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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. Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. From the Hardcover edition.
The Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women, all of whom have stories to tell, who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. Arriving in Afghanistan in 2002 with nothing more than a beauty degree and a desire to help, Deborah Rodriguez set out on a course of action that would change her life and those of many Afghan women. The once proud tradition of beauty schools had been all but destroyed and with it Afghani womens ability to support themselves. As one of the founders of the Kabul Beauty School she set about training women and helping them rebuild their lives.
The internationally bestselling memoir and prequel to The House On Carnaval Street by the much loved author of The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul. 'Composed of heartbreak, hope, poignancy and candor...Kabul Beauty School is laid out masterfully, pulling readers in from the very first page' - Los Angeles Times Enter the war-torn capital of Afghanistan, where tanks rumble through the streets and women are regarded as second-class citizens. Meet Deborah Rodriguez, a down-to-earth woman from the USA, who went to Kabul with a beauty degree and the urge to help. A year after her arrival, Deborah Rodriguez joined the Kabul Beauty School as one of its first teachers and eventually its director. Stumbling through the language barrier and overstepping cultural customs, Deborah helped her students to become the breadwinners for their families, teaching them the fundamentals of makeup and hairdressing. In this heartwarming memoir, Deborah introduces us to the women who shared the true stories of their lives, and learned the art of perms, friendship and freedom. '[A] rollicking story...Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author's superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor' - The New York Times 'This lovely and at times light-hearted memoir ... reveals the powerful magnificence of the women under the burqa' - Marie Claire (Australia) 'Like good hairstylist chatter, Rodriguez's memoir ... is gossipy and warm' - Vogue Magazine (Australia) 'Amusing, inspiring account of good intentions gone platinum, with streaks' - Time Magazine (Australia)
The author of the best-selling Kabul Beauty School continues her journey of self-discovery after her 2007 flight from Afghanistan, where after experimenting with New Age culture she became a hairdresser in seaside Mexico within a new family of locals and expats.
In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan - and fast - to keep her café and customers safe. YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violent streets. CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil. ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life. And HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules. As these five women discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is the heart-warming and life-affirming fiction debut from the author of the bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School.
Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world's soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a local chef led her to the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism and the discovery of the only significant way to remove carbon dioxide from the air—an ecological approach that tends not only to plants and animals but also to the vast population of underground microorganisms that fix carbon in the soil. Ohlson introduces the visionaries—scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers—who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil, which solves myriad problems: drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.
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