Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son

April 8, 2021
Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son

A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfictionof the YearAn exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother'sunimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse inTaliban-controlled Afghanistan.In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son,Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often bebarricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions. With thecity and the military on edge, it was not uncommon for an armedsoldier to point his gun at the pregnant woman's bulging stomach,terrified that she was hiding a bomb. Frightened and in pain, shewas once forced to make her way on foot. Propelled by the love sheheld for her soon-to-be-born child, Homeira walked through bloodand wreckage to reach the hospital doors. But the joy of herbeautiful son's birth was soon overshadowed by other dangers thatwould threaten her life.No ordinary Afghan woman, Homeira refused to cower under thestrictures of a misogynistic social order. Defying the law, sherisked her freedom to teach children reading and writing and foughtfor women's rights in her theocratic and patriarchal society.Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother'ssearing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. In tellingher story—and that of Afghan women—Homeira challenges you toreconsider the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice, and survival. Herstory asks you to consider the lengths you would go to protectyourself, your family, and your dignity.