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Publisher's Summary

"You will be a son, my daughter." With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy. In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally "girls dressed as boys." This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work - and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom.

Ukmina decided to confront social and family pressure and keep her menswear. This brave choice paved the way for an extraordinary destiny: She wages war against the Soviets, assists the mujaheddin and ultimately commands the respect of all whom she encounters. She eventually becomes one of the elected council members of her province. But freedom always has a price. For "Ukmina warrior" that price was her life as a woman.

This is a stunning and brave memoir about a little known practice that will challenge your perceptions about gender and the courage it takes to live your life to the fullest.

©2014 Ukmina Manoori and Stephanie Lebrun Translation 2014 by Peter E. Chianchiano (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Dani Smith
  • 16-05-2015

Great story about a brave woman

This is a very interesting story about both the attacks Afghani people have endured, and the struggle that women in Afghanistan face daily of violence, submission, and being considered without value in the culture of Islam. Ukmina does not turn away from her religion, but she does put her relationship with Allah before her relationship with religious leaders. She champions women's rights, while honoring her culture and religion. This is an impressive story of her life straddling the gender boundaries in a conservative culture.

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  • Tracy F.
  • 05-05-2021

Interesting subject but..

It seemed the story was randomly told. It should have been I told in more order and not jump around. It’s a very interesting subject that I knew nothing about. And after listening to this version of it I don’t know much more. I’m sorry to say.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-04-2021

Good story, awful pronunciation

Good story, learned a lot about a Bacha Posh. They could've picked a better narrator. Narrator says words with As in exaggerated tone like Pakistawhn, Afghanistawhn and always seem to have the accent on the last syllable of a name which robs authenticity to the story. Even apricot is mispronounced as ape-pricot. I hope they find a more suitable narrator and redo the reading to give this book the justice it well deserves.

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  • retro Betty
  • 14-01-2021

Excellent and riveting story

This was an excellent look into the culture of women in Afghanistan and tail of accounts that those of us in the western world do not often hear/see. Eye opening, thoughtfully written and well read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-02-2019

Great and deep cultural read

Very good book that explores the cultural intimatices of traditional Afghani culture/life as a bacha-posh

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