Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (December 18, 2007)
Source: My Shelves
Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born.
With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup.
Sometimes an unfinished book is the victim of circumstances, and that was the case with this one. I was about halfway through Kabul Beauty School when Claire was born. The book up to that point was good, but it wasn't one I was telling every one about. I thought that Rodriguez had a wonderful program that empowered Afghan women, but I had a hard time matching her enthusiasm for hair color and makeup.
Once Claire arrived my reading time dwindled to nothing and I never picked this one back up. About two months later it was requested on Paperback Swap and I mailed it out without finishing it. If you've read this one, did I miss out on a wonderful ending, or was reading half the book sufficient? 0 stars