My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban A Young Woman`s Story


Latifa was born into an educated middle-class Afghan family in Kabul in 1980. She dreamed of one day becoming a journalist, she was interested in fashion, movies and friends. Her father was in the import/export business and her mother was a doctor. Then in September 1996, Taliban soldiers seized power in Kabul. From that moment, Latifa, just 16 years old, became a prisoner in her own home. Her school was closed. Her mother was banned from working. The simplest and most basic freedoms – walking down the street, looking out of a window – were no longer hers. Having never worn even a veil before, she now was forced to wear a chadri. Latifa struggled against an overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair. In a step of defiance, she set up a clandestine school in her home for a small number of young girls. To avoid arousing suspicion, the children were not allowed to attend every day, nor could they keep regular hours.

Author: Latifa, Chekeha Hachemi
Translated By: Lisa Appignanesi
Binding: Paperback,
192 Pages
Published Year:
Language: English


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Latifa knew that she was risking her life for something that could change little. But the teaching gave her a reason to get up in the morning. This is Latifa’s poignant and highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. With painful honesty and clarity, she describes the way she watched her world falling apart, in the name of a fanatical expression of faith that she could not comprehend. Her voice captures a lost innocence, but also echoes her determination to live in freedom and hope. Earlier in 2001, Latifa and her parents escaped Afghanistan with the help of a French-based Afghan resistance group.

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Weight 0.18 kg
Dimensions 17.2 × 10.8 × 1.3 cm


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