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Debbie speaks frankly of language difficulties and cultural barriers.Her husband has another wife and seven daughters in Saudi Arabia and even though she was angry and unhappy when she found out, she accepted them.Yet, she found little comfort in her spiritual leaders, who could not support her decision for divorce (as her husband had not committed adultery).
Once in Afghanistan, Debbie's friends decided that she needed 'a husband', discussing a prospective partnership as if "offering me another egg roll".
Despite her initial surprise, she did accept the egg roll, a mere 20 days after meeting with Samer Mohammed Abdul Khan or Sher, a henchman of Dostum.
But Debbie and her co-author, Kristin Ohlson, deny that she has taken sole credit for the idea and the work.
However, in the book, apart from acknowledging the contribution of Mary Meakin - who has stayed and worked in Afghanistan for over 50 years - Debbie chooses to blank out all others.
She does her eyebrows," said my Afghan friend Safia. If, by chance, an unmarried woman has plucked eyebrows, it is a suggestion that either she or her family is not very strict about 'morality'.
Despite having grown up in the US, Safia is aware of the entire regimen of codes that govern the social behavior of Afghan women. So, when Deborah Rodriguez stepped into this intricate world governed by thousands of minutiae, it was a little like a bull in a China shop.At another level, Debbie provides a parallel to the lives of her girls at the beauty parlor.Trapped in an abusive marriage, Debbie tried to cope by "getting religion".Despite this apparent frankness, it is clear from the book that Debbie has revealed as much as she has hidden, turning up only a small sliver of her life for inspection.How does she deal with marriage to a man she had known for less than a month and who speaks scant English?In her recent book, 'Kabul Beauty School ', Debbie documents how she arrived in Afghanistan to work with an aid group - mostly comprising doctors, nurses and therapists - but soon realized that she was of little help to them.However, she found her calling in a most unique service.While Debbie's flamboyant personality and marriage to a former commander (who worked for northern Afghan warlord Rasheed Dostum), make the book an easy-sell on talk shows, its appeal actually lies completely outside the how-I-married-an-Afghan-'mujahid'-and-saved-Afghan-women routine.What is fascinating about the book is the wealth of detail, the colors, patterns, dialogues and gestures that document Debbie's odyssey through Kabul.Certainly, the importance of factual narrative in an autobiography is essential.However, the book would have been equally fascinating as a work of fiction.