• Haben

  • The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
  • By: Haben Girma
  • Narrated by: Haben Girma
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (288 ratings)

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Haben

By: Haben Girma
Narrated by: Haben Girma
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Publisher's Summary

The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage.

Haben 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 30-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 takes listeners 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Haben Girma (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"What makes Haben's prodigious story even more remarkable is that she's not satisfied with being inspiring. Because she knows that achievement only happens when there is more than the support of individual extraordinary people, she pushes institutions and leaders in the academy, the government, and in big tech to widen the corridors of power and opportunity. Her intersectional approach to her work as an advocate for the disabled and as a Deafblind daughter of refugees refuses tokenization and demands true inclusion." (dream hampton, award-winning filmmaker, writer, and organizer)

"A stirring memoir of love and resilience. Haben proves there are no limits for living joyously in the world. A fierce, glorious advocate for equal opportunity, she demonstrates that accessibility for all benefits all. Her memoir is a soul-inspiring gift." (Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times best-selling author of Ghost Boys)

"With wit and passion, Haben, a disability rights lawyer, public speaker, and the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law, takes readers through her often unaccommodating world...This is a heartwarming memoir of a woman who champions access and dignity for all." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Haben

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Wonderful story, told in her own voice.

I have been following Haben since my own vision loss started in April 2016. I was not aware of her entire life story. Through her own fourth right fullness, intuitiveness and hard, hard work, she graduated from Harvard Law school. That, in itself, is a huge feat. Yep, she continues to push forward for advocacy for those with disabilities. While climbing a glacier, surfing and traveling the world. Kudos.

8 people found this helpful

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I could not listen to the narration

It might have been better to have the author narrate the introduction and have someone else narrate the book.
I do wanted to listen the entire book, but it just became intolerable for me.
I going try to just read it.

5 people found this helpful

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Incredible storytelling

This book is amazing! It’s full of sweet and hilarious stories. It’s a great book that everyone should read. And Maxine is precious!

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Excellent Next Level Thinking!!!

I just finished listening to the audible and I’m going to listen to it again😊👍🏾💯

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful and Incredible - Highly Recommend

Haben has a fascinating story with a lot of heart and words of wisdom. She is a testiment to what you can do if you "live boldly" and stand up for yourself and others. Many able-bodied individuals don't think much about how disabled people live, but she brings that to the surface with fascinating detail and makes you think about the world around you in a new light.

3 people found this helpful

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a stellar, heartfelt performance

I'm very glad Haben Reddit herself. I love her voice! I love it both in words and in its engaging animated self. I have already recommended this book to one friend, and will recommend it to several others before I'm done. I hope you enjoy it!

3 people found this helpful

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You will love her, too

This book will help you understand the challenges that disabled people experience in navigating through life. They don’t ask for a break, only an opportunity.

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Wonderful and beautiful story

I really enjoyed the true stories and her insightful thoughts and mental dialogue of what goes through someone’s mind if they are deaf-blind. I have never worked with deaf-blind students before, but I met someone in a store once that was and I was clueless at how to communicate with him. He did not have any technology to help him, but used an interpreter to help him.
To be honest, it took me a while to get through this book because it took me a little bit more time to get used to the pitch in Haben’d voice. Once I found out that she was deaf blind and she speaks with that pitch because of the sounds she can hear, it made sense and I was able to get into the book. It might be helpful to people to know this from the beginning of the story. Overall, it was a beautiful message and I hope she writes more books! It would be so helpful for teachers of the visually Impaired!

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A must read

this is a story that hits home for me as a visually impaired woman of color in America.I love Haben"s story and her humour. I am grateful for this book to have been available in an audio format. What a gift for the world to be able to learn from such a beautifully narrated and descriptive account from Haben.

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Incredible story, wonderful writer

I have loved Ms Girma’s story since I heard her speak last year. Reading this memoir has solidified that admiration and taught me so much about ableism and disability rights in America and throughout the world. She’s also an incredible writer and narrator, with an exceptional knack for description and emotion. The book is a joy to read on Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Qeturah
  • 09-16-21

A fascinating listen

I looked forward to each new chapter. Engaging, informative, educational and entertaining, with a lovely humour that came through in the author's expressive reading.

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  • Tim
  • 08-07-21

A thought provoking and mind opening book

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand someone else’s world. Haben is honest and real.

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  • Vicki
  • 02-19-21

Haben.. the right to free expression..

amazing book of an amazing lady.. the right to live a full and meaningful life is such a part of Haben energy.

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  • Rachel H
  • 09-05-20

Absolutely brilliant

This book is wonderful, beautiful and powerful! The all encompassing sensory descriptions make the story so rich. Haben's experiences and how she deals with them is empowering reading them as a disabled person myself.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-27-20

A brilliant autobiography

The world is simply a better place with Haben Girma in it. In her brilliant autobiography Haben takes you on her journey, with honesty and humour in equal measure. If you don’t understand the need for a more inclusive world, read this and think again. If you do understand the need for inclusion, read this, you’re in for a treat!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-19

Loved it!

Fun, inspiring and informative. The fact that it's Haben herself reading it made it very personal. Feels like sitting next to her telling her amazing journey.