In My Father's Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

In My Father's Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate

In my father's country  book coverIn My Father's Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate, is a riveting and harrowing account of an Afghan woman’s journey from her native war-torn homeland to her new adoptive country of the United States. From the day Saima was born, her father knew she was destined to be great. Determined to defy the odds of a Pashtun woman, Saima finds herself in constant conflict with the culture and traditions of which she was reared in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- then adopting the westernized views, and freedoms of women in the United States. In attempt to find herself and reconnecting with her roots, she takes on a job as the only female Pashtun-speaking interpreter for the U.S. government during the war in Afghanistan.

Anyone who is unfamiliar with the Pashtun culture will be fully enlightened and educated on the mind set, history, mores and tradition of Pashtun life in Afghanistan.  Saima Wahab's telling of an accurate yet passionate account of her native customs gives the reader a broader perspective of life in a land that is often misunderstood and misconstrued.  However, there are moments within the author’s story that will frustrate the reader. These include her bouts of anger, stubbornness and fears at what some readers might read as bitterness over the horrid events she experienced as a child. Additionally, her repression and misunderstanding by American friends and relatives in the U.S. cause a strain in her relationships with people she loves.

In all, Saima wants to give all of herself in helping her people but will it come at a cost? Yet she can’t deny her passion to speak on views that are deemed radical, liberal, and dangerous for women in Afghanistan. Peace, gender equality and human rights is the very fuel that stirs her fire in pressing forward her agenda on these issues.
-- S. Childs