September 4, 2011

Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse by Suraya Sadeed

Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse by Suraya Sadeed is an inspiring story about how much life can change, and what we can do about it to help. The author shares her story about the Afghan people, and in doing so, really shakes up what you probably once thought about the people there.

Book Description
From her first humanitarian visit to Afghanistan in 1994, Suraya Sadeed has been personally delivering relief and hope to Afghan orphans and refugees, to women and girls in inhuman situations deemed too dangerous for other aid workers or for journalists. Her memoir of these missions, Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, is as unconventional as the woman who has lived it. This is no humanitarian missive; it is an adventure story with heart.

To help the Afghan people, Suraya has flown in a helicopter piloted by a man who was stoned beyond reason. She has traveled through mountain passes on horseback alongside mules, teenage militiamen, and Afghan leaders. She has stared defiantly into the eyes of members of the Taliban and of the Mujahideen who were determined to slow or stop her. She has hidden and carried $100,000 in aid, strapped to her stomach, into ruined villages. She has built clinics. She has created secret schools for Afghan girls. She has dedicated the second half of her life to the education and welfare of Afghan women and children, founding the organization Help the Afghan Children (HTAC) to fund her efforts.

Suraya was born the daughter of the governor of Kabul amid grand walls, beautiful gardens, and peace. In the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, she fled to the United States with her husband, their young daughter, their I-94 papers, and little else. In America, she became the workaholic owner of a prosperous real estate company, enjoying all the worldly comforts anyone could want, but when a personal tragedy struck in the early 1990s, Suraya seriously questioned how she was living and soon sharply changed the direction of her life.

Now, in Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, she shares her story of passion, courage, and love, painting a complex portrait of Afghanistan, its people, and its foreign visitors that defies every stereotype and invites us all to contribute to the lives of others and to hope.” – Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse

My Thoughts
Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse is the kind of book that will keep you reading it until you finish it. Be prepared to have that kind of time when you start, because you won’t want to stop reading this once you get started.

Suraya Sadeed does an amazing job with telling her story about being an Afghan refugee, and then coming back to the country to find how much things have changed for the people she once knew there. Most Americans don’t get such a look into the lives of the people in Afghanistan, especially how the women there are treated. This book will change your views on people there, and give you much to think about your own life as well.

It is an inspiring tale that really shows just how strong this woman (and others like her) is that can go in and help make positive changes in the world. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read.

* Thank you to the publisher of Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, Voice, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. My cousin is over in the Middle East w/the military. I'll look more into this one, I def. know that the women there need help.