An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
the underground girls of kabul
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We live in a visual age. Images and visual artefacts shape international events and our understanding of them. Photographs, film and television influence how we view and approach phenomena as diverse as war, diplomacy, financial crises and election campaigns. Other visual fields, from art and cartoons to maps, monuments and videogames, frame how politics is perceived and enacted. Drones, satellites and surveillance cameras watch us around the clock and deliver images that are then put to political use. Add to this that new technologies now allow for a rapid distribution of still and moving images around the world. Digital media platforms, such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, play an important role across the political spectrum, from terrorist recruitment drives to social justice campaigns. This book offers the first comprehensive engagement with visual global politics. Written by leading experts in numerous scholarly disciplines and presented in accessible and engaging language, Visual Global Politics is a one-stop source for students, scholars and practitioners interested in understanding the crucial and persistent role of images in today’s world.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a stabilizing force for domestic and international peace. Blending history, fieldwork, theory, and policy analysis while incorporating perspectives from officials and activists on the front lines of implementation, this book is the first to thoroughly investigate the Hillary Doctrine in principle and practice. Does the insecurity of women make nations less secure? How has the doctrine changed the foreign policy of the United States and altered its relationship with other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia? With studies focusing on Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Yemen, this invaluable policy text closes the gap between rhetoric and reality, confronting head-on what the future of fighting such an entrenched enemy entails. The research reports directly on the work being done by U.S. government agencies, including the Office of Global Women's Issues, established by Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, and explores the complexity and pitfalls of attempting to improve the lives of women while safeguarding the national interest.
How did "liberal" become a dirty word in American politics? How did "compassionate conservative" become a viable campaign theme? When did the "independent voter" become the most sought-after prize in modern campaigns? And why haven't "third-party candidates" enjoyed similar acclaim? The Talk of the Party listens to how the language of partisanship including words like Democrat, Republican, party, liberal, conservative, and independent has been used over the past fifty years and how it has created or limited political opportunities. Listening to the talk of the party can teach valuable lessons about campaigns, opportunities for public life, and the future of these American institutions."
Suraya Sadeed grew up in a peaceful Afghanistan. Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, she left America with her family, building a new life. But after a sudden tragedy, Suraya returned to Afghanistan for a visit that changed everything. Shocked by the suffering and destruction wreaked on her homeland, Suraya was determined to help. Smuggling herself across borders in various disguises, braving warlords and drug-runners, she set up an underground girls' schools in Kabul in order to bring hope and aid to thousands of Afghans. Since then, Suraya has worked tirelessly, trying to raise funds.
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.
A sharp and arresting people's-eye view of real life in Afghanistan after the Taliban Soon after the bombing of Kabul ceased, award-winning journalist and women's rights activist Ann Jones set out for the shattered city, determined to bring help where her country had brought destruction. Here is her trenchant report from inside a city struggling to rise from the ruins. Working among the multitude of impoverished war widows, retraining Kabul's long-silenced English teachers, and investigating the city's prison for women, Jones enters a large community of female outcasts: runaway child brides, pariah prostitutes, cast-off wives, victims of rape. In the streets and markets, she hears the Afghan view of the supposed benefits brought by the fall of the Taliban, and learns that regarding women as less than human is the norm, not the aberration of one conspicuously repressive regime. Jones confronts the ways in which Afghan education, culture, and politics have repeatedly been hijacked—by Communists, Islamic fundamentalists, and the Western free marketeers—always with disastrous results. And she reveals, through small events, the big disjunctions: between U.S promises and performance, between the new "democracy" and the still-entrenched warlords, between what's boasted of and what is. At once angry, profound, and starkly beautiful, Kabul in Winter brings alive the people and day-to-day life of a place whose future depends so much upon our own.