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Renowned Author Visits Girls’ School

August 31, 2016 at 9:12 AM

Nadia Hashimi began her working life as a paediatrician in the USA; it was almost by chance that she became a renowned novelist. On holiday with her husband, he suggested that as she read so many books, she may as well write one; and so it was she came to draw on her Afghani heritage as the subject matter for her first adult novels. Recently she released her first fiction novel for teens. Set in Kabul, 'One Half from the East' is a coming of age journey in Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh - a preteen girl dressed as a boy. In Afghanistan, boys are valued over girls for many of the same patriarchal reasons that exist worldwide. Some parents without sons feel that their family is lacking and by transforming a daughter into a bacha posh, they are able to restore their honour. 

Here in New Zealand to take part in the WORD Festival in Christchurch, the Girls’ School were fortunate to secure a visit. Nadia proudly supports women’s and girls’ empowerment and was excited to share more about her book and her life with our senior girls. 

Nadia’s parents left Afghanistan in the early 1970s and from a distance, Nadia watched the life of her cousins as they grew up in their war-torn homeland, where girls lived a life repressed by the Taliban; a very different experience from her own. In writing her books, she wanted the world to know what these girls are going through and the obstacles they have to overcome to succeed. She told the girls that even western society doesn’t always afford girls the same potential as boys and hopes that her books encourage young readers to reflect on their own lives. A very lively discussion ensued when the question was raised as to how men and women are treated differently in the media!

She finished by telling our girls to keep reading, to keep exploring the world, to find something that inspires them and to be inspiring in turn!


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