This is my third attempt at writing this post. Not for any other reason than that this post is about my sister and I am so proud of her that I have found it difficult to write anything I felt was up to par. So here is my latest attempt…trying keeping it sweet and simple.
My sister, Naheed Vadsaria, has just had her first book published! I know there are many more adventures down the road for her but let me tell you a little bit about how she started.
I still remember Naheed going away for the Peace Corps. I remember people trying to talk her out of it as I sat there thinking…what do they know? I am so glad she didn’t listen to the nay-sayers because that first step led Naheed to doing some incredible things, all the while giving back to the world. She’s got the biggest heart, though she may not give herself credit for how big it really is.
Naheed has taught English and computers to children in villages in Pakistan, she’s worked in The Gambia researching land and labor issues and has been a social scientist in Afghanistan with the Department of Army’s Human Terrain Systems and the French Brigade Task Force Lafayette.
This book is a compilation of her essays, her vignettes from her time as a social scientist. It focuses on Tajik women in the Kapisa Province in Afghanistan.
Remember Tina Fey in Whisky Tango Foxtrot? The part where she follows a woman into a hut to find out that it was the women who were actually destroying the well so that they would have to walk for miles to get water because this was the only time they could socialize…that’s along the lines of what Naheed did, but not as a journalist and in a much more complicated, non-movie type of way. The end goal was to have an open dialogue with villagers to learn what their needs and concerns were.
That meant learning their language, gaining trust, being sensitive to their culture…not impose her views or opinions…but be open to their world, their needs, their values and respect that. She acted as a bridge between them and the organizations she represented…and here is a snippet of her work in this book.
So yes, Naheed is the smart, awesome, amazing, brave, kick-ass woman I am proud to call my sister.
Here is the link to where you can download her e-book Tajik Hope for free: