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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Transcript of A Thousand Splendid Suns
War is a defeat for Humanity
Catholic Church = Greatest Architect of Wars
Lacks justification in the context of which it was given
Profound and Humbling Message
This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate beginnings. (pg. 370)
'War’s first voice is pain. It’s not the arm-raising camaraderie of conflict nor is it the jubilant chorus of victory or the jingoistic hubris of leaders bent on self-justification. It’s not even the quiet wondering of citizens searching for reason in chaos. It’s the keening of mothers, wives, sisters and grandmothers. If it has been said that a nation is not defeated until the souls of its women are on the ground, then war’s first voice is the pain of loss, of disappearances, murders, executions and families cleft in twain, all borne by the anonymous women of war.’
- Edmonton Journal
‘In the midst of all the killing and looting, all this ugliness, it was a harmless thing to sit here beneath a tree and kiss Tariq. A small thing. An easily forgivable indulgence. So she let him kiss her, and when he pulled back she leaned in and kissed him, heart pounding in her throat, her face tingling, a fire burning in the pit of her belly.' (pg. 176)
'Children are the intended victims of Soviet land mine campaigns' (pg. 122)
'The [priest] muezzin’s call for [prayer] namaz rang out, and the Mujahedeen set down their guns, faced west, and prayed. Then the rugs were folded, the guns loaded and the mountains fired on Kabul, and Kabul fired back at the mountains…' (pg. 174)
'The youngest was also the quietest, the one who seemed reluctant to wholeheartedly embrace his friend’s air of impunity. He had taken to smiling and tipping his head salaam when Mariam passed by. When he did, some of his surface smugness dropped away, and Mariam caught a glint of humility as yet uncorrupted.' (pg. 201)
Different Soldier Portrayals
'They were a guerrilla force, made up of young men whose families had fled to Pakistan during the war against the Soviets. It is true that these boys have no roots. They may have no past. They may know nothing of this world or this country’s history. But look around you. What do you see? Corrupt, greedy Mujahedeen commanders, armed to the teeth, rich off heroin, declaring jihad on one another and killing everyone in between. At least the Taliban are pure and incorruptible. At least they’re decent Muslim boys. Wallah, when they come, they will clean this place. They’ll bring peace and order.’ (pg. 273-274)
A Quick History Lesson
19th century: British-India invade twice
1979: the Soviets invade
1979 - 1989: US fund militant Mujahedeen groups
1989 Soviets leave Afghanistan
Afghan Civil War spanning from 1989 to 2001
2001 - present: US and NATO war on Terror and the Taliban
All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.
All mean will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath the chin. If you do not abide by this, you will be beaten.
All boys will wear turbans. All boys will wear Islamic clothes. Shirt collars will be forbidden
Singing is forbidden
Dancing is forbidden
Playing cards, chess, gambling and kite flying are forbidden
Writing books, watching films and painting pictures are forbidden
If you keep parakees, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed
If you steal, your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again, your food will be cut off
If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed. Attention women:
You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a male relative. If you are caight alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.
You will not, under any cirumstances, show your face. You will cover with burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severly beaten.
Cosmetics are forbidden
Jewelry is forbidden
You will not wear charming clothes
You will not speak unless spoken to
You will not make eye contact with men
You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten
You will not paint your nales. If you do, you will lose a finger
Girls are forbidden from attending school. All schools for girls will be closed immediately
Women are forbidden from working
If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death Listen. listen well. Obey. (pg. 277-278)