Kabul Beauty School

FRI, APR 13, 2007 (47:17)

Deborah Rodriguez tells the story of how she gave up her job in Detroit to open a salon and cosmetology school in Kabul, Afghanistan. In Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil, Rodriguez explains why she opened the salon and school and how she and many brave women of Kabul continue to resist the resurgent, oppressive Taliban.

+ BIO: Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez has worked as a hairdresser since 1979, except for a brief time when she was a corrections officer in her hometown of Holland, Michigan. She used to direct the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan where she lived with her Afghan husband. According to the New York Times, six women also involved in the beauty school in Afghanistan dispute parts of her memoir, particularly concerning the Beauty School’s founding, how she won control of the school and why, and her stories about several Afghani women. The author and publisher say that in the future, they will make it clear Rodriguez didn’t found the school and that the Afghani women’s identities needed to be protected. Rodriguez left Afghanistan in April 2007 after returning to Kabul from a book tour to find that her husband, Haji Sher Mohammed, had been sexually harassing salon girls and planning to steal her money. After being warned that she would be kidnapped if she stayed, she fled. The Kabul Beauty School has caused outrage in Afghanistan, where websites have revealed the salon girls’ true identities. They have been denounced as prostitutes who have soiled the reputation of Afghan women.

Georgia Center for the Book
Muslim Culture Series