Women of Courage: Intimate Stories from Afghanistan

Overview

"Scott and Katherine have given a voice to the girls and women of Afghanistan while providing the reader with a glimpse into an unknown world?…?I would recommend this book as a visually stunning and inspiring first step for all of us on the journey to better understand the courageous women of Afghanistan." -Debbie Rodriguez, Author, The Kabul Beauty School

"Kiviat and Heidler take you on a journey through the lives of Afghan policewomen, paratroopers, artists, actresses, and scores of others who for too long have remained hidden under the burqa.

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Overview

"Scott and Katherine have given a voice to the girls and women of Afghanistan while providing the reader with a glimpse into an unknown world?…?I would recommend this book as a visually stunning and inspiring first step for all of us on the journey to better understand the courageous women of Afghanistan." -Debbie Rodriguez, Author, The Kabul Beauty School

"Kiviat and Heidler take you on a journey through the lives of Afghan policewomen, paratroopers, artists, actresses, and scores of others who for too long have remained hidden under the burqa. The ghosts have emerged and at this moment, they are triumphant. This is a beautiful book." -Marie Brenner, Author, Great Dames: What I Learned From Older Women

"In this stunning book, Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler reveal a reality of Afghanistan's women that is little-known in the West: that they are both incredibly diverse and deeply determined. These portraits show Afghan women as I have come to know them: capable, confident, and endlessly resilient. So often, Afghan women have been presented to the world through someone's political lens. But in this book, Kiviat and Heidler do their subjects-and the rest of us-a great service by letting the women tell their stories directly to the world." -Nancy Lindborg, President, Mercy Corps

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Editorial Reviews

VA Fairfax County Public Library
This moving tribute profiles 40 Afghan women who have tried to transform their lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Among those interviewed are an Olympic athlete, a TV journalist, a fortune-teller, and an abused wife. Whether urban or rural, the women all reveal a determination and courage that was hidden for years under full-length burkas and gender repression. Each interview is accompanied by a stunning full-page photograph that captures the pride each individual feels in her new life. The women's words mirror this pride and hope for a future that they know is still tenuous. Certain themes emerge again and again-the right to an education, the right to work. The book was first conceived in 2003, and an earlier version, Parwana, was published in Afghanistan's two main languages, Dari and Pashtu, and distributed to all-girls' high schools and women's centers in the country. Three of the women interviewed for the book have died-one in childbirth and two murdered. For Western teens who may not fully comprehend the courage it takes for a woman to step out-side her house, go to school, or get a job, the book shines a light on a special breed of heroines.
— Pat Bangs
Fairfax County Public Library, VA - Pat Bangs
This moving tribute profiles 40 Afghan women who have tried to transform their lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Among those interviewed are an Olympic athlete, a TV journalist, a fortune-teller, and an abused wife. Whether urban or rural, the women all reveal a determination and courage that was hidden for years under full-length burkas and gender repression. Each interview is accompanied by a stunning full-page photograph that captures the pride each individual feels in her new life. The women's words mirror this pride and hope for a future that they know is still tenuous. Certain themes emerge again and again-the right to an education, the right to work. The book was first conceived in 2003, and an earlier version, Parwana, was published in Afghanistan's two main languages, Dari and Pashtu, and distributed to all-girls' high schools and women's centers in the country. Three of the women interviewed for the book have died-one in childbirth and two murdered. For Western teens who may not fully comprehend the courage it takes for a woman to step out-side her house, go to school, or get a job, the book shines a light on a special breed of heroines.
Library Journal

Journalists Kiviat and Heidler have produced a sympathetic coffee-table book on exemplary Afghan women. Each of 40 women is represented by a one-page interview excerpt and a full- or two-page photographic portrait. The women's professions range from paratrooper to mullah, with some merely described as "abused wife" or "divorcee." Their social, regional, and linguistic backgrounds are not provided. Readers seeking more than a superficial sketch will wonder how the interviews were conducted (in what languages, how translated) and how the excerpts were selected for the book. The excerpts, harping on courage and aspiration, do not have enough context to convey any actual intimacy or even ease with the unnamed interviewer. The authors' intent to promote education and women's rights sometimes seems to eclipse the subtler shades of the women's own stories. Perhaps as a result, some of the women's comments seem formulaic. The photographs themselves are expressive but are not works of art. An optional selection for large public libraries or journalism collections.
—Lisa Klopfer

School Library Journal

Adult/High School
This moving tribute profiles 40 Afghan women who have tried to transform their lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Among those interviewed are an Olympic athlete, a TV journalist, a fortune-teller, and an abused wife. Whether urban or rural, the women all reveal a determination and courage that was hidden for years under full-length burkas and gender repression. Each interview is accompanied by a stunning full-page photograph that captures the pride each individual feels in her new life. The women's words mirror this pride and hope for a future that they know is still tenuous. Certain themes emerge again and again-the right to an education, the right to work. The book was first conceived in 2003, and an earlier version, Parwana , was published in Afghanistan's two main languages, Dari and Pashtu, and distributed to all-girls' high schools and women's centers in the country. Three of the women interviewed for the book have died-one in childbirth and two murdered. For Western teens who may not fully comprehend the courage it takes for a woman to step outside her house, go to school, or get a job, the book shines a light on a special breed of heroines.
—Pat BangsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423602538
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/8/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Kiviat is a Middle East-based documentary photojournalist who, for almost three years, based herself in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she completed the, Women of Courage, with Fox News Middle East Correspondent Scott Heidler.

Scott Heidler is a Middle East Correspondent for Fox radio out of Jerusalem. He reports for Fox News Channel as well as the radio. He is based in Jerusalem and New York.

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Read an Excerpt

A lon g way, b u t t h e j o u r ne y not d one .

WE all remember those stomach-turning television news images of Afghan women wearing robin’s egg blue, all-covering burkas executed in the Kabul stadium—their bodies falling limp and the dust kicking up on the dry field from the exiting bullet. Or we heard the stories of women being beaten on the streets of Afghanistan for infractions that seem frivolous to a Westerner—letting their hair be seen or leaving their family compound without permission.

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Table of Contents

Introduction IX

Homaira Habib, Radio Journalist 14

Hanifa Jamizada, Presidential Election Worker 18

Freeshta Sadat, Abused Wife 19

Nadera, Bread Maker 22

Jamila Mujahid, TV Journalist 28

Shaima Rahmany, Filmmaker 29

Shagoofa Sahar, Host of Good Morning Afghanistan Radio Show 32

General Khatool Muhammad Zai, Afghan Army Paratrooper 36

Fariba Razayee, Afghan Judo Olympian 40

Naheed Mirza, Police Academy Graduate 41

Massouda Jalal, Former Minister of Women's Affairs?/?Presidential Candidate 44

Shaharzad Akbar, Kabul University Student 45

Azima Nabi, Teacher and Mother of Six 48

Shaima Razayee, Host, Hop Music TV Program 50

Miriam Farooq, Language Teacher 54

Former Underground Teacher 55

Shaima Aminy, Burn Unit Nurse at Herat Hospital 58

Zahra Mohammadi, Divorcée 64

Suraya Parlika, Executive Director, All Afghan Women's Union 65

Huria Hessary, Midwife Trainer 66

Marzia Tamaski, Supermarket Saleswoman 67

Shazia Saba, Office Manager, Bamiyan DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) 70

Abeershah, Fortune Teller 74

Safia Amma Jan, Head of Women’s Affairs Office in Kandahar 75

Malalai Kakar, Criminal Investigator in Kandahar 78

Mahjan, Housewife 82

Pashtoon Shahna, Girls’ High School Principal 86

Fatema Kamazemyan, Head of Women’s Affairs Office in Bamiyan 87

Farzana Wahidy, Photojournalist 90

Suhila Fanoos, Welayet Women’s Prison Guard in Central Kabul 91

Lailama Nabizada, Afghan National Army Helicopter Pilot 94

Robina Moqimyar, Afghan Olympic Sprinter 96

Aziza Nazari, Police General, Human Rights Department 100

Mahmooda Hoseini, Female Mullah 102

Hamida Jan, Actress / Refugee 106

Mahgul, Handicraft Worker 107

Marina Gulbahari, Actress 110

Zubaida Akbar, Journalist 114

Roshan Gul, Beekeeper 115

Parwana Ghezel, Ariana Afghan Airlines Flight Attendant 118

Fareshta Kohistani, United Nations Photographer122

Acknowledgements 127

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