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The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi

PBR Review This is a beautiful cultural read about two Afghanistan women Shekiba and Rahima, one the great ,great grandmother and a source of inspiration for the other. The story sheds light on the sad reality that not much has changed in the intervening years. Sharia law is corrupt and oppressive for women. Itís is a concept, that as an American I struggle to comprehend. Both women in this book engaged in the strange ancient custom of bacha posh; disguising a female as a male, usually because a family has no sons. This concept was intriguing and confusing, and to my logical mind a misguided case of form over substance. This strange tradition cast a surreal shadow on even the present day portion of this book. Dressed as a man a women is allowed the freedoms and respect of a man; yet the restrictions of being female return when the bacha posh reign is over. It defies logic but the irony of it certainly makes for a terrific read.Back.
Talking Points: The whole concept of bacha posh is fascinating and sure to strike cords with everyone. Dressed as a boy, a girl is allowed out of the house without escort and becomes a boy in every respect. She is afforded the same courtesies and respect as a man, like being waited on, being served first and being able to bark commands to the females of the house. Women living under this regime are strong. But I also cannot help but wonder, why it continues to exist. Our country has also throughout history has and continues to attempt to suppress human rights, but people inevitably rise up and fight for what is right. What is it about cultures like this that prevents this?
PBR Reader Comments:
A story that looks at the life of Afghanistan women. As an American, itís hard to comprehend and take in the total lack of control they have over their lives. Beautifully written, fascinating and revealing; a book for any Historical fiction aficionado
by-linda 2016/11/14, 03:16 PM

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