‘Fascinating…an enticingly interesting read’ – Sayeeda Warsi.
Born in rural Afghanistan, Shakardokht Jafari became a refugee aged just six, after a harrowing half-year trek to Iran.
There, at twelve, she discovered she had been promised in marriage at birth to an older cousin. Resisting no fewer than three arranged marriages, she fought to choose her own husband, education and career, defying convention to study radiation technologies at Tehran University.
Returning to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, she was asked to re-establish a cancer facility in Kabul, which meant studying first for higher qualifications in the UK. With Islamist insurgency on the rise again, her lawyer husband fled to join her, driving a minicab to make ends meet.
The inventor of a method for improving outcomes of radiotherapy on cancer patients, Shakar has become one of Britain’s leading medical entrepreneurs. Ironically, at the same time she has faced one of her biggest battles – to save her own health.
This remarkable woman, winner of a string of awards for business innovation, is also a leading campaigner for girls’ education in Afghanistan. She tells her extraordinary story with disarming candour.