Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son

Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son

A People Book of the Week & a Kirkus Best Nonfiction of the Year

An exquisite and inspiring memoir about one mother’s unimaginable choice in the face of oppression and abuse in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.



In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions. With the city and the military on edge, it was not uncommon for an armed soldier to point his gun at the pregnant woman’s bulging stomach, terrified that she was hiding a bomb. Frightened and in pain, she was once forced to make her way on foot. Propelled by the love she held for her soon-to-be-born child, Homeira walked through blood and wreckage to reach the hospital doors. But the joy of her beautiful son’s birth was soon overshadowed by other dangers that would threaten her life.

No ordinary Afghan woman, Homeira refused to cower under the strictures of a misogynistic social order. Defying the law, she risked her freedom to teach children reading and writing and fought for women’s rights in her theocratic and patriarchal society.

Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. In telling her story—and that of Afghan women—Homeira challenges you to reconsider the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice, and survival. Her story asks you to consider the lengths you would go to protect yourself, your family, and your dignity.

Title:Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son
ISBN:9780062970312
Format Type:

    Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son Reviews

  • Angela M

    The more I think about this book and I have been thinking about it since I finished reading it, I have to change my rating. It deserves 5 stars.***********************************************As a youn...

  • Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    This book was just the perfect read for those of us who think our lives have been difficult as women. In it, Homeira Quderi vividly relates what life was like for a young girl growing into adulthood u...

  • ?Karen

    This was just an excellent portrayal of the disgustingly unequal treatment of women in Afghanistan during Taliban rule (and before... and after). Homeira on the surface seems luckier than most, but sh...

  • Rosemary Standeven

    This is the inspiring story of a very courageous young girl growing into a woman in Afghanistan. The book is to bear witness to the changes happening in her country, and on a more personal level to ex...

  • Stephanie Jane

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsDancing In The Mosque is an incredible memoir of perseverance and emotional strength. Homeira Qaderi has given up absolutely everything, including...

  • Rachel Stansel

    Dancing in the Mosque is the powerful memoir of a woman growing up in Afghanistan both during Russian and then Taliban control. Her story is broken up as messages to the son taken from her when her hu...

  • Barbara

    A child in Afghanistan does not belong to their mother; they are entirely and legally the property of their father. It's not just Afghanistan where that's the case; there are many other countries that...

  • Kitty Fogliano

    My adult life parallels the historical time period of the rise of the Taliban, a mysterious, horrifying, and enigmatic monster living in a faraway land. A monster that has led women my age all over th...

  • Shankar Singh

    “𝙄𝙩 𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙢𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙗 ...

  • Rebecca Meyrink

    “Madar, what does emigrating mean?Still searching the horizon Madar said:It means becoming a stranger in a foreign country. It means dying alone.”I picked this up from the library knowing nothing ...