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Katie B.'s book report.

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Kat Bre

on 25 March 2011

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Transcript of Katie B.'s book report.

AThousand Splendid Suns In Afghan culture arranged marriages often occur for girls around the age of 11. The story takes place in the country of Afghanistan starting in 1959 and spanning over 30 years. Afghanistan is in the war torn middle east bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. It's in the large city of Herat that we first meet young Mariam. Mariam's father is a wealthy business man with many wives and other children living in the same house. When Mariam is 15 her mother commits suicide. To finally be rid of Mariam, her father and his wives arrange a marriage between her and a 43 year old shoemaker . Mariam's husband Rasheed takes her directly to a bus leaving Herat. However, her mother and father were never married so Mariam is considered a Harashi or bastard child. She lives alone with her mother in an isolated kolba and is considered an outcast. HI It's in the over crowded streets of Kabul that Mariam will spend the next 18 years of her life living under her abusive husband's rule. Rasheed forces Mariam to wear a burqa.This is a traditional head piece worn only by women. These loose fitting pieces of clothing are worn in public places and limit the women's vision. They are also difficult to move in and cut off peripheral vision. It's here in Kabul that Laila was born. Her mother and father are one of the few who believe that women deserve an education so she is sent to school each day. Laila's best friend is a boy named Tariq. Tariq was caught in a bombing accident during one of Afghanistan's many wars when he was only 4 years old and lost his right leg. Two of Laila's older brothers were killed in war and she is her parents only remaining child After the Taliban took power in Kabul many citizens fleed the country for saftey. Laila's mother became depressed from the loss of her two sons and refused to leave Kabul. As the Taliban's rule continued more and more people were losing thier lives due to street shootings and aerial bombs so Laila's mother finally decided to leave Kabul. Tragically the day Laila's family is leaving their home in Kabul, a bomb explodes on there home killing Laila's parents. Mariam and Rasheed find Laila and pull her out of the rubble. Mariam nurses her back to health but she is permanantly deaf in one ear. This is
when Mariam's and Laila's relationship starts. It was common for men to possess more than one wife so Rasheed decides to take the 17 year old Laila as his second wife. Under Taliban rule a women without a man would be beaten, raped, and murdered in the streets so Laila had no other choice. Less than a year later Laila gives birth to a baby girl. Rasheed believes that the baby is his child but Laila secretly knows that the child is Tariq's. Laila names names the baby girl Aziza. Mariam had 7 miscarriages of her own and is resentful of Laila and Aziza. A few months later when Rasheed is beating Mariam with his belt, Laila stands up for Mariam and defends her. Never in her life has anyone stood up for Mariam. This simple act of kindness changes their relationship and they soon become close friends. Rasheed soon becomes suspicious of Laila and her child because Laila is still is in love with Tariq. He pays a man to come and lie to her and tell her that Tariq is dead. Laila is devastated. When Rasheed's shoe shop burns down in a fire, the money he had saved was already spent on Zalmai and food became so scarce that Laila was forced to give Aziza to a local orphanange in order for her to survive. When Laila gets pregnant for the second time she has a boy named Zalmai. Unlike Aziza, Rasheed adores Laila's second child and buys him expensive things he can't afford. Rasheed takes Zalmai to his shoe shop everyday. Rasheed is the only one allowed to discipline Zalmai beacause he is a man. One day when Rasheed is away looking for a new job, Laila and Mariam come home from visiting Aziza in the orphanage to find Tariq alive and waiting for them on their doorstep. Laila spent all day catching up with him. Tariq and his parents fled Afghanistan to a refugee camp when the Taliban were first coming to power. His parents died there and he fled to Pakistan. czxv It's during one of these wars that a group called the Taliban came to power. The Taliban is a Islamist militia group that were in control of Afghanistan's capital (Kabul) and most of Afghanistan for over four years and had strict rule over the people. Women like Mariam and Laila were not allowed to work or go to school, they wear forced to wear a burqa, and could not speak unless spoken to. Women even had to go to a separate hospital with limited supplies. As Laila and Tariq get older their friendship becomes something more and they soon become secret lovers. When Rasheed came home, Zalmai told him about the strange man that visited his mother. Rasheed immediately realized who the man was and ordered the children to be locked upstairs. He then viciously began to beat Laila with his fists so Mariam came to her aid only to be beaten too. Rasheed was so mad that he began to strangle Laila. Mariam did the only thing she could to save Laila. She ran outside and picked up a sturdy metal shovel and swung it as hard as she could at Rasheed. The blow kills him and Laila and Mariam's lives are changed forever. Mariam knew that when Rasheed's body was found she and Laila would be blamed, Tariq too. Mariam turns herself in so Laila, Tariq, Zalmai, and Aziza can safely flee to Tariq's home in Pakistan rather than live as fugitives on the run. Mariam lives a month in prison before she is sentenced to the death penalty in a 15 minute trial. Tariq finds work at a hotel in Pakistan where he and his new wife, Laila, and the children live. They spend a year in Pakistan living as a family before becoming homesick and moving back to the now Taliban free Kabul. Before retuning to Afghanistan, Laila visits Mariam's childhood home in Herat to honor her memory. Upon returning to Kabul, Laila and Tariq set to work on rebuilding thier lives and improving the orphanage where Aziza was kept. The End A book report by Katie Breland
period 1 The bus is headed to the major city of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, where Rasheed owns a small house. The focus of the story is on the struggles of two Afghan women Mariam and Laila. She is shot in the middle of a stadium filled with onlookers while kneeling and wearing her burqa. The purpose of a burqa is to hide a women's body from the view of a man. During the Taliban's rule women were required to wear burqas in public. If a women was caught not wearing a burqa she would be beaten or murderd in the streets. There is an opening for the eyes, but the rest of the body, except the hands, are covered. The burqa is usually made of light clothing, and is essentially outerwear for some Muslim women in some regions. It is worn when women leave their homes, over their indoor clothes. It's not worn indoors in the presence of family. Many women in India and Pakistan, where it's not required by law, wear the burqa by choice. Some women in Afghanistan, prior to the Taliban, chose to wear burqas and were pleased by the new regulations that required them.
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