I believe by now most people have heard about the ‘Kite Runner’, either watched the movie or read the book, or you might have been around someone like me who talks about Afghanistan quite a lot these days.
Just before Christmas I finished ‘The Kite Runner’, and found it to be one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It was touching, and it made me even more aware of the pain many of my Afghani friends have gone through. The book opened my eyes to the realities of war and people being torn apart, and how it truly affects the lives and destinies of individuals. The movie was amazing, especially the music; it was beautifully composed and performed (it has received an Oscar nomination for best music).
Last week I finished Khalid Hosseini’s second and most recent book 'A thousand Splendid Suns', which is about friendship between two women, unlike the Kite Runner which is about friendship between two boys. This book is about being a young girl in Afghanistan, being in love, getting married to someone who could be your grandad, it is about motherhood, about sacrifices that come with motherhood, either the ones you choose, or the ones that the society imposes on you. The book is about loss, about reunion, about grief, opression and the devestating history and society that all this takes part in.
Afghani people and the Afghan history and politics have always been of special interest to me. I have some very good Afghani friends who are some of the most beautiful people I have met, with pure hearts, greatful minds, but in the same time it is all full of pain, sorrow, grief and a sense of loss. I know a strong lady who used to be a teacher back in Afghanistan, she has gone through some of the most devestating events in life, and had to escape from her abusive husband, but she has been able to raise up six children all by herself. I know all her children, they are all successful and beautiful people, who in the mids of all they have been through keep their hopes strong. I admire them, I admire Afghanistan as a beautiful and cultural country, I admire Afghani people, Hazaris, Pashtos, Daris, it truly does not matter were they are from, or how their country has rated them in the society, what matters is that they are a nation that have gone through some of the most horrible and devestating events in their history, that has forced over 8 million Afghans to escape their country, and millions have lost their loved ones in all the killings. There are many aspects of current Afghanistan that should have been different, especially as we hear about the 23 year old journalist, Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, who is sentenced to death, and many more who do not get the same media attention. But I believe in spite of all that still has to change in Afghanistan, it is now a country with abit of hope, children who go to school, women who gradually are getting involved in the society, foreign help that actually reaches its destination. I believe in spite of the darkness that still rules the area, one can see gradual change, maybe A thousand splendid suns in the mids of darkness.
I would like to recite a Hafe’z ghazal that also is included in ‘Thousand splendid suns’;
Joseph shall return to Canaan, grieve not,
Hovels shall turn to rose gardens, grieve not.
If a flood should arrive, to drown all that’s alive,
Noah is your guide in the typhoon’s eye, grieve not!