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Feb. 1: Nadia Hashimi Discusses Books About Afghanistan

Nadia Hashimi
Nadia Hashimi

FREDERICK, Maryland—Best-selling author, pediatrician and congressional candidate Nadia Hashimi is scheduled to speak at Hood College on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Marx Center.

In her talk, “Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,” Hashimi will discuss her novels, which are about Afghanistan and influenced by her travels there as an adult.

Hashimi was born in New York to Afghan parents. Unable to return to Afghanistan after the Soviet-Afghan war concluded, her parents settled in New York as immigrants and became entrepreneurs. Hashimi was raised in New Jersey and upstate New York. She attended Brandeis University where she earned degrees in Middle Eastern studies and biology. She earned her medical degree with a specialization in pediatrics from SUNY Downstate while continuing to participate in an Afghan-American community organization.

In 2014, Hashimi released her debut novel, “The Pearl that Broke Its Shell.” It is the story of two women in Afghanistan, Rahima and Shekiba, living a century apart but tied by legacy. In the contemporary storyline, Rahima is made to dress as a bacha posh—a girl dressed as a boy—in order to help provide for her family and escort her sisters to school. Shekiba’s story lends a historical fiction bend to the novel, as she dresses as a man to guard King Habibullah’s harem. This book is an international bestseller and was a 2014 Goodreads finalist in the categories of Debut Author and Fiction. Hashimi’s second novel, “When the Moon Is Low” was released in 2015. It follows the story of an Afghan couple whose happy, middle-class life implodes when their country is engulfed in war and the Taliban rises to power.

This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Paige Eager at or 302-985-1430.