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Dear Zari: Hidden Stories from Women of Afghanistan by [Kargar, Zarghuna]
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Dear Zari: Hidden Stories from Women of Afghanistan Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"An important title sure to spark group discussion on widespread oppression of women. " - Booklist

"Kargar, born in Afghanistan, fled the country with her family as a child during the chaos of the mujahedeen uprising against the Soviets in the 1980s. She gathered the astounding and deeply troubling stories for this book when she produced the BBC radio show, Afghan Woman's Hour..." - Publishers Weekly

"Heartrending collection of women's life stories culled from the BBC radio show "Afghan Woman's Hour..".An emotional and enlightening reading experience." - Kirkus

Book Description

True stories from women in Afghanistan, giving voice to these women for the first time and allowing them to tell their stories in their own words...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 704 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XIVPCM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is an inticingly well written collection of stories about the lives of women in Afghanistan, and should be read by a wide audience.
Zarghuna Kargar is a young refugee woman from Kabul who has had a long standing job with the BBC, on arrival in London she began working as the presenter of Afghan women's hour, broadcast on the BBC's Afghan service and listened to by millions in Afghanistan. The show featured a popular section where women from the many regions of Afghanistan could tell their life stories, this was all done in the tradition of women's story telling which is central to Afghan culture. Zarghuna has selected some of these life stories, written them up in English and pubilshed them for a wider audience to hear these women's lives through the power of their own voices.
It is beautifully written, it often feels that I am reading a novel, but then I have to sadly reflect that these are real women's lives and these women are still alive living through the trauma's they tell in the book. Each woman's stories affected me in many ways, from the young girl sold into marriage to pay for a crime her father committed, to the woman who married a man she later found out was homosexual and was forced to stay with him to protect his 'honour', each of the women in the book are strong survivors - we could all learn a lot from them. I have always had a keen interest in Afghanistan specifically women's lives there I've watched films and read books from and about the region - this book is by far my favourite.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author of this collection of true stories is a young woman whose roots are in Afghanistan, but whose life has been lived as a refugee in Pakistan and an immigrant in UK. This has given her a unique perspective on the lives of her fellow Afghanis. She has been able to use this inside/outside view to present Afghan Woman's Hour, a radio programme on the BBC. Although the programme is now discontinued, for many years it provided a life-line for isolated Afghani women to realise that they were not alone in their struggles. It also opened the eyes of at least a few men to the realities of life as an Afghani woman.

The twelve stories in the book are true accounts of women's lives, as recounted to Zarghuna, either directly or via her reporters, for the radio programme. The accounts include Zarghuna's own life story - even though she was an educated woman, by now living in UK, she still found herself subjected to a forced marriage. The stories emphasise the power of cultural traditions over the requirements of Islam, the latter being far more lenient on women.

Some of the stories we are familiar with by now - young girls being married off to older men, women marrying brothers-in-law after the death of their husbands and the pressure on women to bear sons. Others were more surprising - marrying off a homosexual son to protect him and the family from shame, using a daughter to settle a grievance and, possibly most horrifying of all, dosing young babies with opium so the mothers can keep working to earn an income.

There were a few chinks of hope, but they were few. Some matches were happy, occasionally parents took heed of their daughters wishes, but overall, I felt that there was little support offered between women.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was chosen to read by my book club, I knew it would annoy me because of the subject matter but it is well written and very absorbing and really makes you think about the plight of the women in Afghanistan and not so much about what religion has done to them but more about what tradition has done.
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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is a must read book in order to understand better how women live in Afganistan.

We are told that all Afgan women are free and they choose to wear these clothes and follow that sexist traditions, but this book reflects the contrary. It shows how they have the same feelings and wills as all women have, as to wear a short skirt or colorful clothes, or to be able to fall in love with the man of their choice, or to be able to go to school and a have a job.

The stories told are sad and sometimes tough to read, but these stories are a reality they want to change. And I really hope they will be able, in the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book two Christmases ago for a UK teenage girl that thought she was "hard done by" so I hoped it would make her think how lucky we are in the western world. I recently found it, cleaning her bedroom out after she had left home. It had not even been opened ! It is shocking that this is still going on but the UK has only had sex equality for less than forty years & that must of been with at least eighty years of the suffragette movement. I can not see things changing for a few hundred years & then only when women start to stand up to the men.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
an excellent read.......highly recommended,if one wants to know the insides of, and treatment meted out to women in Afghanistan,heart breaking stories of afghan women....lessons learnt,courage gained..
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Format: Paperback
This was such great access to the views of women in Afghanistan, it could have been a really influential book. It just wasn't brilliantly put together. Maybe it was a translation issue, but it felt old fashioned and homespun. Such a shame, because i've heard the author speaking and she's really impressive in person. I found such a large part of the book being about her a bit indulgent. It should have been a note at the back. I really wished this project well and a fully hope Afghanistan Women's Hour is resurrected.
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