“I lived in Afghanistan for five years. I learned the rules–I had to.”
This is a memoir of Kate McCord (this name is actually a pseudonym for safety purposes) who had decided to drop everything in her life in America to move to Afghanistan to start a non-governmental organization, making it her mission to help Afghan women. Throughout her five years of residing in the country, McCord taught herself the local language. She also learned of the religious beliefs and practices from the Holy Quran.
It was very often that McCord was bombarded with questions from other Afghan residents about her religious beliefs. For example, one resident asked her, “Are you a Muslim?” and “Do you submit to the laws of the Prophet Mohammed as recorded in the Holy Quran and Hadith and as taught by the mullahs?” McCord, however, would give sincere honesty, telling others that she was not a Muslim, that she was a “follower of the Honorable Jesus Messiah.” Although many residents had insisted that she become a Muslim, she still stuck by her beliefs. After all, it was her mission to help others and tell them how Christianity made her the person that she is today.
Throughout the author’s journey, she talks about the dangers of wars and other violence in the country, including poverty. She also speaks of their religious beliefs and how it has effected many Afghan women. Despite it all, McCord educates the men, women, and children in Christianity and the hope that it may provide them as long as people give thanks for what they have, instead of focusing on the negative. Although it wasn’t always easy, she’d educate as much as she could–some Afghans were positive in her stories, whereas others were not.
I’m neither spiritual, nor am I religious. However, I did enjoy reading this book. I admire the author’s work because it takes a lot for one to just decide to pack up and move to a dangerous country in order to help others who were truly in need. She sacrificed a high-powered career, including being away from family and friends in America, to help others. In fact, she’d lived by the rules every day–wearing the clothes that the women wore, including the headscarves; she’d pay visits to different homes and socialize over tea and treats; she rode public transportation and was always carefully of her surroundings. She’d made many, new friends in the country and earned the respect of many others.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This review is based on my own opinions and experiences.