English | ASIN: B0BJ57HBBN | 2023 | 9 hours and 00 minutes | M4B@64 kbps | 260 MB
A searing, deeply personal memoir of a tenacious Afghan girl who educated herself behind closed doors and fought her way to a new life. “Stories like this inspire me. Seeing the way people like Sola Mahfouz think about the world reinforces my optimism about the future.”―BILL GATES. Sola Mahfouz was born in Afghanistan in 1996. That same year, the Taliban took over her country for the first time. They banned television and photographs, presided over brutal public executions, and turned the clock backwards on women’s rights, practically imprisoning women within their own homes and forcing them to wear all-concealing burqas. At age eleven, Sola was forced to stop attending school after a group of men threatened to throw acid in her face if she continued. After that she was confined to her home, required to cook and clean and prepare for an arranged marriage. She saw the outside world only a handful of times each year.
As time passed, Sola began to understand that she was condemned to the same existence as millions of women in Afghanistan. Her future was empty. The rest of her life would be controlled entirely by men, fathers and husbands and sons who would never allow her to study, to earn money, or even to dream. Driven by this devastating realization, Sola began a years-long fight to change the trajectory of her life. She decided that education would be her way out. At age sixteen, without even a basic ability to add or subtract, she began secretly to teach herself math and English. She progressed rapidly, and within just two years she was already studying topics such as philosophy and physics. Faced with obstacles at every turn, Sola still managed to sneak into Pakistan to take the SAT. In 2016, she escaped to the United States, where she is now a quantum computing researcher at Tufts University.