Lifting the Chaderi: My Life as an Afghan Refugee

Lifting the Chaderi: My Life as an Afghan Refugee

by Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich

ISBN: 9781469945729

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Specific Groups, Biographies & Memoirs/Memoirs, Nonfiction/Politics, Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting

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Book Description

Lifting the Chaderi is one of those rare autobiographies that are so authentic and so revealing that you cannot put it down. Through stories from her childhood and young adult life, she gives a personal and touching glimpse into what life was like in Afghanistan and in her family during that time. When you learn how she struggled to become educated, to immigrate to the US, and to establish herself as a person worthy of love and respect, you too will fall in love with her and find yourself cheering her on. It is a true story from one woman's heart.

Sample Chapter

One of 13 children growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1960s, Anisa battles anxiety attacks that plague her due to a speech impediment. Although illiterate herself, her mother insists that Anisa complete her nursing school education. One of only two women in her family to become educated, there is constant pressure from conservative family members to quit school and marry. An opportunity to study in Santa Cruz, California puts 20-year-old Anisa at risk when she returns after the Soviet invasion in 1978. Like many Afghans at the time, she and several family members decide to escape. They make the hazardous journey over the Torkham pass into Pakistan, leaving her dear parents and family. The journey takes them to Istanbul, Italy, and finally Rhode Island, where they slowly rebuild their lives as refugees.

Anisa marries an Afghan man, also a refugee, only to find herself in an abusive marriage. As the violence escalates, she must escape once again, this time while supporting herself and her two children as a nurse. Eventually she goes against her culture and does the unthinkable: she divorces and marries an infidel – an American man, also divorced with two children.

Anisa finally returns to Kabul 25 years later, after wars and the Taliban have ravaged her country. The resulting power, strength and courage she has found to draw on enables her to give more to her family in Kabul than she ever thought possible.


Excerpted from "Lifting the Chaderi: My Life as an Afghan Refugee" by Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich. Copyright © 2012 by Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich

Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich

Lifting the Chaderi My life as an Afghan refugee During the Taliban era in Afghanistan, women were made to wear the chaderi, a tent-like veil that covers the entire body and face. However, in the liberal 1970s, women in the capital city of Kabul typically wore Western-style clothing. After war breaks out and her country is overcome with bombs and death, 22-year-old Anisa must don the veil for the first time and flee her country as a refugee. The journey is long and dangerous, over a treacherous mountain pass. She leaves most of her family and friends behind in order to find peace in a land where she can be free: America.

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