I finally finished a fantastic book! I've been lacking in the fantastic category for awhile, only finding good books that I've enjoyed lately, but this one ranks as a fantastic! I read Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez for the Non-Fiction 5 and am now passing the word on to all of you that you MUST read this book! It's eye-opening, wonderfully written, and such an educational experience.
In 2001, very soon after the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, Debbie Rodriguez went to the country as part of a humanitarian group offering aid. She fell in love with the country, but being surrounded by doctors and other medical professional on the mission, felt she had nothing personal to offer in terms of aid. A hairdresser in Michigan, Debbie soon realized that the women of Afghanistan had nothing in the way of beauty salons, all having been closed during the reign of the Taliban. Debbie decided to not only open a salon that would help these women with their needs, but she would also open a school, teaching the women to be beauticians and allowing them to earn money on their own, creating a whole new realm of independence for these women in Kabul.
Debbie's road was not without hardship. The school almost didn't happen several times, it was almost closed down even more times, but through it all, Debbie was resourceful, always coming up with a way to continue helping these women learn skills, even when the country was trying to run her out of Kabul. I read this book very slowly because I wanted to absorb all of the wonderful stories about the different women and the manner in which they arrived at the beauty school. I was completely absorbed in this book from the moment I opened it, not wanting to put it down to go to work or to sleep, which is rather surprising from a non-fiction selection. I really do encourage everyone to read this book, it was truly fantastic. One of the best of the year!
Just as a side note, you'll notice that all of my Non-Fiction 5 choices are based on the current war or in countries that are right now being affected by the war. These were not conscious choices. I didn't set out to read only books about Afghanistan or Baghdad, but I think because the chance Aaron is being sent back to Iraq this fall is very good, God wants me to read up on it. Probably a good idea. Proves that we, as Americans, are doing good there I guess and my husband isn't being sent away for nothing. God is always working folks, even in things as little as reading choices.