Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

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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.

About Deborah Rodriguez

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Deborah Rodriguez is a hairdresser, a motivational speaker, and the author of the bestselling memoir Kabul Beauty School. She spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House. She currently lives in Mexico.From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 10, 2007 by Random House. 290 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Living on and off in Kabul, Rodriguez found a suitable building and opened her school to about 30 students, whose hard-luck stories fill these pages.

Dec 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Kabul Beauty School: An Ameri...

The New York Times

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Deborah Rodriguez tells the rollicking story of one of the strangest foreign-aid projects ever conceived, the creation of an academy to train Afghan beauticians.

Apr 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Kabul Beauty School: An Ameri...

Entertainment Weekly

Kabul Beauty School (2007) In 2002, looking for a little adventure and escape from a sour second marriage, hairdresser and self-described party girl Deborah Rodriguez left Michigan for Afghanistan.… 2007-04-10 Debora...

Apr 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Kabul Beauty School: An Ameri...

USA Today

Some women in need of a transformation head to the local beauty salon.

May 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Kabul Beauty School: An Ameri...

CCB La Valla Library

This book is a look at the lives of women in Afghanistan through the lens of The Kabul Beauty School.

Jul 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Kabul Beauty School: An Ameri...

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