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The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky

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Book by Farah Ahmedi, Tamim Ansary


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Book by Farah Ahmedi, Tamim Ansary

30 review for The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Should be required reading for all High Schoolers and those of us lucky to live comfortable lives in suburban America. Once you have read this book you will never again look at someone obviously from a different culture from you in the same light. I picked it up by chance while browsing at the bookstore and read it easily in a couple of hours. It is written in the transparent style and emotional clarity of a child. You can almost sense the translation of language and culture as Farah's limited li Should be required reading for all High Schoolers and those of us lucky to live comfortable lives in suburban America. Once you have read this book you will never again look at someone obviously from a different culture from you in the same light. I picked it up by chance while browsing at the bookstore and read it easily in a couple of hours. It is written in the transparent style and emotional clarity of a child. You can almost sense the translation of language and culture as Farah's limited life of simple happiness in Afghanistan is abruptly terminated and new lives are veiled and unveiled as her childhood is lost. Through determination that most adults would not have, she finds herself in suburban Chicago (Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream) where she grows into a young woman and into a new culture. I gave this book 5 stars as it is suitable for kids, teens and adults and gives an objective perspective into two different cultures and religions in a way that sometimes only the innocence of a child can bring.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Johna Thaut

    I really enjoyed this book! In some ways I was shocked that I enjoyed this book so much, because non-fiction books usually don't appeal to me. I typically look for books that have to do with things like ghosts or mysteries. This book was not something that I planned on enjoying, because it wasn't my typical reading style. To my surprise, this book introduced me to a new kind of writing that I enjoy. I think that I loved this book so much because the events that took place in the book usually are I really enjoyed this book! In some ways I was shocked that I enjoyed this book so much, because non-fiction books usually don't appeal to me. I typically look for books that have to do with things like ghosts or mysteries. This book was not something that I planned on enjoying, because it wasn't my typical reading style. To my surprise, this book introduced me to a new kind of writing that I enjoy. I think that I loved this book so much because the events that took place in the book usually aren't events that happen in the typical person's life. Especially not things that have happened to me. It really opened my eyes not to just a new reading material that I enjoy, but to the rest of the world and how good of a life I have. Losing a leg isn’t something that I would find possible for me, but it showed me that tragic events like that do happen to people all around the world. It wasn't something that I could personally relate to or understand, but it was something that I was interested in learning about. Farah was so strong to be able to live her life and go to school and start walking again after she lost her leg, and it made me wonder if I would be that strong. I couldn't even imagine having to go through such a traumatic event at such a young age, and then losing family members and moving to new places as well. It was interesting to read about a real person's life that is so much different from mine. But not only was it things that were shocking that I enjoyed, I also enjoyed that I could relate to parts of the story. The whole story wasn't things that I have never gone through. The traumatic events, I can't say I have experienced. But, the problems that teenagers in America face every single day are things that I can relate to. When Farah and her mother arrive in America, I could relate a lot more to Farah and the book seemed a lot less shocking but yet it still kept me interested. When she described her feelings, I knew what she was talking about because I too have felt them. The fact that someone who has such a different life from mine still has felt the way I have is what kept me interested. Not being accepted at school isn't something that only Farah experienced. Not being as smart as the rest of the kids is a challenge that I also felt in my younger years. I understand that the circumstances were much different for Farah, but it's interesting to know that I can relate to her in some ways. As you can see, this book has opened my eyes to new things. It has made me more thankful and more aware. I know that have taken my life for granted, and I see that not everyone is so lucky to have everything handed to them. But what I also learned was that no matter how different someone's life is, you can still have certain things in common with that person. This book gave me more than a new reading style to enjoy, it taught me lessons. Just by telling her story, the author got through to me, and you could even say changed my life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This was a riveting story that served as a window into a world I have no experience with. The number and magnitude of obstacles the author faced in her childhood was stunning.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is a wonderful memoir. At the tender age of seven, Farah Ahmedi stepped on a land mine, and she was put in the hospital. The hospital did not have the resources to deal with her injuries so she was flown to Germany, where she had multiple surgeries. She lived in Germany for two years without any family members (remember she was seven). She was sent back to her family, but the wars in her country were escalating. Farah and her mother were forced to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban invaded K This is a wonderful memoir. At the tender age of seven, Farah Ahmedi stepped on a land mine, and she was put in the hospital. The hospital did not have the resources to deal with her injuries so she was flown to Germany, where she had multiple surgeries. She lived in Germany for two years without any family members (remember she was seven). She was sent back to her family, but the wars in her country were escalating. Farah and her mother were forced to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban invaded Kabul, her father and sisters were killed by a bomb. Her brothers had to flee to Pakistan because the Taliban were forcing all the males (as young as 12) into the army. Farah and her mother make their way to Pakistan, and eventually to the U.S.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Farah's story is both harrowing - in all that she has been through, all she has suffered and lost - and inspiring - in how she persevered and despite all the hardships and obstacles in her way found a way to forge a new life for her mother and herself. Especially in today's climate of demonizing refugees, this should be required reading in schools. Farah's story is both harrowing - in all that she has been through, all she has suffered and lost - and inspiring - in how she persevered and despite all the hardships and obstacles in her way found a way to forge a new life for her mother and herself. Especially in today's climate of demonizing refugees, this should be required reading in schools.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    This book was seriously amazing and I am not kidding. It is about a afghan girl. The main Character Farah. Something horrible happens to her and she learns how to be responsible and control her life. She learns how to make her life the best it can be. The book tells how she gets threw her life and makes it how she wants it to be. The main thing that got me was how dirty they keep everything over there. Her main goal is to get to America so her and her mom can live peacfully. This in non-fiction This book was seriously amazing and I am not kidding. It is about a afghan girl. The main Character Farah. Something horrible happens to her and she learns how to be responsible and control her life. She learns how to make her life the best it can be. The book tells how she gets threw her life and makes it how she wants it to be. The main thing that got me was how dirty they keep everything over there. Her main goal is to get to America so her and her mom can live peacfully. This in non-fiction and 100% true, the girl wrote it herself. She got it published by winning a contest on Good Morning America. This book was nicely written,it kept me interested the whole time. The book is very depresing at parts but it si also happy.The book has a strong tone. It shows what Farah wants and how she feels. Farah is someone you can relate to even though what happened to her will never happen to one of us ( I don't think it will). Anybody would like this book. It may be about a girl but it is an amazing story. It tells how the other side of the world works. If you like reading about other countries you should definitly read this book. Also with the war going on right now it could in a way explain how those people over there are feeling. You know it is a good book because it was voted America's #1 book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Naomi R

    This book is about an Islamic Afghan girl called Farah Ahmedi. The first part of the book is about her younger days in Afghanistan then specifically her 2 years in Germany. After that it talks about her short return home and moving to a near by country. The entire book was written in Farah's point of view. This story is enticing and will keep you at the verge of tears the whole time. When Farah was 7 she was running late to school so she foolishly decided to go on a shortcut that would take her This book is about an Islamic Afghan girl called Farah Ahmedi. The first part of the book is about her younger days in Afghanistan then specifically her 2 years in Germany. After that it talks about her short return home and moving to a near by country. The entire book was written in Farah's point of view. This story is enticing and will keep you at the verge of tears the whole time. When Farah was 7 she was running late to school so she foolishly decided to go on a shortcut that would take her there faster. After only a few steps she steps on a land mind and suddenly her life is changed forever. A kind neighbor quickly took her to the hospital but there wasn't much that they could do there, because they had no medication, no real bandages, nothing because of the war. After 3 months there they barely kept her alive and her right leg got infected. She was then transported to Germany where she stayed for 2 years to heal. They ended up taking the infected knee and part of the bone and replacing it with steel rods in her right leg. She also had to have her left leg from the knee down amputated. This is also where she learned to speak German. I really enjoyed this book. It is a true story and a real eye opener for me. I never knew that all of this stuff was really happening! It truly touched my heart

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Poerll

    How this author got a book deal is possibly the best set-up for a crappy book that I've heard so far. She won a contest to tell her story that was voted on by the public. Guaranteed to be a best seller, yes, but does it have any content? The story isn't particularly poorly written, but it does read like a long, extended livejournal entry. But by her telling the story of her life in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, how she stepped on a land mine and went to Germany to get treated, and the problems How this author got a book deal is possibly the best set-up for a crappy book that I've heard so far. She won a contest to tell her story that was voted on by the public. Guaranteed to be a best seller, yes, but does it have any content? The story isn't particularly poorly written, but it does read like a long, extended livejournal entry. But by her telling the story of her life in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, how she stepped on a land mine and went to Germany to get treated, and the problems she now faces learning English and fitting in to American culture, you really can't help but feel like your problems are pretty small. And people love that. One particularly interesting highlight of the book: Apparently in some parts of Pakistan people still think Americans have slaves and that anyone going to America that wasn't born there is destined to be one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Watson

    This girl was the same age as one of my sons and it just seemed to make it personal. I saw the contrast to the lives they both had lived, just because she happened to be born in a war torn country where life and limb were both disposable. Her siblings were killed, her father was killed and her mother lost her ability to cope. It was very moving and inspirational to see how she managed to make a new life for herself.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I listened to this book on CD. The story itself was very interesting. The things that happen are not even things I could imagine. However, once the author comes to America, she is, at times, almost ungrateful about the support given to her. This kind of turned me off to her.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I have a special bias for biographies, especially for those about people different from me, who suffer though life, and their story educate. This is one of those books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eryn

    It's very inspiring. It makes you think about what other people are going through in other countries and how spoiled (some of) us Americans are. It's very inspiring. It makes you think about what other people are going through in other countries and how spoiled (some of) us Americans are.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Farah was seven-years-old and had overslept one morning. Worried that she was late for school she decided to take a short cut through a field, saving her two or three minutes but little did Farah know that decision would turn out to be the worst of her life. Sadly, Farah stepped on a land mine! Quickly a crowd gathered around her but no one seemed to know what to do until a neighbour came along, hailed a taxi and put Farah onto the back seat and delivered her to the hospital. Farah was in so muc Farah was seven-years-old and had overslept one morning. Worried that she was late for school she decided to take a short cut through a field, saving her two or three minutes but little did Farah know that decision would turn out to be the worst of her life. Sadly, Farah stepped on a land mine! Quickly a crowd gathered around her but no one seemed to know what to do until a neighbour came along, hailed a taxi and put Farah onto the back seat and delivered her to the hospital. Farah was in so much pain that every time they had to move her legs or change bandages, she would scream. The pain, needless to say, was excruciating. The hospital in Afghanistan was ill-equipped to deal with injuries as devastating as Farah’s and all they could offer her were bandage changes and most of the time didn’t even have them at the hospital, it was up to her family to run around the city buying bandages from wherever they could. Once a month a group of doctors came from Germany to choose the most seriously injured children to fly back to Germany for treatment. Thankfully, Farah was chosen to go but at seven years of age, she had to go alone, no family or friends would be allowed to travel with her. Once in the German hospital where Farah remained for two years, she learned she lost her right knee and “...some of the bone just above and below that joint, and they fused my thighbone to my shinbone, holding them together with a metal rod that extends six or seven inches into both bones.” Farah can no longer bend her right knee as she doesn’t have one and can only move her foot up and down as her ankle joints are intact. Sadly, her entire left leg was amputated. At age twelve, Farah and her mother were living in a refugee camp in Quetta, Pakistan. It is now winter and Farah’s mother is suffering frequent bouts with her asthma from living in an unheated tent in the cold and wind. Farah has become her mother’s caretaker at the age of twelve! Farah exhibits such maturity beyond her years in age. She is a studious and intelligent girl who stood up for her and her mother’s rights. In dealing with some under-handed people, they thought Farah, at age thirteen, was too young and ignorant to know any better about adult decisions, but they were sadly mistaken. Farah is an inspiration to all of us that even in the direst of circumstances and pain that we can survive and endure. It takes a deep faith and commitment to deal with what Farah did but she is now a beacon of light for many. This was an amazing memoir which I would recommend to anyone and you’ll be amazed at what Farah and her mother went through after Farah’s two year hospital stay in Germany.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    Farah was born in Afghanistan and was fairly happy there with her family. But, one day while on her way to school, she stepped on a landmine and she lost a leg. She was lucky enough to be chosen to go to Germany, but while she was gone for nearly two years the war had gotten worse in her home country. After losing her father, sisters and eventually brothers, Farah does the work she is able to support herself and her mother. When Farah hears some group is taking widows and children to America, she Farah was born in Afghanistan and was fairly happy there with her family. But, one day while on her way to school, she stepped on a landmine and she lost a leg. She was lucky enough to be chosen to go to Germany, but while she was gone for nearly two years the war had gotten worse in her home country. After losing her father, sisters and eventually brothers, Farah does the work she is able to support herself and her mother. When Farah hears some group is taking widows and children to America, she feels that it may be the chance for her to have the life she's always wanted. I found this book while looking around my library and I'm glad to have read it. It is a true story of a girl who lived in Afghanistan and was eventually able to find a way to America. I do feel bad for Farah; a lot has happened in her life and she had to grow up so fast. After it was just her and her mom, Farah basically became the parent. It seems that now life is better for her here and she has made some friends. I am happy for her. This was book and one I think everyone should read. It really shows how a person from another country feels when they come here. They are just looking for a better life and want to feel welcomed, not singled out because they weren't born in America. Farah is a brave woman and I hope life has continued to give her good things.

  15. 5 out of 5

    G Stephen

    I got Farad's audio book because we have been working in relief and development in Afganistan since 1984. It is a well narrated book, an uplifting account the suffering of a child and of people who come into our lives and believe in us, love us and walk with us through the difficulties of life in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in America. Farad, a young, Hazara girl, has lived an unbelievable life before reaching the age of 15. Her story is a first hand picture of the devastation of a beautiful count I got Farad's audio book because we have been working in relief and development in Afganistan since 1984. It is a well narrated book, an uplifting account the suffering of a child and of people who come into our lives and believe in us, love us and walk with us through the difficulties of life in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in America. Farad, a young, Hazara girl, has lived an unbelievable life before reaching the age of 15. Her story is a first hand picture of the devastation of a beautiful country destroyed by war and ethnic conflict. She and her family were caught in the middle. She stepped on a landmine as she was going to school in Kabul. She was in the second grade and things went downhill from there. This is a story of suffering and pain but finding strength to respond when it seemed impossible. This is a story of faith and people practically living out their faith. It is the story of a young girl who has a dream and who is on her way to fulfilling it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rajeshree Vejasegaran

    The Other Side on The Sky , a memoir by Farah Ahmedi is an inspiring story of an Afghan girl who had suffered disability when she stepped on the land mine. Unfortunately,she also had lost her family and homeland due to war in Kabul. Farah is a woman who has so much self-will planted in her and indeed a remarkable individual. Despite being a victim to cruel circumstances of fate, she never gives up and thrive to survive the painful experience and also takes care of her mum. "With a life lik The Other Side on The Sky , a memoir by Farah Ahmedi is an inspiring story of an Afghan girl who had suffered disability when she stepped on the land mine. Unfortunately,she also had lost her family and homeland due to war in Kabul. Farah is a woman who has so much self-will planted in her and indeed a remarkable individual. Despite being a victim to cruel circumstances of fate, she never gives up and thrive to survive the painful experience and also takes care of her mum. "With a life like mine, surviving itself is an achievement - just surviving.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Max Ostrovsky

    A story that, unfortunately, is becoming more and more familiar. It's a story of an injured girl who becomes a refugee and how she adjusts to a completely different society. Too often, and too easily, people are willing to divide human beings as being on one side or another, forgetting that we're all human beings. Sure, some have different view points, but ultimately, what individual doesn't? We're all unique, yet we are all part of what humanity is. If this book can do anything for its mostly y A story that, unfortunately, is becoming more and more familiar. It's a story of an injured girl who becomes a refugee and how she adjusts to a completely different society. Too often, and too easily, people are willing to divide human beings as being on one side or another, forgetting that we're all human beings. Sure, some have different view points, but ultimately, what individual doesn't? We're all unique, yet we are all part of what humanity is. If this book can do anything for its mostly young adult audience is to show just how similar we all are in our hopes, desires, dreams and what it takes to belong, no matter what society.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Brown

    Every single person in there world should have to read this book! At birth we should be handed this book so when we can read our mind will be filled with a story of bravery, courage, determination and haedship. This book allowed me to glimpse into a life I could not imagine. It goes to show how ignorant some people are but this woman's words show the love other people have. This book (not to be cliché) changed my thought process. Love it everyone needs this book, more now than ever. Every single person in there world should have to read this book! At birth we should be handed this book so when we can read our mind will be filled with a story of bravery, courage, determination and haedship. This book allowed me to glimpse into a life I could not imagine. It goes to show how ignorant some people are but this woman's words show the love other people have. This book (not to be cliché) changed my thought process. Love it everyone needs this book, more now than ever.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is lovely. It's the story of a girl with a lot of bad luck, but even more grit and tenacity. She's inspirational. The time line gets a bit tangled now and again but this was a very engaging read. Impressive for such a young thing. Her mother's impressions of America were particularly eye opening. This book is lovely. It's the story of a girl with a lot of bad luck, but even more grit and tenacity. She's inspirational. The time line gets a bit tangled now and again but this was a very engaging read. Impressive for such a young thing. Her mother's impressions of America were particularly eye opening.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Muatasem Faden

    Today this remarkable woman, who makes a difference every single day, becomes a U.S. citizen. She says she is so grateful to have the freedom of choice in the country that has made such a difference to her

  21. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This book gives us a glimpse of what it is like to be a female in Afghanistan. After completing this book, I feel more gratitude for the freedom that I experience in America. This is a compelling story of hope, redemption, and promise.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leisl

    This was a very interesting book. I really appreciated seeing the world from Farah's point of view. I am planning to put this book on a teen nonfiction booklist, but also recommend it to adults. This was a very interesting book. I really appreciated seeing the world from Farah's point of view. I am planning to put this book on a teen nonfiction booklist, but also recommend it to adults.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shivani

    "Very inspirational....a small girl fighting against all odds in life with her spirit to make it in this life...." "Very inspirational....a small girl fighting against all odds in life with her spirit to make it in this life...."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Beautiful and very inspiring! A story of resilience.

  25. 4 out of 5

    anotherfungurl

    Best non-fiction I have ever read. I really felt sad for Farah. She had a very sad story, but her life was getting better and better. I would say it was a success story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rita Jillabi

    Good Reads The Other Side of the Sky Farah Ahmedi Rita Jillabi Friday, February 6, 2015 7-1 A young girl, Farah Ahmedi, has lived to tell tale through the surviving and the terror that occurred in the terrible war. Farah lived most of her life in Afghanistan and in refugee camps of Pakistan. She was only fourteen when most her family was slaughtered and lost her leg. Alyce, one of her only American friends, told her to write a book about her achievements. However, the young protagonist did not kn Good Reads The Other Side of the Sky Farah Ahmedi Rita Jillabi Friday, February 6, 2015 7-1 A young girl, Farah Ahmedi, has lived to tell tale through the surviving and the terror that occurred in the terrible war. Farah lived most of her life in Afghanistan and in refugee camps of Pakistan. She was only fourteen when most her family was slaughtered and lost her leg. Alyce, one of her only American friends, told her to write a book about her achievements. However, the young protagonist did not know what to write due to the fact that she had achieved nothing, but just the fact that Farah survived through all this pain and suffering makes her special and is a great achievement.“I’m not even nineteen, and I haven’t achieved anything yet. But Alyce said that with a life like mine, surviving itself is an achievement” (Ahmedi 1). Thus, the protagonist decided to write about her adventure through the war and her new life that was about to start at Chicago, Illinois . Even if her new life has finally begun, the suffering and memories of the terrible war at Kabul did not fade. Farah Ahmedi had multiple dreams about her childhood, her friends, siblings and family. At the beginning of the first chapter Farah is at a carnival with her best friend Alyce. Farah had an amputated leg and usually used to dream about it a lot when she just lost it.“I was riding a bicycle or running around in our yard at Kabul or just walking. In those dreams I would say, Oh my gosh, look at this! I can ride a bicycle. I’m running. What was I worrying about my leg is just fine! I don't have those kinds of dreams anymore. Now when I take off my prosthetic leg at night, I feel like I have always been this way” (Ahmedi7). The carnival was like an explosion of colours and joy. Farah came to one ride called the Gondola. It was shaped like a large boat suspended from two large poles. It had many rows of seats, all facing the center. The boat was swinging back and forth at a very high speed. Farah was determined to do this ride even against Alyce’s concerns about her leg. The people inside were screaming and wanted to be scared which is not Farah’s case. Both got in the boat then a man came to check if the people were all settled . Farah knew she still had a chance to get out but her determination toke away the power. The ride got going and Farah had a terrible flashback, believing she was laying on the cold hot ground in Afghanistan. “So I started screaming, right there on the Gondola ride, just like I did on that terrible day. “ Why don't you help me? Why are you just looking at me like that? Help me, someone help me! ” It was that scene, exactly. I tried to get up, as I had that day. I wanted to be whole again” (Ahmedi5). To conclude the last chapters were full of emotion and surprise, this is a quote that relates to the book and Farah by various ways “Warriors should suffer their pain silently” Erin Hunter, Into the Wild. Determination and sacrifice, two words that perfectly describes the protagonist and narrator, Farah Ahmedi. Bravery helped Farah achieve multiple steps in her life. Losing a leg is not easy it changes ones daily life considerably. The way one wakes up, sleeps, moves, puts on its clothes. Difference,dissimilarity, contrast, distinction, variation all these words might be good or bad its all in the way people interpret it. Farah’s past invaded her brain her family dinners and reunions. Farah is different people don't always want her best but her difference is that she fights back and does not let people put her down. She is a warrior and certainly a winner. All in all Farah is a very special individual with a lot of differences that make her a better person. Rita Jillabi Friday, February 13, 2015 7-1 “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” (Desmond Tutu). Farah is still young and has her whole life facing her, obstacles keep showing up and Farah is still not giving up. Life is a long path with ups and downs and determination is the key to success.Hope is what keeps her going like gasoline in a car. She fights for her rights and her freedom to live. In the last chapters Farah was describing what she had felt seeing all those people dying.Bombs are falling all over her country, and her native Kabul is swelling with hundreds of thousands of people looking for homes and jobs. “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind”(John Kennedy).She may be haunted by her past, but she is no longer enslaved by it. Now, Farah is an Afghan American she go’s to school, free to work and learn, support herself and choose in what direction she wants to go.Even in war, there are miracles. Even when limbs are amputated, we are whole. Even in refugee camps, dreams come true. Even when fathers and siblings die young, there is love. How could people nowadays even talk about fairness if they have a shelter and food and good education? What do they know about fairness? How could we say we are all equal if some people suffer everyday and some not? Farah is a young Afghan girl that is born into this world, as the war between the Mujahideen and the Soviets reaches Kabul in Afghanistan. Through these last chapters Farah reveals her laborious past. Her family roots go back to a village near the city of Ghazni some 92 miles west from Kabul, with a population of about  141,000 people. A thousand years ago Ghazni was the capital of an empire that stretched from the Indus River to the Caspian Sea. It was a city rich of artists, poets and scholars. It had paved streets and magnificent buildings. Today Ghazni is a small walled city, the ruins of towers and ancient walls are the remains of Ghazni’s glorious past. Back in the days most of the population made their money out of farm lands and lived as peasants,merchants or farmers. Her fathers father achieved his respected position at a young age. He was a mullah, a learned man who read the Koran and knew all the commandments .  His duties included teaching children, teenagers, and even some adults to read and write. He taught both girls and boys, but separately. Her grandfather may own  land, grow crops, own businesses and do anything else that ordinary people did. Her grand fathers parents organised I match between him and his cousin. Farah’s grandfather disagreed at first because he was in love of someone else. By good fortune he won over his parents and choose too marry a valley girl he met. She had beautiful eyes and Farah’s grandfather immediately fell in love too . Therefor they decided to get married and had many kids. “They had a big family, three girls and four boys. My grandfather owned some land, but he could not farm it properly because his duties as a mullah kept him too busy. As a result, in spite of all the respect he gained for his religious position, his material circumstances declined. He was forced to borrow  large sums of money on several occasions. In Islam it is legal to charge interest for a loan” (Ahmedi 16) .So if someone borrows money he should give back to the lender some valuable moneymaking collateral. The lender holds that property and makes use of it as if it was his until the money needed has been given to the lender. Ghulam Hussein, Farah’s father, decided to do something about his fathers land. Accordingly when Ghulam came of age he went to work on his own and came back a few years later with the money needed to free his father from slavery. From that day and on he was known to be the hero that that freed he’s father from slavery and saved his fathers lands. His parents were proud of him thus they decided to organise his wedding. He’s mother went around the city asking all the appealing girls to marry her son. She finally fell on the good one during her visit to the sultans palace. The daughter of the sultan was delighted to  marry the famous hero Ghulam Hussein. During the Shirnee -khuree the party that celebrates an engagement Farah’s parents saw each other for the first time. “My father was sitting near my mother, gazing upon her, gladdened by what he saw. My mother was shy to look up. She kept her gaze fixed modestly the floor in front of her. But inside, of course, she was dying of curiosity . Finally, she did turn her head stealthily to steal just a peep, if she could, of her husband to be”. They were then engaged for two years before they finally got married and had their kids. They then all moved to a more civilised city Kabul. There is where Farah and her siblings lived a peaceful life until war started and her life changed. All in all this is the begging of a long journey that might be full of upcoming obstacles. The main theme of the book so far is overcoming struggles. Farah is always faced to hardships but she always shows her strength by overcoming them. “ Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and you decide not to surrender, that is strength”(Mahatma Gandhi). When Farah was walking up to school she decided to take a shortcut she accidentally walked on a land mine and lost her leg. This obstacle changed her life completely and still Farah handled the pain and got over this obstacle, even though it haunts her every night. Another example is when she lost her family at a young age. She went with her mom to a shopping store when suddenly a rocket hit their house and Farah’s life changed in a fraction of second. She found herself alone with her mother. Even though she faced this hard and painful obstacle Farah is still here competing in the battle against life. All in all life is short so enjoy it, overcome struggles and face fears. Rita Jillabi Friday, February 20, 2015 7-1 Going to school is a coming of age, when Farah was six she started going to school and that filled her heart with joy. For some people going to school is not that important , but these people have to realize that life is not that easy for everyone and that they have a great opportunity that not everyone has. In life when there is an opportunity one has to take advantage of it . Farah described the classrooms in Afghanistan and compared them to the ones in America. “Here in America, first and second graders study in brightly painted rooms filled with books and art supplies and featuring all sorts of posters and pictures on the walls. In Afghanistan our classrooms were naked chambers with nothing on the walls except a chalkboard” (Ahmedi 36). The classes were segregated unlike the classes in the U.S . School was casual in Afghanistan unlike America, where students go the morning and come back till four o’clock. In seventh grade or sixth grade you go that long to school, but Farah was not sure about that because she went to school only until fifth grade. If she wanted to finish school she would have to move alone further from her home town. In Afghanistan they played various games just like kids all over the world , except that they played classic games, they did not have the opportunity to have computers nor iphones. A game they used to play was named bobo-jan which meant “mommy-dear”. Two girls would hold hands and spin around and around until they got dizzy and then tried to walk. Never did boys and girls play together. The girls sat on benches during recess and told stories, boys them played soccer and other sports. Each girl brought their piece of bread for recess and it actually had such a flavor because they were so hungry. All in all school in Afghanistan was harsh compared to American schools, this is why all the people that have the opportunity to have a clean shelter with food, and go to a school that is supportive and full of supplies for you to be a better learner should be very thankfull and take advantage of what they have. Never forget that if an opportunity shows up don’t hesitate. A french proverb says “You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it”. On that fateful morning Farah woke up the sun in her eyes. Now in Kabul it is always sunny, In Afghanistan kids did go to school on the summer. That morning Farah was late to school, she usually wakes up before the sun rose but for one reason that day everyone in the house has overslept. Class has already started and Farah did not want to miss her teachers precious story telling. In Kabul a school girl wears a black dress with white stockings and a white headscarf. That day Farah did not have the time to comb her long hair,wash her face nor to wear her uniform so she put on a traditional clothing and ran out the door. “By veering off the paved street and cutting across an overgrown brush-filled field directly to the main road that led to my school, I could save two or three minutes. I think most people knew to stay out of this particular field. Perhaps the grown ups to me to stay out of it too , I don't know - a child forgets such warnings” (Ahmedi 43). This quote was foreshadowing because it warns the reader that something bad might happen. When a children disobeys to the rules there is always a punishment attached to it. After taking that shortcut Farah on her way to school stept on a landmine. “I felt no pain, no physical sensation at all, just mental turmoil and fear.Those horrified people were standing over me arguing . Was it too late? Was I dead ? Should they lift me up? How should they do this?” (Ahmedi 44). From that day and on Farah’s life shifted to complete chaos. Thus, Farah’s life is far from being easy and still she is alive today still fighting for her rights. In these last chapters the theme developed has been overcoming struggles. Farah lost her leg in a landmine and this event majorly affected her daily life. Farah might not be the luckiest girl in the world but she has her mom that is constantly protecting her and is helping her move further in her life. For example when Farah lost her dad and siblings her mom was very supportive. At the beginning of the first chapter Farah was dreaming of her mom dying and she could not bare losing someone that she loves again. This relates to the theme overcoming struggles because when Farah was at her lowest her mom helped her out and is a key element of Farrah's success and motivation. To conclude Farrah's mom is a very important character in this story that motivated Farah a lot. Rita Jillabi Friday, March 6, 2015 7-1 The Other Side of the Sky is a memoir written by Farah Ahmedi. Farah is a brave Afghan girl that has overcome her struggles and has various achievements. Farah was born in Kabul near the end of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Farah steps on a landmine during second grade while taking a shortcut through a field to school because she was late. Farah was transferred to Germany, where her leg was amputated and she received a prosthetic leg. After passing a few months in Germany, Farah returned to her hometown Kabul, Afghanistan. After Farah gets the prosthetic leg, the Taliban invades Kabul. While Farah and her mother are at the supermarket shopping for fabrics a rocket hits their house and her father and sisters die. Her brothers, then fled the country after their fathers death. Bombs make it impossible for people to leave their houses or even go to school. Farah and her mother as well decided to flee the country so that they could feel safer. Once arrived in Pakistan they started to work for a family for less than fifteen dollars. They soon run out of money and they have to go to the united states refugee camp. All in all this is a summary of the last chapters that have been covered. The background and the plot overview of the story The Other Side of the Sky are very unique. The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan first began around December 1979.The Soviet army invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to spread communism. In 1996, the Taliban took over Kabul and began enforcing their strict Islamic views which meant banning women from work and introducing Islamic punishments. Farah is hero because she had all sorts of conflicts surrounding her and still overcame all of them. Farah to this day is still fighting for her rights. She has grown as a person throughout the book, she learned to manage difficulties and by overcoming her struggles she became a better person. At the beginning of the book the author informed the reader about how she had the idea to write this book. Her friend told her that she was a hero and that she should share her accomplishments with everyone. However, the young protagonist did not know what to write due to the fact that she had achieved nothing, but just the fact that Farah survived through all this pain and suffering makes her special and is a great achievement.. But Alyce said that with a life like mine, surviving itself is an achievement” (Ahmedi 1). This quotes shows that only the fact that Farah survived is an accomplishment. Thus , in life there are ups and downs and the strongest ones are the ones that are able to support both. Determination and Sacrifice are two words that play major roles in Farah's life. Farah did not grow up really wealthy so she had to sacrifice numerous times for her family. She has always been determined to learn new things and explore the world, she was determined to reach her goals and be in a safe house with some food and her mom. Farah did achieve her goals and with alot of determination. “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”(Colin Powell). This quote relates to the theme overcoming struggles because determination is the key to success and overcoming struggles . “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness” ( Napoleon Hill). To conclude determination and sacrifice are what makes Farah exceed and overcome her struggles.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacklyn

    Stories of self-proclaimed nobility and fulfilling destinies are manipulated and twisted into some of the most popular fiction thrillers today. However, in the action-packed, fervent pages, it lacks sincerity and raw, real-life experiences that exert emotion that can be linked to the present world. Among these tales of scattered coincidence, “The Other Side of the Sky” by Farah Ahmedi takes on the role of a memoir. The book itself is a recollection of personal, life-impacting memories. This give Stories of self-proclaimed nobility and fulfilling destinies are manipulated and twisted into some of the most popular fiction thrillers today. However, in the action-packed, fervent pages, it lacks sincerity and raw, real-life experiences that exert emotion that can be linked to the present world. Among these tales of scattered coincidence, “The Other Side of the Sky” by Farah Ahmedi takes on the role of a memoir. The book itself is a recollection of personal, life-impacting memories. This gives an alluring connection and is a refreshing change from cliche, mawkish teenage fiction. Farah Ahmedi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the height of the war between the mujahideen and the Soviets. As a child, she is accustomed to the squeal of rockets and bustling of people scrummaging for jobs and shelter. Her early childhood is nothing but naive innocence and wonder of the world, as for it is all her and her family know or have been forced to adjust to. Unfortunately, she becomes a victim of the waging war. When she steps on a landmine on the way to school, her life takes an abrupt turn, leaving her crippled and stripped of her family. At the young age of seven, she is transported to Germany to be treated for her wound; she never fully recovered. The traumatizing incident haunts Farah and is mockingly symbolic for the events that follow. Now I won’t spoil much as the full impact of the book depends on the unpredictable plots, but it involves her brothers taking a trip across the barren terrains of Pakistan to escape the ferocious hands of the Taliban, recruiting and killing, her intermediate family dying from a bomb, sparing only her and her mother, and witnessing death and tragedy in efforts to escape the brute oppression. Farah calls herself an “Afghan-girl” when she slowly becomes familiar with the sounds of firing guns and cannons once again after being transported back home from Germany, “the sound of war”, she describes it as. The war that she went through was not as easy as loud noises on the streets. Farah and her mother, two women, now alone, in a new society that targeted them. Unforeseen acts of humanity and righteous in strangers lead them to be free from crooked hands and is the action that drives the adventure to their refuge in America. America is a different planet, as the vile people Farah and her mother work for tell them. Wives tales of immigrants being sent to the “soap-factory” where they take the unprotected and well… turn them into soap and fears of becoming slaves are everyday gossip. When they are accepted into the World Relief program, they really do arrive on a different planet. Customs are different, language, and the race barrier makes it exceptionally difficult for Farah and her ill mother to adapt. Ahmedi’s word choice and description of events are slightly dull throughout the book. This factor reprimands the truly inspiring deeds of self-preservation and is a draw-back from a full experience of the sacrifices that had to be made. Although her writing style is somewhat vague and nondescript, her story leaves a riveting message and a remarkable feeling of glory. Farah Ahmedi’s journey to America was a struggle, to say the least. Heartache, suffering, and misery were like snakes constricting her future. However, from pain, flourished hope, revelations of the power of God, and strength, the thing that pulled Farah from the pits of despair into love and appreciation. “The Other Side of the Sky” is an extraordinary tale of redemption, that leaves readers with a new perspective and inspiring ambitions.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yasmine Tajmouati

    February 6 2015 “The Story of my Life”, is the autobiography of Farah Ahmedi. This novel recounts her life and how she was able to survive tragedies. In the beginning, Farah already spoke about her happy ending, which tells the reader that everything is going to be all right. “One time last summer, my new American friends, Alyce and John, took me to a carnival here in the suburbs of Chicago, where I live now with my mother” (Ahmedi 3). Previously, Farah ad her family, which included of 4 siblings February 6 2015 “The Story of my Life”, is the autobiography of Farah Ahmedi. This novel recounts her life and how she was able to survive tragedies. In the beginning, Farah already spoke about her happy ending, which tells the reader that everything is going to be all right. “One time last summer, my new American friends, Alyce and John, took me to a carnival here in the suburbs of Chicago, where I live now with my mother” (Ahmedi 3). Previously, Farah ad her family, which included of 4 siblings, a father and a mother, lived in Kabul. However, things finished badly as her siblings and father all died and the only family Farah has left is he mother. Though the reader still doesn’t know What really happened to Farah, the reader can assume that she went through traumatizing events as Farah talks about having nightmares all the time in he writing. By that, one can see that Farah is a survivor and brave young women as she experienced very rough events at a very young age. Farah had a normal childhood. Though everything changed one day. She woke up late to school, and so decided to take a shortcut. As she was walking down the path, she stepped on a landmine used for the warfare in Afghanistan that trapped her into a harsh explosion. “And when that spark flashed in my eyes, it triggered something. I dropped through a trapdoor into some other reality” (Ahmedi 6). As a result, she lost her foot and had other physical problems though she managed to survive. After being able to manage her disability, other tragedies happen in the course of her life, but details are still left unknown to the reader. Farah was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. So far, the characters in this novel are not completely developed yet. Few characters have been mentioned, but some are distinguishable by their actions. Alyce is the only and best friend of Farah, the protagonist. She is always there for her and is trustworthy toward Farah. “Thank God Alyce was there by my side, as she has been by side so often in these last few years” (Ahmedi 5). Unfortunately, once Farah came to Chicago she didn’t make any friends, but she didn’t mind. At least she had Alyce who looks like she is a very good friend. The only other person who is involved in Farah’s life is her mother. Her mother always took care of her and tried her best to make her daughter happy. Even though her mother wasn’t always able to protect her, she always loved her very much. One theme that can be applied to this novel is overcoming struggles. Throughout Farah’s life, she continuously overcame hardship in school and just generally in her country because of war problems. “I tried to get up, as I had that day. I wanted to be whole again. I scrambled to get away from the horror of what happened” (Ahmedi 7). Farah was a brave girl and even though she thought that her dreams would ever come true after her accident, she never really truly gave up. From this book, a lot of life lessons can be learned. For example, even when someone might think that things are going completely wrong and desperate, it might just actually turn out to be the start of something good. As one can see, Farah sounds to be very inspirational and caring too.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Särah Nour

    We all have our war epics—Gone With the Wind, War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago—that serve to entertain and educate us about a particular time in history. However, sometimes the value of a war epic is not in its ability to entertain or its historical accuracy. Although a mere 256 pages compared to Gone With the Wind’s 1,000-plus, The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a deeply moving firsthand account of growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, powerfully told by Farah Ahmedi, We all have our war epics—Gone With the Wind, War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago—that serve to entertain and educate us about a particular time in history. However, sometimes the value of a war epic is not in its ability to entertain or its historical accuracy. Although a mere 256 pages compared to Gone With the Wind’s 1,000-plus, The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a deeply moving firsthand account of growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, powerfully told by Farah Ahmedi, who was just seventeen at the time of its publication. Born in Kabul during the war between the Mujahedeen and the Soviet Union, Farah grows up accustomed to the sounds of gunfire and fighter planes. She attends a school with limited resources: no books, more students than seats and frequent school cancellations due to rockets and bombings; nonetheless, she is a spirited girl with a passion for learning. One day, seven-year-old Farah steps on a landmine in a rush to get to school on time, and only then does the warfare and international relations of her home country become all too real to her. In addition to the loss of her leg, Farah eventually suffers the loss of most of her immediate family, until she is left with only her mother to travel with as a refugee throughout Pakistan. The two endure harsh conditions in refugee camps, as well as the trials of slave labor, until they are rescued by World Relief and moved to Chicago, where they begin their lives anew. Farah is a pleasant and perceptive narrator, able to objectively analyze the differences between the Afghan and American cultures. Her adjustment to life in the United States is poignantly portrayed, as she struggles to come to terms with her past and outright refuses special treatment for her having a prosthetic leg. Her strength of will in the face of unimaginable obstacles drives the narrative and inspires readers to wish her well throughout her journey. Currently Farah serves as a United Nations ambassador for the Adopt-a-Minefield program, as well as founder of her own charitable program, Farah’s Wings of Hope. Her story of survival and perseverance serves as an inspirational coming-of-age portrait of a girl of indomitable spirit and endurance. Needless to say, her book is highly recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a very emotional and compelling book. This book is definitely one of my favorite books I have read throughout the course of the semester and provided me with a new perspective on issues brought up in this book. As a future teacher, I found this book to be very relevant because with the increase of diverse students that will be in my future classrooms, it's essential to be aware of the struggles that ELL students face when adapt The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a very emotional and compelling book. This book is definitely one of my favorite books I have read throughout the course of the semester and provided me with a new perspective on issues brought up in this book. As a future teacher, I found this book to be very relevant because with the increase of diverse students that will be in my future classrooms, it's essential to be aware of the struggles that ELL students face when adapting to a new language and culture. I also think that as a teacher, I would require all of my middle school or high school aged students to read this book because I think it would provide them with a better understanding of classmates or people in general that immigrated from another country to The United States. I think that this book would lead to more empathy in society and also bring the ignorance and intolerance that some people have towards foreigners in this country to an end, resulting in a more peaceful and accepting society. I really enjoyed how this book was an easy read which would be of interest to a lot of readers. I also think that the way the book was formatted in a sequential way as opposed to jumping around in time added to this component of it being an easy read and added to the overall quality of the book. The biggest positive trait about this book however is its ability to evoke emotional responses out of the reader because of it being based upon a true story. The plot of the book is very engrossing and since the story is told by Farah herself, her voice authentically shines through. This makes the book so much more relatable in comparison to reading a textbook about the war going on in Afghanistan and still educates the reader on the war and what goes on in other countries through using heavy themes such as war, loss, struggles, family, friends, and adapting to change. I really have no negative criticism towards this book because I consider it to be one of my favorite overall books and a life changing read.

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