Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez

By Deborah Rodriguez

Quickly after the autumn of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as a part of a gaggle providing humanitarian relief to this war-torn kingdom. Surrounded by means of 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 genuine use. but she quickly came across she had a present for befriending Afghans, and as soon as her career grew to become recognized she was once eagerly sought out via Westerners determined for an excellent haircut and by means of Afghan girls, who've an extended and proud culture of working their very own good looks salons. therefore an concept was once born.

With the aid of company and overseas sponsors, the Kabul attractiveness university welcomed its firstclass in 2003. good which means yet occasionally brazen, Rodriguez stumbled via language obstacles, overstepped cultural customs, and continually juggled the demanding situations of a postwar kingdom whilst she realized how one can empower her scholars to develop into their households’ breadwinners by means of studying the basics of coloring strategies, haircutting, and makeup.

Yet in the small haven of the wonder institution, the road among instructor and scholar speedy blurred as those brilliant 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 offered into marriage to pay her family’s money owed, the Taliban member’s spouse who pursued her education regardless of her husband’s consistent beatings. via those and different tales, Rodriguez discovered the energy to go away her personal dangerous marriage and make allowance herself to like back, Afghan style.

With heat and humor, Rodriguez info the lushness of a likely desolate quarter and divulges the beauty at the back of the burqa. Kabul good looks institution is a amazing story of a unprecedented group of ladies who come jointly and study the humanities of perms, friendship, and freedom.

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His family had insisted upon it, so that she couldn’t change her mind about marrying him after he went back to Germany. And everyone agreed that it would be easier for her to emigrate there if she was already his legal wife. But within days her new husband left—without a word, without reason, and without her. She was crushed and humiliated, but it only got worse. Two weeks later, she was told that the cousin had divorced her when he got back to Germany. “It is so easy for a man,” Roshanna told me.

But I didn’t think about any of these things. I was just excited to be there, and I was trying to make sure I didn’t lose track of our group. Inside the airport was complete and total chaos. There was a crowd of people pressing up against a man who was checking passports before we could get through to baggage claim. When we finally squeezed through that bottleneck, we found that our bags and equipment were being tossed into a heap by men wearing long pieces of cloth twisted into ragged, mushroom-shaped turbans.

She admired this pretty, plucky, resourceful girl who had been supporting her parents and the rest of her family ever since they fled into Pakistan to escape the Taliban. After she left Roshanna’s salon, she started asking around for further details about the girl. She liked what she heard. Roshanna’s father had been a doctor, and the family had led a privileged life until they fled to Pakistan in 1998. There, he was not allowed to practice medicine—a typical refugee story—and had to work as a lowly shoeshine man.

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