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Rappahannock Reads

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Rappahannock Reads

CRRL's Annual Community Read

Meet Haben Girma

Author of Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

As the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma has been recognized on a national level for her advocacy for equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Her best-selling book has been featured in the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, People, The Wall Street Journal, and The Today Show.

When: Spring 2021
Where: George Washington Hall at the University of Mary Washington

In partnership with

About the Book

Haben Girma grew up spending summers with her family in the enchanting Eritrean city of Asmara. There, she discovered courage as she faced off against a bull she couldn't see, and found in herself an abiding strength as she absorbed her parents' harrowing experiences during Eritrea's thirty-year war with Ethiopia. Their refugee story inspired her to embark on a quest for knowledge, traveling the world in search of the secret to belonging. She explored numerous fascinating places, including Mali, where she helped build a school under the scorching Saharan sun. Her many adventures over the years range from the hair-raising to the hilarious.

Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation.

She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities.

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law takes readers through a thrilling game of blind hide-and-seek in Louisiana, a treacherous climb up an iceberg in Alaska, and a magical moment with President Obama at The White House. Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman's determination to find the keys to connection.

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