Commonwealth National Podcast

Deborah Rodriguez, Director, Kabul Beauty School; Author, Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

Duration: 
1:05:30
Deborah Rodriguez, Director, Kabul Beauty School; Author, Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

In conversation with KCBS news reporter Jane McMillan, former hairdresser turned author, Deborah Rodriguez, will describe her journey shortly after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 in Afghanistan. As part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation, and amidst professional doctors, nurses and therapists, Rodriguez was surprised to discover that her skills and talents as a hairstylist were also sorely needed, and, in fact, in great demand, by both Westerners and Afghan women. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, in spite of language barriers and extreme cultural differences, she launched her Kabul Beauty School and taught her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of cosmetology.


A mother of two, Rodriguez has been a hairdresser since 1979 in her hometown of Holland, Michigan. She has directed the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Although she has lived in Kabul, she currently lives with her Afghan husband in the Bay Area

This program was recorded live on February 7, 2008