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One Woman's Journey Through Taliban Strongholds

Authors: Kay Danes
Rated 4.64 out of 5 based on 14 customer ratings
(14 customer reviews)
01/Apr/2015
352
Paperback
230mm x 155mm
9781925275056
$29.99

On September 11, 2001, the World changed forever when ruthless Al-Qaeda terrorists launched an aerial attack on the United States of America. Oblivious to the world’s terror, Kay and Kerry Danes sat half a world away, secure in an Embassy after a terrifying 11-month hostage ordeal in communist Laos.

As fear gripped the globe, Kerry an Australian Special Forces soldier, comforted his wife Kay, as they struggled to come to terms with their hellish ordeal of torture, mock executions and the helplessness of leaving behind 58 political prisoners of a long forgotten war. The couple’s hopes focused only on seeing their children again.

In the years after regaining their freedom and working to re-piece together family life, Kerry returned to active duty with the Special Forces and Kay turned her dark experiences towards creating social justice, over the years becoming a leading international humanitarian. In November 2008, amidst haunting memories of her Laos ordeal, Kay faced her fears and embarked on a humanitarian aid mission to deliver life-changing opportunities and aid to people devastated in war-torn Afghanistan.

In an old dusty Toyota mini-van, armed only with hope, Kay and her companions, a florist from Arizona, a nurse from Texas, a public servant from Australia and a US Marine Korean War veteran, drove the ancient Silk Road amidst kidnappings, suicide bombings, carnage and chaos.

This powerful story will have you gripping your chair and holding your breath, as you travel with Kay through Taliban strongholds and the remote wastelands of Al Qaeda terrorists. Her story provides a rare glimpse of places we may never visit and the courageous Afghan people determined to persevere against overwhelming odds. Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa is a truly inspiring journey and an important contribution to the selfless efforts of all who have gone before to brave the perils of Afghanistan.

“Kay Danes is an inspiration for giving a voice to the oppressed and unjustly accused of the world, andfor shedding light on the struggles faced by the Afghan people, particularly women and children.” –WHO magazine

“It’s a shame so much reporting is done on Afghanistan and so little of it is from the Afghans’ point of view. Thank God for brave people like Kay Danes who dare to venture beyond the safe zones to tell the stories of those who matter most in Afghanistan” – Josh Rushing co-host Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines Series, bestselling author Mission Al-Jazeera

Kay Danes

Kay Danes

Kay Danes knows what it is like to live dangerously. In December 2000, she and her husband Kerry, an Australian SAS soldier were illegally held hostage in Laos. There they endured brutal interrogations, mock executions and torture. The Australian Government immediately intervened and after almost a year of diplomatic haggling, finally secured the couple's release. […]

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14 reviews for Beneath The Pale Blue Burqa

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    A fascinated tourist in love with a beautiful land that deserves all the help it can get.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I couldn’t put it down from the first page till the last. It took me only two days to read and I felt like I was on the journey with Kay and her companions. I would never have imagined Afghanistan to be anything beyond the insurgencies and corruption that dominate everything we hear and read about. What a courageous woman to have endured so much after surviving a prison ordeal in Laos and then to rebuild her life to go to help others in a war zone. The book was well written and very descriptive. The 60 photographs were incredible and in colour too which captured the beauty of the countryside she described perfectly. I can’t wait to see what this author writes next!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Courage, stamina, bravery in the face of fear, hope when the dark is deepest — that’s Afghan women. Because Kay Danes, from her own life experience, shares these characteristics, they talk the same language. Afghan women open up to her. Remarkable stories; an eye-opening book.

  4. Rated 4 out of 5

    Kay Danes is a very inspiring lady whose wrongful imprisonment in a Loation jail & her experience behind bars made her stronger and more determined to live. Those experiences motivated her to help other women in prison in one of the most dangerous no go zones – Afganhistan. This book provides you with an insight into the lives of the people especially the women who have suffered severe physical abuse & hardships because of their gender & the religious laws which descriminate against women. She writes patiently and truthfully about her experiences and the accomplishments of the charity organisations that she joined to travel to Afganhistan. It includes photographs of her journey through Afganhistan – which isn’t your typical contiki tour.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kay Danes writes from the heart. I was her roommate during this incredible journey. Every thing happened just as she says. I too shared her concerns and fears about our security. But we had wonderful help all along the way and met some amazing people in the process. The children just break your heart. I wanted to bring them all home with me, especially those in the prison in Jalalabad. We were hosted and fed like kings and queens by people who shared what they had in their kitchens. It was a little unsettleing at times but I would do it again in a heartbeat especially with Kay as my roommate.

  6. Rated 4 out of 5

    I found this book so refreshing as it dealt with a topic in war that is overlooked – women how they are treated in Afganistan, poverty, the injustices dealt to women and sent to prison for something as trivial as family fueds my heart went out to them and since reading this book I have been donating to the Childrens Foundation and hope that others do to, I also like the way she adressed the topic of abuse as these women since the change of regime have little say in their mistreatment. I was in Afganistan in 1970-72 and it was such a totally different culture. Please I would like to find out more about this socio-political issues in this area as there is so much more that we can do

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    My motivation for writing this book was a culmination of things…. the fact that I was still in recovery from PTSD, having endured an 11month hostage ordeal in a communist prison made the journey through Afghanistan a personal challenge in more ways than one. After the hostage ordeal I had lost my ability to venture beyond my safe zones without fear (home and familiar locations). Afghanistan changed all that. I now consider myself quite fearless and my zest for adventure has returned ten fold! lol I wanted to give an honest account of what I was exposed to in Afghanistan. It was never going to be a sensationalised book of fiction or another doom and gloom stereotypical storytelling project. Too many stories have been written already that focus on the negative aspects of the conflict in Afghanistan. This book is quite personal and simply reflects a journey that we had into unknown territory and some of the good Afghans we met along the way. An experience of a lifetime…we met the most inspiring people. Writing the book also allowed me to take my mum to places she would never get to visit. She is the most avid cyber-traveler and follows me now on all my adventures.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    I loved this book! It made me want to go do humanitarian work around the world. It shows people that even in the most war stricken parts of the world, there are kind people who only want to be helped. The writing style was very good. I highly recommend the read!

  9. Rated 4 out of 5

    I really enjoyed this book, and the intimate look at the Afghan culture it provided. The book was a very good and very timely read with all that has been happening in the world with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I certainly would recommend this book!!!

  10. Rated 4 out of 5

    Really enjoyed reading about Kay Danes’ time in Afghanistan. It was truly evocative of the people, regions and atmosphere. This should easily have been a 5 star rating but the style of writing slightly irritated me. Sometimes it felt as if Kay was just copying down jottings made in her journal about events but the rest pretty much was about right. I read a comment that this was a ‘too goody’ read. I totally disagree. This was an honest, personal account of what Kay did and saw and what she believes in. It is hard to write about extreme suffering and bringing little aid to these people without sounding as if they just ‘too goody goody’. But i, for one, am certainly not brave enough to go out there to do my bit for humanitarian purposes which I believe is more to the point. This should be a pretty quick and highly informative read but I kept ‘googling’ certain aspects of Kay’s adventures which I’m glad and sad that I did. A definite recommended read

  11. Rated 4 out of 5

    Kay Danes is a very inspiring lady whose wrongful imprisonment in a Loation jail & her experience behind bars made her stronger and more determined to live. Those experiences motivated her to help other women in prison in one of the most dangerous no go zones – Afghanistan. This book provides you with an insight into the lives of the people especially the women who have suffered severe physical abuse & hardships because of their gender & the religious laws which discriminate against women. She writes patiently and truthfully about her experiences and the accomplishments of the charity organisations that she joined to travel to Afghanistan. It includes photographs of her journey through Afghanistan – which isn’t your typical contiki tour.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    Few men or women would walk in the shoes of Kay Danes. In “1280”, Danes strips back the cover of war to reveal life in Afghanistan for suffering Afghan women and children. She follows their struggles through her humanitarian aid mission to devastated war-torn Afghanistan. In 2001, Danes and her husband Kerry (an Australian Special Forces soldier) were illegally imprisoned in communist ruled Laos for 10 months. She wrote about their ordeal in her book “Standing Ground”. In “1280”, she once again finds herself in a dangerous position to expose the truth. Danes’ book is not a Military book about the war in Afghanistan. It is an account of her view living and working as an Afghan woman and her mission to ease their suffering as she travels through Taliban strongholds. Danes’ `wanted her life to once again have meaning’, after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2008, she embarked on a humanitarian aid mission to Afghanistan. She soon realised that she couldn’t get to the truth if she was sitting in a hotel room in Kabul. Danes and her team of four, ventured out of the safe bubble of Kabul, risking their lives to talk with the women of Afghanistan about education, health issues and the effects of war. The people of Afghanistan suffer from the traumas of war. Danes finds that Afghan women have a great love of family, their country and a desire to live in peace .They wonder what the future holds for today’s generation of Afghans. `so many people have no hope and have no clear future for the new generation, poverty, the psychological state of the younger generation and the lack of education and no system’s.’ ‘Soldiers wives aren’t supposed to go to a war zone’. With her empathy and compassion for the women and children of Afghanistan, Danes is one woman who brought their story out of the war zone and into our living rooms.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was a wonderful story. It made me realize there is much more to countries than what is reported in the media.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Few men or women would walk in the shoes of Kay Danes. In “Beneath The Pale Blue Burqa”, Danes strips back the cover of war to reveal life in Afghanistan for suffering Afghan women and children. She follows their struggles through her humanitarian aid mission to devastated war-torn Afghanistan. In 2001, Danes and her husband Kerry (an Australian Special Forces soldier) were illegally imprisoned in communist ruled Laos for 10 months. She wrote about their ordeal in her book “Standing Ground”. In “Beneath The Pale Blue Burqa”, she once again finds herself in a dangerous position to expose the truth. Danes’ book is not a Military book about the war in Afghanistan. It is an account of her view living and working as an Afghan woman and her mission to ease their suffering as she travels through Taliban strongholds. Danes’ `wanted her life to once again have meaning’, after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2008, she embarked on a humanitarian aid mission to Afghanistan. She soon realised that she couldn’t get to the truth if she was sitting in a hotel room in Kabul. Danes and her team of four, ventured out of the safe bubble of Kabul, risking their lives to talk with the women of Afghanistan about education, health issues and the effects of war. The people of Afghanistan suffer from the traumas of war. Danes finds that Afghan women have a great love of family, their country and a desire to live in peace .They wonder what the future holds for today’s generation of Afghans. `so many people have no hope and have no clear future for the new generation, poverty, the psychological state of the younger generation and the lack of education and no system’s.’ ‘Soldiers wives aren’t supposed to go to a war zone’. With her empathy and compassion for the women and children of Afghanistan, Danes is one woman who brought their story out of the war zone and into our living rooms.

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