Kabul Beauty School is at turns funny and heartbreaking, tragic and telling. Deborah Rodriguez is a hairdresser who joins a humanitarian aid group in Afghanistan to try to make a difference. Despairing of having no practical use, she finds that her talents as a hairdresser are needed both both Westerners and Afghan women. With help from international organizations and corporations, Rodriguez opens a beauty school in Kabul to teach Afghan women the skills to open their own salons and to be self-sufficient. Rodriguez tell the heartbreaking stories of the women she meets, women raped, sold into marriage, or left widowed by war or the Taliban. Her women are beset by hard choices and a culture who devalues them and yet they retain their dignity and strength. Rodriguez love for Afghanistan and it’s women is obvious but she doesn’t shrink from the messiness of international situations or the everpresent dangers. Great book.