Warwick graduate publishes her first novel
'The Pearl That Broke Its Shell' by Nadia Hashimi tells the story of young girls and women in Afghanistan
WARWICK — Jim Hashimi, co-owner of Larry's Deli in the Village of Warwick, is a very proud father these days.
His daughter, Dr. Nadia Hashimi, a pediatrician who lives in Maryland with her husband Dr. Amin Amini, a surgeon, and their two children, recently had her first novel published by Harper Collins, a major publishing house.
'The Pearl That Broke Its Shell' is described on her Website as a luminous tale of two women, destiny, and identity in Afghanistan.
NY Times story inspires
With a drug-addicted father and no brothers, the book's main character Rahima becomes a bacha posh, a girl dressed as a boy. She then gains freedoms that were previously unimaginable.
"In 2010," stated Hashimi, "my cousin shared with me a New York Times article about a little known practice in Afghanistan. Families without sons will disguise a young daughter as a boy, known as a 'bacha posh,' for a multitude of reasons such as to elevate the status of a family without sons, to enable the child to attend school or to escort sisters outside the home.
"The article also mentioned a past king of Afghanistan using women dressed as men to guard his harem," Hashimi added. "Although done for entirely different reasons, I was fascinated by the concept of girls, generations apart, being dressed as boys in the context of a country where gender is of ultimate consequence. This was a story I wanted to tell."
The place where her parents were born
Hashimi's parents were both born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion.
After graduating from Warwick Valley High School, where she was an honors student with numerous academic awards, Hashimi attended Brandeis University on a scholarship.
While there she obtained degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Biology. And, in 2002, she made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents who had not returned to their homeland since leaving.
Hashimi enrolled in medical school and after graduation went on to complete her pediatric training at NYU/Bellevue hospitals in New York City.
Recently she turned to a passion that had been ignored during her medical training.
Her upbringing led her to stories based in the country of her parents and grandparents and her debut novel, "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell," went on sale in May.
Hashimi is currently putting the finishing touches on her second novel about the often-tragic plight of Afghan refugees across Europe.
"The Pearl That Broke Its Shell" is available at major booksellers such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.Com
Locally it can be purchased at Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe.
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