#BlogTour #BookReview Playing for Freedom: The Journey of a Young Afghan Girl by Zarifa Adiba & Anne Chaon (translated by Susanna Lea Associates) @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #PlayingForFreedom #ZarifaAdiba #AmazonCrossing #OTRPR Title: Playing for Freedom: The Journey of a Young Afghan Girl

Author: Zarifa Adiba, Anne Chaon

Published by: Amazon Crossing on Apr. 16, 2024

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 205

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A passionate musician growing up in the war-torn streets of Kabul takes her forbidden talents abroad in this triumphant memoir from debut author Zarifa Adiba.

As an Afghan girl, Zarifa Adiba has big, unfathomable dreams. Her family is poor, her country mired in conflict. Walking to school in Kabul, Zarifa has to navigate suicide bombers.

But Zarifa perseveres, nurturing her passion for music despite its “sinful” nature under Taliban law. At sixteen she gains admission to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and at eighteen she becomes the lead violist, co-conductor, and spokesperson for Zohra, the first all-female orchestra in the Muslim world.

Despite Zarifa’s accomplishments—which include a stunning performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland—her future in music demands a reckoning with her life back home. Many of the girls in Zohra are forced to marry, but Zarifa yearns to study, travel, and explore her independence. Her so-called “bad girl” identity puts her at odds with her culture and her family.

Playing for Freedom is the deeply compelling story of a woman who dares to compose a masterpiece even with all odds stacked against her.


Honest, informative, and inspiring!

Playing for Freedom is the insightful, intriguing story of Zarifa Adiba’s personal hardships, struggles, successes and accomplishments as a woman and musician born and raised in a country that is riddled with oppression, war and strict religious rule.

The writing is genuine and perceptive. And the novel is an introspective, compelling tale of one woman’s life from being a child raised in a blended family to believing in herself, taking chances, and following her dreams.

Overall, Playing for Freedom is a forthright, passionate, absorbing tale by Adiba that covers such an abundance of themes that, as a fellow woman, it was easy to root for her, appreciate, and be thoroughly captivated by her story.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Anne Chaon

Anne Chaon is a journalist and former correspondent for the Agence France-Presse. She was based in Kabul, Afghanistan, from June 2016 to September 2018 and again in June 2021.

About Zarifa Adiba

Zarifa Adiba is the lead violist and co-conductor of Zohra, Afghanistan’s first (and only) all-female orchestra. She studied at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, the only music education entity in Afghanistan in 2017. She is currently studying International Politics at both Bard College and American University of Central Asia. She is an activist for girls and education and has participated in several panels, including at the World Economic Forum in 2017. Playing for Freedom is her first book.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email