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A Woman's Battle in a Man's World, by Afghanistan's Youngest Female Mayor. As Featured in the NETFLIX documentary IN HER HANDS
  • Authors
    • Zarifa Ghafari
    • Hannah Lucinda Smith
Regular price £10.99
Regular price Sale price £10.99
'Zarifa will break your heart' Christina Lamb, author of Our Bodies, Their Battlefields and I Am Malala

Zarifa Ghafari was two years old when the Taliban banned girls from schools, and she began her education in secret. She was seven when American airstrikes began. She was twenty-four when she became the youngest and one of the first female mayors of Maidan Wardak, Kabul. An extremist mob barred her from her office; her male staff walked out in protest; assassins tried to kill her six times. Through it all, Zarifa stood her ground. She ended corruption in the province, promoted peace, and tried to lift up women, despite constant fear for herself and her family. When the Taliban took Kabul in 2021, Ghafari had to flee. But even that couldn't stop her. Six months later, she returned, to continue her work empowering women.

Zarifa is an astonishing memoir that offers an unparalleled perspective of the last two decades in Afghanistan from a citizen, daughter, woman and mayor. Written with honesty, pain, and ultimately, hope, Zarifa describes the work she did, the women she still tries to help as they live under Taliban rule, and her vision for how grassroots activism can change their lives and the lives of women everywhere.

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  • Published: Sep 07 2023
  • 196 x 124mm
  • ISBN: 9780349017020
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Press Reviews

  • Shubhangi Swarup, Tata Prize winning author of Latitudes of Longing
    Zarifa's words, like her life, are an act of courage, weaving heartache with hope. They illuminate all the things we take for granted, especially the ordinary moments, the daily freedoms and most intimate of relationships. They illuminate the threads that connect our rights, freedoms, and happiness into an interconnected whole.
  • Christina Lamb, author of Our Bodies, Their Battlefields
    Anyone wanting to know the grim reality of being a woman in Afghanistan and trying to make a difference, could not find a more illuminating book. Zarifa will break your heart.
  • Kirkus
    [Ghafari] tells her inspiring life story with sincerity and passion, providing a nuanced and, at times, horrifying glimpse into Afghanistan's devastating history ... A searingly honest, profoundly courageous memoir of one fearless woman's fight for her homeland
  • Layla Moran, MP
    Zarifa Ghafari's story is one of strength in the face of adversity. She perfectly captures the tragic reversal of fortune over the past year in Afghanistan as the Taliban have once again risen to power. Everyone should read this inspirational and heart-wrenching account of life in Afghanistan for women.
  • Francesca Brown

  • Olivia Edward

    Geographical Magazine
    This is a simply written and inspiring work that zips along with the pace of an adventure story. You can only be left in awestruck admiration at everything Zarifa has already achieved in her short life. Despite the current situation, you at least feel some hope that Afghanistan's trajectory will have been nudged towards a better tomorrow by her unceasing vision for a just and corruption-free homeland'
  • New York Times
    In this earnest and fiery memoir, an activist and politician from Afghanistan recounts how her country's instability marked her life
  • Publishers Weekly
    Frank and impassioned, Ghafari's narrative spotlights the power of activism... a remarkable story of perseverance and resilience
  • Telegraph (India)
    Candid, poignant and powerful ... This gripping book can be read at one go and surely is a must buy