself and, by doing that, perhaps save other women as well.” Quoting another one of her messages that she has written to her son: “But you, my child, are poised to become a man of your homeland’s tomorrows. You don’t have to set off on your father’s path. It is my fondest wish, my son, that someday, somehow, this story I have told you about my life will help you and your children and your children’s children create and nurture a new Afghanistan so that the suffering of my mother’s mother, my mother, and me will not have been in vain.” As I started reading this book, I realized during the first few chapters that I am almost same age as Homeira Qaderi. Same as her, I was also born in Afghanistan and most likely this book hit me harder for that one main reason as it echoed many female voices of our generation. I was born in Kabul while she was living in Herat. Same country, same time period, difference is one geography bore harsher conditions and more misery compared to the other. Always knew that life outside Kabul, even during the darkest times (which seems to be never ending) has always been gloomier and more bloody compared to inside of kabul, with the exception of early-mid 90s. Unlike Homeira, My family had migrated from Kabul to Pakistan in 1992 due to the civil war that started when Mujahideen took over and as a kid and there had been so many times when I had pondered what would life look like, had my family remained in Afghanistan. Same as Homeira, my fears of that time was due to the war; loud explosions, firing, bullets, deaths,.... and too young to understand the full extent of my father’s decision at the time, later I learned his reason for moving was fear for my two older sisters. He never left Afghanistan until then and I often questioned myself if my father would have ever left if my two older sisters were born boys; Kabul was much different back then especially for women. It probably wasn’t completely like western world but it was also not like most other regions where women bore the heaviest burden of family honor and dignity to the point of being buried under those weights and become nameless and identity-less. Although, now looks like people are trying to live multiple ways of life and hoping those ways of life will at least remain parallel just to avoid brutal and bloody intersections which is what was happening in communities and places like where Homeira was growing up. Sadly being a female is not challenging just in Afghanistan; same as Afghanistan many other countries including Pakistan suffer from same societal issues. The problem with a war torn country is, there is never a break or a chance for normal process of societal change/progression. It seems that with War and instability, passage of time stalls and at some point when you have a chance to escape from that vacuum and look from outside, you realize that the world has moved on to other centuries... As sad and gloomy the realities of life are In Afghanistan, women like Homeira and some men like Homeira’s father can shine a ray of hope for those of us who still have to live there. This book is not just a horrific and gloomy picture of the life of people of Afghanistan (in particular of women)for the past 4 decades, it is also an echo of the voices that were raised but silenced before it could reach our ears. We often read/hear these stories and feel sorry or feel sad but I also hope that we see the efforts of those who are still not giving up. I am not shocked or appalled by the horrendous acts and brutalities of life presented in this book as I am very familiar with those but I am most certainly inspired and motivated by Homeira and other women like her. She is utilizing the power of her pen and authorship to educate and inspire not just her child but many others as well. It has been my believe that women’s lives in country like Afghanistan will change the day we start teaching our boys how to treat women with true respect, love and equality. And that is what I love to read in her letter to her son... as an educator she sees the path forward. Love, respect, dignity and equality is everyone’s right regardless of gender. That’s what she has fought for and that’s what she is giving sacrifices for. “I know that you’ve been told I am dead. But I am not dead, my dear Siawash. I am very much alive. I am your mother. My name is Homeira. And this is my voice.” I believe this book is not just her voice but voices of millions of other women who have been brutally stripped off of their basic human rights and forcefully silenced. I know people like Homeira are threatened on daily basis and I can’t imagine how life will be for all women, especially those who will not sit quiet, after “peace deal” with Taliban will be signed and after they will be brought back to power.

  27. 4 out of 5

    شیرین شکراللهی

    I'm grateful to know this woman, to know her story! Homeira, you are a perfect mother and you always will be! Siyavash will be honored that his mother is such an inspiration and fights for her rights. I'm grateful to know this woman, to know her story! Homeira, you are a perfect mother and you always will be! Siyavash will be honored that his mother is such an inspiration and fights for her rights.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    “Mothering in Afghanistan amounts to running along the sharp edge of a sword.” With this understanding, Homeira Qaderi concludes her memoir, a long, beautiful letter to the son she left in Afghanistan 958 days ago. To arrive at this conclusion, she shows the story of her life as a girl and then as a married woman. Her grandmother, Nanah-jan, believed that one of the most difficult tasks the Almighty can assign is being an impetuous, strong-willed, intelligent girl with the fate of birth in Herat “Mothering in Afghanistan amounts to running along the sharp edge of a sword.” With this understanding, Homeira Qaderi concludes her memoir, a long, beautiful letter to the son she left in Afghanistan 958 days ago. To arrive at this conclusion, she shows the story of her life as a girl and then as a married woman. Her grandmother, Nanah-jan, believed that one of the most difficult tasks the Almighty can assign is being an impetuous, strong-willed, intelligent girl with the fate of birth in Herat, a city in northwestern Afghanistan. Qaderi begins DANCING IN THE MOSQUE with a fanciful tale in which her brother has been rewarded for his curiosity with the gift of a jinni. Upon his demand, the jinni presents him with a black steed. Qaderi laments that she was not gifted with either a jinni or a black steed for her questions and determination. Instead, she listened to stories of monsters, wild horrible monsters that were to be her punishment for laughing out loud, wearing short skirts and arguing with her grandmother. Qaderi saw early and often the brutal disparity between the sexes as evidenced in her family, her town and her nation. How Qaderi went from being “a chick commander” leading a group of naked teenage girls in a bathhouse, one of the few safe places females could meet without the Taliban’s cruel interference, to becoming an exiled Afghani woman transplanted to California is told in short vignettes. Each of these pieces ends with a part of her letter to her son, Siawash. She tells him she is not dead. She tells him she loved his father very much for many years. She tells him she still wakes up during the night, at what is no longer his feeding hour, but still she awakens, fearful that she has missed it. She tells him again she is not dead. In the chapter “Red Shoes,” Qaderi remembers a night during an intense period of fierce fighting and stuttering machine guns. One of the neighborhood kids, Mohammad, who was younger by a few years, had been begging to wear a pair of Qaderi’s glittery red slippers with sharp heels. Of course, he was shamed. Those shoes were meant for girls, and he had been told no. During the worst of the battle raging outside their home, her grandfather, Baba-jan, came to the living room from a nap. “Where is Mohammad?” They rushed to the window and there, spinning gracefully among the invisible bullets, danced Mohammad with the red shoes. As we learn later in that chapter (it is quite a surprise), his fate underscores the second-class status of women. Qaderi does not reveal the specifics of that night to Siawash, but she does tell him about another frightening time. She learned from the American television news of an explosion across the street from a kindergarten in Kabal. Believing it to be his school, she made phone calls to find out if he was okay; she saw pictures of children but did not think she would even recognize him so many years later. When she woke up her brother at 6am his time, he told her that Siawash was safe. But then he turned on her and berated her for making the choice to leave; he was unsympathetic and compared a woman in Afghanistan to being in quicksand. The more you struggle, the more tightly you are trapped. Each memory from her childhood to the final days when she determines that she must leave Kabal is built on mothers, aunts, grandmothers, girlfriends and women she sees on the street. Refugees from Ghor Province who traveled to escape the war settled across the river from her home. Their tents were silent and dark at night as music was forbidden, but she could hear the lullabies, sweet sincere melodies of mothers comforting their children. Mother. Her son’s first word was “Mothe,” not even the complete word; her heart filled each time she heard it. Mother. She had not wanted children early in her marriage as she had seen too many times how Afghani culture disregards women; once a mother, she felt she would be reduced to being just that. After the birth of her son, however, she learned that motherhood is just another form of womanhood. Because of Afghani law and the overpowering culture of relegating women to second-class status, Qaderi’s life was about to change in a way that she could not condone. She was forced into the impossible choice of losing herself or losing her son. Reading the book’s final sentence is an excellent place to begin. Privileged American women will grieve with her and still celebrate her bravery. Qaderi acknowledges her translators, Dr. Zaman Stanizai and Vanisa Saffari, and their extraordinary skill at crisscrossing two languages as well as two cultures. To this reader, her voice feels seamless and authentic. Reviewed by Jane Krebs

  29. 4 out of 5

    Najila

    I know it's hard to rate memoirs but this deserves 5 stars. It deserves all of the stars. I was first apprehensive of the book's title because I was expecting another book blaming everything on Islam but once I read the chapter that explained the title, I was more at ease. This has become one of my favorite reads this year. Homeira Qaderi writes about her childhood growing up under the Soviet invasion which then shoots into the Taliban era. Both times her and her family's lives were in danger and I know it's hard to rate memoirs but this deserves 5 stars. It deserves all of the stars. I was first apprehensive of the book's title because I was expecting another book blaming everything on Islam but once I read the chapter that explained the title, I was more at ease. This has become one of my favorite reads this year. Homeira Qaderi writes about her childhood growing up under the Soviet invasion which then shoots into the Taliban era. Both times her and her family's lives were in danger and they became just another number, another casualty to men's war games. One thing that this book really cemented was the resilience of Afghan women. Most of them have faced oppression from the moment they were born to the day they died/were killed. But, in that face of oppression they fought the best ways they could even without picking up a gun. As a young teen during the Taliban era, Homeira courageously, along with other girls and children, teaches a group of neighborhood children how to read and write because the girls' schools were shut down and the boys were only allowed to learn about the Taliban's Islam. Later on, she started a girls' writing group at her friend's house, taught by a well known male Professor. All under the guise of a sewing circle. When Homeira eventually gets married - without anyone asking her for her preference - it is both a blessing and a curse. It is through this marriage that she is able to finally continue her education. After finishing college, she earns her Masters and Doctorate. However, just being an Afghan woman means she'll have to eventually pay her dues. This book was so emotional for me, as a woman, as an Afghan, and as a mother. Homeira structures this book as letters to her young son, Siavash, who was taken away from her by her ex-husband. There were many times this book has enraged me, and her ex-husband was not the least of those causes. This book also has made me cry, many times. There was one chapter titled Khoshhal that really hit me hard. I recounted this entire chapter to my husband in the car one night. We reached our house and he pulled into the driveway, turned off the car and we just sat there while I finished telling him about the chapter. He was just as angry and sad as I was by the end. At one point, in the middle of the book, I couldn't continue until I found out if she was currently with her son or not. I spent hours googling her and reading interviews and stalking her instagram page and to my relief, I found that she was indeed with her son at this time. But, the interviews confirmed that her time with her son will not last. In just a few years, her husband will be able to take her son away again. Homeira's story really hit me hard even though I can't relate to anything she went through. She has given a voice to countless Afghan women. And I hope one day, the men realize the incredible injustice they do to their countrywomen, all under the name of a religion that they shamelessly manipulate.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elite Group

    Utterly brilliant – Quite outstanding. A must-read! I must start with this quote – it’s what Homeira’s grandmother told her more than once; “My grandmother believed that one of the most difficult tasks that the Almighty can assign anyone is being a girl in Afghanistan.” She would have said it in exasperation trying to control her granddaughter’s extraordinarily strong, enthusiastic, feisty nature – after all – Afghan women are no more than chattels, nobodies. We follow Homeira’s life from her bir Utterly brilliant – Quite outstanding. A must-read! I must start with this quote – it’s what Homeira’s grandmother told her more than once; “My grandmother believed that one of the most difficult tasks that the Almighty can assign anyone is being a girl in Afghanistan.” She would have said it in exasperation trying to control her granddaughter’s extraordinarily strong, enthusiastic, feisty nature – after all – Afghan women are no more than chattels, nobodies. We follow Homeira’s life from her birth into a huge family living in one house, Her grandparents, their four daughters and two sons, her mother, and siblings. They had mulberry trees and red and green grapes on their plot of land, spaces where she and her brother could play when there was a lull when bombs and mortar weren’t keeping them in hiding during the Russian invasion. The memoir, written to her son, taken from her at an early age, sees her survive the Russian invasion, the Taliban’s very harsh take-over of Herat and her marriage and the freedom she found in Iran. Possibly one of the most extraordinary memoirs I’ve ever had the privilege to read. “Meeting” Homeira and listening to her narration of this often-harrowing life changed my perception of how lucky I am to have the freedom and be accepted as a woman. I wish I could say that when the West arrived with thousands of troops in Afghanistan that they were able to rescue and change the lives of women. Allow them the freedom of education, even the chance to attend university. However, by withdrawing, the old rules returned, and women are still treated as if “one of the most difficult tasks that the Almighty can assign anyone is being a girl in Afghanistan.” Thank you, Homeira. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for opening my eyes to the conditions that still prevail in Afghanistan. May millions find this memoir and may their eyes also be opened – maybe we can start a peaceful revolution changing the life of one girl at a time. Rony Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review.

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