My Forbidden Face by Latifa

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Synopsis

Latifa was born into an educated middle-class Afghan family in Kabul in 1980. She dreamed of one day of becoming a journalist, she was interested in fashion, movies and friends. Her father was in the import/export business and her mother was a doctor.

Then in September 1996, Taliban soldiers seized power in Kabul. From that moment, Latifa, just 16 years old became a prisoner in her own home. Her school was closed. Her mother was banned from working. The simplest and most basic freedoms - walking down the street, looking out a window - were no longer hers. She was now forced to wear a chadri.

My Forbidden Face provides a poignant and highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. With painful honesty and clarity Latifa describes the way she watched her world falling apart, in the name of a fanatical interpretation of a faith that she could not comprehend. Her voice captures a lost innocence, but also echoes her determination to live in freedom and hope.

Earlier this year, Latifa and her parents escaped Afghanistan with the help of a French-based Afghan resistance group.
 

About Latifa

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In May 2001, Latifa and her parents escaped Afghanistan and were brought to Europe in an operation organized by a French-based Afghan resistance group and Elle Magazine. Since then she has been writing My Forbidden Face. She speaks Persian and is learning English and French. Latifa is not her real name.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by Perfection Learning. 192 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Forbidden Face

The Guardian

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Neither him, nor his brother, even if he was a sad case...' While she was still working in Kabul, my eldest sister, Chakila, told us the sordid tale of Shapour, Najibullah's brother, who had an affair with a young girl.

Jan 29 2002 | Read Full Review of My Forbidden Face

The Guardian

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My Forbidden Face by Latifa Read by Gabrielle Kruger Unabridged 4hrs 50mins Isis Audio Books £15.99 plus p&p It's 1996 and 16-year-old Latifa wants to be a journalist.

Aug 04 2002 | Read Full Review of My Forbidden Face

The Guardian

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This morning, my father tried once more to reach the rest of the family in Kabul.

Jan 29 2002 | Read Full Review of My Forbidden Face

Publishers Weekly

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Readers who want to know what life was really like when the Taliban ruled Kabul should turn off CNN and read this book.

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Publishers Weekly

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It also reveals the women's courage: Latifa's mother provides medical services forbidden to women, and Latifa herself establishes an underground school for neighborhood children.

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People

After the Taliban took over Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1996, 16-year-old Latifa left her middle-class family's apartment just twice in five months.

Apr 22 2002 | Read Full Review of My Forbidden Face

India Today

In Afghanistan, says Latifa, the author of this moving and honest account of growing up under the Taliban, "we survive with a kind of economy of emotions".

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Reader Rating for My Forbidden Face
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