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However tall the mountain : a dream, eight girls, and a journey home
Awista Ayub
Adult Nonfiction GV944.2 .A97 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A group of Afghan girls are introduced to soccer American-style in this subtly composed, eye-opening tale of cultural clash and transformation. The author-the director of the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange whose own family emigrated from Kabul to Connecticut when the Soviet-backed coup took over the country in 1978-first sponsored eight Afghan girls to come to America to play soccer for six weeks in 2004. Having been grouped informally as a team only recently back in Afghanistan, where girls were rarely encouraged to play sports, the girls spent six weeks at soccer camps in America-in Washington, D.C.; Connecticut; and Cleveland-playing soccer publicly for the first time. Ayub's account explores the diverse stories of the eight girls, who had lived through the recent nightmare era of the Taliban and in some cases were prohibited from attending school; excited and a little frightened by the attention they garnered in America, the eight girls ranging from 10 to 16 then had to return to their humble, war-town families with the hope they could use their newfound leadership skills to teach others. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

How do you tell the varied stories of eight fiery Afghan teenagers as well as the life journey of their American-raised sponsor? The red thread that weaves through all these lives is not the game of soccer itself but a stubborn will to contend in the face of limited resources, family disapproval, and public harassment. Ayub, an Afghan-born American, founded the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange (AYSE) to draw Afghan girls into soccer as a method of empowerment. She weaves together the personal stories of the eight girls who pioneered the program, including their training trip to the United States and their return to form teams and compete in Afghanistan. These are tough girls raised in harsh environments; there is no need to linger on their suffering. Instead we rejoice with them in the freedom and power that comes from athletic achievement. Ayub's initiative has contributed to the establishment of a women's soccer program in Afghanistan. VERDICT The courage of these eight girls will inspire readers of all backgrounds. Recommended to general and undergraduate readers.-Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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