Dear Zari by Zarghuna Kargar
The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan

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"A powerful collection of testimonies that depict the struggles and hopes of Afghan women. An often emotional and at times painful read, this book is ultimately a poignant celebration of human resilience under unimaginable duress. " —KHALED HOSSEINI, New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner


"I am deeply touched by these stories...Dear Zari should be read by anyone who cares and wants to know about Asia and Asian women." —XINRAN


"All the stories in Dear Zari illustrate the suffering caused by deeply ingrained Afghan traditions. But [the women's} bravery and resilience shines through and Kargar touchingly reveals how hearing others' life stories finally gave her the courage to share her own. " —The Independent


Moving, enlightening, and heartbreaking, Dear Zari gives voice to the secret lives of Afghan women. For the first time, Dear Zari allows these women to tell their stories in their own words: from the child bride given as payment to end of a family feud, to a life spent in a dark, dusty room weaving carpets, from a young girl being brought up as a boy, to a woman living as a widow shunned by society.


Intimate, emotional, painful and uplifting, these stories uncover the suffering and strength of women in this deeply religious and intensely traditional society, and show how their courage is an inspiration to women everywhere.


About Zarghuna Kargar

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Zarghuna Kargar, an Afghan woman now living in London, grew up in war-torn Kabul before she and her family fled to Pakistan shortly before the Taliban took power. In 2001 Zarghuna moved to the UK to begin a new life. Working on the BBC World Service program, Afghan Women's Hour, Zarghuna was part of an influential project that gave support, education, and encouragement to millions of women across Afghanistan.
Published June 1, 2012 by Sourcebooks. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Dear Zari

Kirkus Reviews

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Kargar presented and produced the show with the goal of providing women in Afghanistan a weekly program that would cut across tribal, social and economic boundaries.

May 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Dear Zari: The Secret Lives o...

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Dear Zari: The Secret Lives o...

BC Books

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From the older members of the family down to the very youngest, they would always find some new way to hurt me and take satisfaction for my suffering.” When Zarghuma speaks to her she’s 40, feeling very old and tired and looking forward to paradise – her only consolation the son she bore through...

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Dear Zari: The Secret Lives o...

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Rebecca Kilbane

Rebecca Kilbane 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list