Book Review: Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse

I am crying behind the closed doors of my office, because I cannot cry outside. Why? Because I was born in Afghanistan.
Suraya Sadeed grew up in a peaceful Afghanistan. Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, she left for America with her family, in search of a new life and succeeded. But after a sudden tragedy in her personal life, 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 managed to start a clinic to provide medical aid along with setting up an underground girls’ school in a land where education itself was banned by rule. Since then Suraya has worked tirelessly raising funds to support her humanitarian activities in Afghanistan.

In Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, Suraya Sadeed narrates this epic journey that she had undertaken armed with generous donations financing her charity mission – Help the Afghan Child. This terrific first person narrative portrays a journey that started as her search of personal redemption but had created an avalanche of much needed aid to alleviate the sufferings of  common Afghan people under decades of successive power fights and related oppression. The author provides insight into the individual losses and collective despairs of common Afghan people and outlines the HTAC activities providing necessary aid – blankets, medicines, clinic, schools and education. This is a very touching memoir of a truly remarkable woman. The fast paced, gripping style reads like a thriller except that this is a deeply personal tale of collective sufferings and one woman's determination to rebuild her homeland.

Author:Suraya Sadeed
Date of Publication:2011,2012
Number of Pages:Approx 290 with cover

Excellent book. Read it. I had received the review copy from Hachette India. Thank you Hachette India for giving me this opportunity. You can buy this book at amazon or at  flipkart in case you live in India.

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