Defiant Dreams: The Journey of an Afghan Girl Who Risked Everything for Education (Paperback)
  • Defiant Dreams: The Journey of an Afghan Girl Who Risked Everything for Education (Paperback)
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Defiant Dreams: The Journey of an Afghan Girl Who Risked Everything for Education (Paperback)

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£10.99
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 09/05/2024
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'I began to grow up the day my mother warned me to stop laughing'


'Stories like this inspire me. Seeing the way people like Sola Mahfouz think about the world reinforces my optimism about the future.' BILL GATES

At age eleven, Sola Mahfouz was told she could no longer attend school. The Taliban threatened that any girl who dared to continue their education would have acid thrown in their face, be kidnapped, or worse. Confined to the walls of her home, Sola watched as the few freedoms of childhood were stripped away. She was forbidden to play, to sing, even to laugh. Her early teenage years were consumed by restrictions.

Realising that she would have to either succumb to this life or find a way out, she decided on the latter. At age sixteen, without even a basic ability to add or subtract, she began secretly learning maths and English. By reading dictionaries and taking free online courses, she taught herself theoretical physics and philosophy, all from a home she could only leave five times a year. In the space of nine years she achieved the level of education that a westerner might take 25 years to do and against all odds moved to America to study quantum computing.

It is a radical act to tell the story of an Afghan woman. Too often, they are portrayed only as victims, their identities erased by thick veils and blanket reporting. Defiant Dreams will change the narrative. It's the story of an Afghan girl who dared to ask for more.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781529176056
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 222 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Stories like this inspire me. Seeing the way people like Sola Mahfouz think about the world reinforces my optimism about the future. - Bill Gates

A compelling, fascinating book. - Daily Mail

Sola reminds us that the greatest untapped resource around the globe isn't gold or oil, but the female half of the population. Virginia Woolf wrote that if Shakespeare had had an equally talented sister, she never would have been able to flower-and Sola is Shakespeare's sister. - Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author

Sola embodies the power of individual determination and serves as an inspiration to us all?she is nothing short of incredible. Her story speaks to the limitless potential of millions who have been held back by circumstances beyond their control. Defiant Dreams is a beautifully written reminder of the transformative power of education. - Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy

Captivating in its intimate details of life behind the burqa, this brave girl's determination to educate herself despite restrictive Afghan tradition, Talib gunfire, and American rockets is pure inspiration. Defiant indeed?I could not put this beautifully written book down. - Helen Zia, author of Last Boat Out of Shanghai and former executive editor of Ms. magazine

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