“One woman's harrowing story about life under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Shirin-Gol was just a young girl when her village was levelled by the Russians in 1979. When the men in her family joined the resistance, she fled with the other women and children to Kabul, and so began a life of day-to-day struggle in her war-torn country.
A life that included a Pakistani refugee camp, a forced marriage to pay off her brother's gambling debts, selling her body and begging for money to feed her growing family, an attempted suicide and an unsuccessful attempt to leave Afghanistan for Iran after the Taliban seized control of her country.
This is the story of the fate of many women in Afghanistan. But it is also a story of a courageous and proud woman who refused to be banished to a life behind the walls of her house, who wanted an education for her children so that they could have a chance to live their lives without fear and poverty.”
I wasn't sure where to place this book, the author herself calls it faction since some of the events happened to Shirin-Gol herself, others to other Afghan women.
In any case, it's a great account of the struggles and problems women have to go through, not only in Afghanistan but anywhere in the poorer part of the world where war and/or disaster strucks. It's always the women who suffer most, the women who have to look after their families, the old and the young, when the men go and fight for their country, religion, freedom, whatever.
I thought this book was great, it gave a good insight into the lives of people in that part of the world where you usually just get political or military news.
We discussed this in our book club in April 2006.
By the same author: “Samira and Samir: The Heartrending Story of Love and Oppression in Afghanistan”