Women in burqas. Men with long beard in long white robes. The war. The desert.
Those were my impression of Afghanistan before reading Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. They were superficial and I did not bother to find out more. So to say that reading this book changed my perspective on this country is an understatement.
I never thought of the Afghan women’s struggles. It didn’t cross my mind that they were once children, carefree, until someone decided to marry them off to men who doesn’t love them as who they are. I didn’t know that Afghanistan had a beautiful history, before the civil war and all the wars that came after that. I didn’t realize that a society, a country, instead of moving progressively forward, could go backwards just because a group of people with such ideologies came into power. In other parts of the world, sometimes we take things for granted, really.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is so beautifully written; I cried with Laila, I felt the pain for Mariam. Imagine, being a thirty-something woman is considered as worthless and past its “expiry date”. Imagine, living with fear yet having no other better choice.