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VA Fairfax County Public LibraryThis 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