By Linda Pollock/What’s on Tap Editor
An Afghan woman is coming to speak with the Eastern community about being a woman in an Islamic society. Farooka Gauhari will share stories from her life before moving to America and how it changed after coming here.
The Law and Justice Forum of Eastern will host Gauhari on Tuesday. She will speak in at 6:30 p.m. in the Posey Auditorium of the Stratton Building.
This annual forum is designed to bring in speakers of national and regional importance to discuss issues concerned with law and justice. The committee is a collaboration of representatives in the College of Justice and Safety, the department of government and the department of women’s studies.
This year’s theme focuses on the impact of oppression and violence of international and Kentucky women.
“We try to bring in speakers who are timely and sometimes controversial,” said Jim McCord, director of paralegal programs and member of the committee.
“Dr. Zeigler (director of women’s studies) found Gauhari from a national speakers bureau. Bringing her here to speak is timely and (her presentation) the role of women is an important topic,” McCord said.
Gauhari, now an American citizen, will cover topics such as women’s role in rebuilding Afghanistan, their future, their role in Islamic society and her own account of being an Afghan woman. Gauhari is the first Afghan woman to publish her memoirs in English. The book, “Searching for Saleem: An Afghan Woman’s Odyssey” came out in 1997.
“Her family went through terrible times. She will talk about those dangers and her impressions of women,” McCord said.
Some of those dangers include maintaining her individualism in a totalitarian government, searching for her missing husband and her decision to move to America where she may be discriminated against because of her Afghan ties.
According to the speakers bureau Web site, Gauhari’s experiences serve as a lesson in courage and perseverance. She discusses the problems women face in an Islamic atmosphere and the role Afghan women can play in rebuilding their country after the Taliban occupation.
She now works at the University of Omaha and holds degrees from Kabul University (Afghanistan) and Auburn University (Alabama).
Gauhari will be the first speaker in this two-part series. In the fall, a Kentucky lawyer will be discussing violence and women in the legal system of Kentucky.