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Dear Zari [PDF / EPUB] Dear Zari Moving enlightening and heartbreaking Dear Zari gives voice to the secret lives of Afghan women For the first time Dear Zari allows these women to tell their stories in their own words from the child Moving enlightening and heartbreaking Dear Zari gives voice to the secret lives of Afghan women For the first time Dear Zari allows these women to tell their stories in their own words from the child bride given as payment to end of a family feud to a life spent in a dark dusty room weaving carpets from a young girl being brought up as a boy to a woman living as a widow shunned by society Intimate emotional painful and uplifting these stories uncover the suffering and strength of women in this deeply religious and intensely traditional society and show how their courage is an inspiration to women everywhere.

10 thoughts on “Dear Zari

  1. says:

    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First ReadsKnowing relatively little about modern Afghanistan other than what little I've heard on the news I was interested to hear accounts of what life is really like for Afghan women Kargar gathered the stories presented in this book while working for the BBC and producing a radio program called the Afghan Woman's Hour She spends a fair amount of the book discussing her own experiences as a journalist and reflecting on how the stories she's collected remind her of her own experiences as an Afghan refuge She freely admits that she has many opportunities and privileges that these other women do not but she feels a great deal of kinship with these women and their struggles Although there are several occasions when her personal reflections interrupt the flow of otherwise compelling stories I understand why she feels the need to emphasize this common bondShe relates each story simply and clearly sometimes paraphrasing or retelling a narrative in her own words while other times she allows the women's voices to speak for themselves Kargar's work is admirable and her desire to change the conditions in Afghanistan resonates throughout this book even though she often expresses her helplessness when she is confronted with a tragic story that she knows she cannot change I think what makes this book most effective is that Kargar shares a similar cultural background with these women but also lives in London and understands western culture She manages to serve as a bridge of understanding between the two presenting Islamic values in a way that westerners can understandIt's hard to say that I enjoyed the stories because they are overwhelmingly sad even heartbreaking at times But they are also fascinating and eye opening Many of these women have faced great hardship and their stories are deeply moving even as they reveal just how far we have to go in promoting women's rights around the world

  2. says:

    One thing I loved about this book is that some of these interviews were done by women Zari trained to do interviews What this means is that the lives and stories of the women in the book are ones not usually covered by the Western press Some of these stories are hard to read but there are many similar stories that have yet to be told Zari's own story woven throughout added great insights into the lives of Afghan expatriates who may live among us in the West Highly recommended

  3. says:

    This book is disappointing because it could have been And that is the heart of the issue Without a doubt Zaraghunna Kargar deserves acclaim simply for her work on the BBC’s Afghan’s Woman’s Hour Yet The central problem with this book why it doesn’t live up to the promise is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be It can’t decide if it wants to be a memoir or a collection of personal experiences And because of this it suffers The flaw shows up when Kargar interjects her personal story into the stories of the other women Undoubtedly there are reasons for this but I can’t figure out what they are unless it is to try to relate or connect the woman’s stories to those that live outside of Afghan Kargar does this by relating how her life as an Afghani women whose family fled during the Taliban’s regime as well as the pressure to keep to traditions when she lived in the West This in of itself could be an interesting memoir but forced and rammed into comparison with the stories of the other women at worse it cheapens the books; at best it makes Kargar look at a whiner It doesn’t work; the only thing worse would be a Western woman trying to compare her parent’s preference for a boy child It would undoubtedly be true but there is a difference between that and your parents making you are a boy or your mother debating about suicide because of it Disappointing sadly

  4. says:

    I don't know how to properly rate a book that is so unpleasant in its honesty and its bleakness The book itself is well written poignant approachable and important The subject matter is depressing hopeless infuriating and incomprehensible It leaves the reader wondering is there a normal Afghan experience Is there an Afghan family unit with ties of loyalty fidelity and love? Because after reading these stories you are left jaded and cynical to wonder if such familial ties exist or are even possible in such an environment It is a bleak portrait of a world that is so foreign as to be incomprehensible Foreign not because it is a land far away or because women's rights are non existent but foreign in the sense that the most basic human bond the love of parent and child appear to be twisted and subverted Fathers and mothers willingly cast their daughters into the bleakest of situations with little hesitation or regret I can't understand this world

  5. says:

    I thought this book was going to be about women all over the Middle East and their different stories Where this was present it was also A LOT about the author herself I did not want to read a memoir but different stories I actually got tired of the author interrupting the other women's stories to talk about her own life and the radio show she does When I want to read only about the author I will get her biographyOther than the aforementioned complaint I found these women to be braver than anything I could imagine for myself I don't know how they do it I am so proud and incredibly blessed to have been born a Christian in America where I am free to make all of my own decisions in life I pray for these women and am truly amazed at their resolve

  6. says:

    ‘The son who was going to sleep with me was also very young; he was fifteen years old He would also sometimes beat me while telling me that I was soon going to be his wife but he didn’t beat me as much as the others did”Zarghuna Kargar was born in Kabul in 1982 When civil war erupted across Afghanistan she and her family escaped to Pakistan where she trained as a journalist She came to the UK in 2001 and started working for the BBC World Service This book was born out of the research she did for Afghan Woman’s Hour and comprises thirteen ordinary Afghan women telling their own extraordinary stories Over the course of thirteen chapters we learn a great deal about what it is to be a woman in a country of which we’ve heard so much and yet know so little We learn about the children given as brides in part payment of debt who are starved raped and beaten We learn about women demanding their rightful inheritance only to find the law police and male relatives conspiring against them We learn about women who can only feed their children by begging for work in other women’s households The picture the book paints is of a bleak mediaeval society in which masculinity has become synonymous with brutality and in which the women are often as bad as the men Mothers in law favoured second wives and sisters endorse and participate in the cruel bullying of their younger sisters How representative a picture it is we don’t know because the author has chosen to show us thirteen stories of women who’ve suffered cruelty neglect and injustice There might be tens of thousands of others leading perfectly happy fulfilled lives but somehow I doubt it I read Dear Zari as research for the book I’m currently writing which features several female characters from Afghanistan It’s written in a rather clunky laborious style but in terms of content I found it intensely moving and thought provoking One character in my own book says ‘Afghanistan is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman’ I wrote that before I read Dear Zari My view certainly hasn’t changed

  7. says:

    This is an incredible book A must read The women who bravely came forward and told their stories deserve all our admiration and support Cudos to Dear Zari She and her journalists provided a platform for women who had been silenced to speak and for thousands of silenced women to hear stories reminiscent of their own We who live in a society in which women have rights and the freedom to live their lives productively and without fear would do well to understand the plight of Afgan women and their children

  8. says:

    An amazing book of women of Afghanistan Portrayals of women who are locked in a world where they are neither valued nor respected These women were treated as property and with suspicion and having almost no freedom of movement The book raised several uestions for me including how typical are these portrayals? why are women so unfeeling towards other women? and what lasting impact has the Afghan Women's Hour had on the lives of women in the country

  9. says:

    This collection of stories of the lives of women in Afghanistan deserves to be read by a wider audience Despite the traumatic lives that these women have lived their stories carry a message of strength and courage and we could all learn a lot from themBeautifully written Dear Zari will touch the hearts of many

  10. says:

    Book 83 Week 44Dear Zari by Zarghuna KargarRating 45I bought this book many years back but just hadn't gotten around to reading it Especially having received a Kindle 2 years ago has affected my paper book reading drastically I'm glad I finally picked up a book and it was this oneDear Zari is an anthology of real life experiences of Afghani women from across the country hailing from different towns and family backgrounds Unfortunately the stories are sad than happy The radicalization of Islam coupled with a highly patriarchal culture have made life uite difficult for women of Afghanistan The book shares stories of a dozen women along with the author's who worked with BBC to produce Afghanistan's Women's Hour a radio program that was broadcast in Afghanistan from 2005 2010 and featured insprirational stories of women It sought to give the women a voice and help them find practical solutions to problems in their day to day life The stories in the book come from that program Reading this book made me weep for my sisters in Afghanistan and again feel lucky to have been born in India But then I realised that I was lucky to be born in my educated modern family not India When I thought deeply about the traditions and culture of Afghanistan I realised it's pretty much the same in India even if not in my circlepeer group The stories talked about forced marriage child marriage insistence on a women being a virgin before marriage taboo for women to fall in love and marry as per their wish ostracizing women who bear only daighters preferring sons over daughters daughters in law being treated as servants ostracizing widows forcing widows to marry brothers in law no matter how inappropriate polygamy domestic and sexual violence giving away women to settle disputes making girl children work and deny them an education marrying little girls to old and already married rich men for money forcing gay men to marry women to 'cure them' women not getting inheritance from family taking kids away from a divorced or widowed woman Everything that happens there happens here too And it's a sad state of affairs everywhere I wonder if something like the radio program has been done in India I know a lot of organizations are doing a lot of work all over the country towards women empowerment I wish such books are written and read opportunities are given to women to voice their feelings and experiences and men and women can come together to uproot the misogynistic and patriarchal traditions that hurt not just women but men themselves too The book is well written easy to read paints a vivid picture of the people and their lifestyle is thought provoking and heart wrenching A must read for all irrespective of gender or nationality

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