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Women of Courage - Intimate Stories from Afghanistan by Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler Books in Review
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Women of Courage - Intimate Stories from Afghanistan
by Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
ISBN 978-1-4236-0253-8
Published August 2007 - Hardcover - 128 pages - $19.95

It's hard enough being a woman, but can you imagine being a woman in war torn Afghanistan where traditionally (like other Middle Eastern countries) women had few rights until the collapse of the Taliban?  Women were not permitted to show their hair, or to study to get an education, leave their homes by themselves, shop by themselves, travel, you name it.  Photojournalist Katherine Kiviat and journalist Scott Heidler have documented forty stories by Afghanistan women who've gone beyond the pale in order to better themselves and thus offer hope and opportunity to others.  Not all women burst out of their surroundings post-Taliban, but there are those who did and others who'd continued to work as best they could.  The book features beautiful portrait pictures of these women and stories of some in radio, journalism, nursing, etc.  Other jobs include a presidential candidate, a bread maker, a paratrooper, teacher, housewife, beekeeper, helicopter pilot, police general, and a variety of other professions.  Overwhelmingly, all wish for peace.  The majority of these women all agree that girls (and women) need education to get good jobs and to make it in their world as well as in the rest of the world.  For each interview there is a photograph of the featured women.  Look into their eyes as it's very moving and emotional trying to imagine for one second being in their shoes.  God help them all.  A portion of the proceeds of this book goes to Mercy Corp's progams in Afghanistan.  Visit their website.
Conclusion - Moving and an eye-opener.

book cover

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