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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil | [Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson]

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil

Most Westerners working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside a military compound or embassy. Not Deborah Rodriguez. Here, she tells the story of the beauty school she founded in the middle of Kabul and of the vibrant women who were her students. When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy but also made some of the closest friends of her life.
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Publisher's Summary

Most Westerners working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside a military compound or embassy. Not Deborah Rodriguez. Here, she tells the story of the beauty school she founded in the middle of Kabul and of the vibrant women who were her students.

When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy but also made some of the closest friends of her life. Woven through the book are the stories of her students: the newlywed who must fake her virginity; the 12-year-old sold into marriage to pay her family's debts; and a woman who pursues her training despite her Taliban husband's constant beatings. They all bring their stories to the beauty school, where, along with Rodriguez herself, they learn the art of perms, friendship, and freedom.

©2007 Deborah Rodriguez-Turner; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A terrific opening chapter - colorful, suspenseful, funny - ushers readers into the curious closed world of Afghan women." (Publishers Weekly)
"A lively narrative of the author's experiences reacquainting Afghan women with skills the mullahs had denied them....Terrifically readable, and rich in personal stories." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (411 )
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4.3 (138 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon Yountville, California 10-21-11
    Sharon Yountville, California 10-21-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learning more about the women under cover"

    I really enjoyed every bit of this story. It was great to learn more about the women who live, and learn to be stronger in such a conflicted country. The descriptive writing made me "see" these women and the environment they survive in. Also makes me want to find an organization the I can contribute to to help these women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave & Amy From Amity 03-02-08

    amyfromamity

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating"

    Fascinating book. Would recommend to any woman living in the US. Absolutely could not put it down. Read in three days.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Hernandez Rockford, MI 09-28-07
    Lynne Hernandez Rockford, MI 09-28-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ok - but not great"

    I enjoyed many parts of this book, especially the insights into the Afghan culture. I didn't think the book was particularly well written though as segments seemed to be stuck in wherever more detail was needed. The flow was a little bumpy. All in all, the book made me extremely thankful I wasn't an Afghan woman. Our book club decided that there are better books that address the topic of Afghan women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Auburn, WA, USA 06-12-07
    Kim Auburn, WA, USA 06-12-07 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it!"

    I really loved this book and loved the way the person reading it sounded. She made it sound like she was in the room with me talking about what happened. I reccomend this one 100%

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby New Albany, IN, United States 03-10-12
    Abby New Albany, IN, United States 03-10-12 Member Since 2014

    I'm a children's librarian in Southern Indiana. I love listening while walking and doing housework.

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    "A story for women everywhere"

    Bernadette Dunne is well-matched to this story of a strong woman doing what she can to help the women of Afghanistan. Dunne reads with a strong, clear, no-nonsense voice, which is just how I imagine Debbie Rodriguez to be from her story. The first person format lends itself nicely to audio and I enjoyed stepping inside Debbie's world behind the veil as she embraced Afghanistan and its women.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer United States 01-19-12
    Kindle Customer United States 01-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "enjoyable"

    Easy to listen to and follow. Great insight into Kabul and life there, the needs of women and their strength.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonali Jersey City, NJ, United States 05-17-10
    Sonali Jersey City, NJ, United States 05-17-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Cultural eye opener"

    This is a great story that will open the doors to the elusive lives of Afghan women, including their challenges and determination. Rodriquez left for Kabul from Michigan and didn’t have much to offer but her hairstyling skills. However, she soon realized teaching Afghan women her trade secrets will provide them income opportunity in a harsh war-torn country. Part inspirational, part cultural eye-opener, but either way it’s a Great Listen that will keep you engaged until the end wanting to know more about all the women.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bette Gustine, CA, United States 02-17-08
    Bette Gustine, CA, United States 02-17-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Kabul Beauty School"

    I had just finished "Infidel" and then listened to this book, both are a must-read if you are interested in why we are having such problems in the middle East. I have a better understanding on Muslin religion. It is shocking to read/hear about what is (mostly NOT) accepted when we have so much freedom as women. I wish every woman would give this book a listen, strong storyline with a message.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer El Paso, TX USA 12-23-12
    Amazon Customer El Paso, TX USA 12-23-12 Member Since 2007

    angelwings35

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the Read"

    Whenever I fume because my husband sits at the computer while I cook after a long day of work, I think of these women, and it puts my life in perspective. The characters are well rounded and Deborah Rodriguez does a wonderful job of drawing you into the story and making you feel that you're experiencing it right along with her. You will immediately want to put on your burka to go to the Middle East to help these women.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula DAVIS, CA, United States 10-16-12
    Paula DAVIS, CA, United States 10-16-12 Member Since 2014

    scrappyat 50

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    ""Ordinary" people with regular backgrounds can..."

    and do influence the lives of those around us. If you are not bringing medicine or food or military support, are you helping? Can you help? This book answers the questions with a quiet "Yes". The beauty is that everyone has something to offer, and the dignity of a haircut can not be dismissed. War, poverty, displacement, uncertainty are elements in the life of many people. Self care becomes hard when you don't even know if you are going to have food that evening. The motivation to have good hygiene, the chance to be with other women, to talk about hair and makeup styles, allows a woman who is "just a hairdresser in the USA" to contribute to the health and well being of other women in the world. Too many of us think that we don't have what others need, but how do you define giving back fun, dignity, the support of friends? The ability to support yourself or contribute to your family and encourage others is the theme of this book, and it is a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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