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Jansten75
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Part 2, Chapters 16-26

 
"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?" Pride and Prejudice
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Rachel-K
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26

Please use this thread to discuss Thousand Splendid Suns from chapter 16, (p.97), through chapter 26, (p.175).
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IBIS
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26: Visiting the RED CITY

[ Edited ]
In Chapter 21, Babi takes Laila and Tariq on a day trip to Shahr-e-Zobak, the Red City. There is a bittersweet conversation between Babi and the driver (p.132) which captures the indomitable spirit of the Afghani people.

"That's called Shahr-e-Zohak, the Red City. It used to be a fortress. It was built some 900 years ago to defend the valley from invaders. Genghis Khans' grandson attacked in the 13th Century, but he was killed. It was Genghis Khan himself who destroyed it."

"And that, my young friends, is the story of our country, one invader after another. Macedonians, Sassanians. Arabs. Mongols. Now the Soviets. But we're like those walls up there. Battered, and nothing pretty to look at, but still standing. Isn't that the truth, badar?"
"Indeed it is," said Babi.

And one of Babi's memorable comments from p. 122--
"Laila, my love, the only enemy an Afghan cannot defeat is himself."

Message Edited by IBIS on 08-24-2007 12:03 PM
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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IBIS
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26 - The beauty of Afghanistan

On p.134, Hosseini describes the beautiful countryside:

"The Bamiyan Valley below was carpeted by lush farming fields... there were green winter wheat and alfalfa, potatoes too. The fields were bordered by poplars and crisscrossed by streams and irrigation ditches. On the banks of the river, tiny female figures squatted and washed clothes. ... rice paddies and barley fields draping the slopes. It was autumn...people in bright tunics on the roofs of mud brick dwellings laying out the harvest to dry...Beyond the village, beyond the river and the streams, Laila saw foothills, bare and dusty brown, and beyond those, as beyond everything else in Afghanistan, the snowcapped Hindu Kush."

"It's so quiet," Laila breathed. She could see tiny sheep and horses but couldn't hear their bleatings and whinnying.

"It's what I always remember about being here," Babi said. "The silence. The peace of it. I wanted you to experience it. But I also wanted you to see your country's heritage, children, to learn of its rich past. You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you just have to SEE and FEEL."

I was so moved by this passage. The beauty of the landscape is in sharp contrast to the violence perpetrated by warfare.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26 - The beauty of Afghanistan

Oh yes, I love the description of the Bamiyan Valley too. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/03/12/afghan.buddha.02/




IBIS wrote:
On p.134, Hosseini describes the beautiful countryside:

"The Bamiyan Valley below was carpeted by lush farming fields... there were green winter wheat and alfalfa, potatoes too. The fields were bordered by poplars and crisscrossed by streams and irrigation ditches. On the banks of the river, tiny female figures squatted and washed clothes. ... rice paddies and barley fields draping the slopes. It was autumn...people in bright tunics on the roofs of mud brick dwellings laying out the harvest to dry...Beyond the village, beyond the river and the streams, Laila saw foothills, bare and dusty brown, and beyond those, as beyond everything else in Afghanistan, the snowcapped Hindu Kush."

"It's so quiet," Laila breathed. She could see tiny sheep and horses but couldn't hear their bleatings and whinnying.

"It's what I always remember about being here," Babi said. "The silence. The peace of it. I wanted you to experience it. But I also wanted you to see your country's heritage, children, to learn of its rich past. You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you just have to SEE and FEEL."

I was so moved by this passage. The beauty of the landscape is in sharp contrast to the violence perpetrated by warfare.

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songgirl7
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26 - The beauty of Afghanistan

How sad, that something so ancient and sacred to some can be destroyed in a moment, and is lost forever.
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"I can't stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop the standing, and the walking and the putting-words-into-sentences doing."
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IBIS
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Re: Part 2, Chapters 16-26 - The beauty of Afghanistan

I agree that the destruction of the Buddha statues is not only shameful, but criminal as well. They were almost 2,000 years old, and 125 ft and 174 ft tall. They were unique cultural and religious icons of the Buddhist religion in pre-Islam Afghanistan.

In the book THE PLACES IN BETWEEN by Rory Stewart, he talks about the caves that are still there. The Buddhist monks lived and prayed inside those caves that were carved into the sandstone rockface near Bamiyan.

The Taleban demolished both statues because they were graven images and therefore insulting to Islam. The UN and many countries were unsuccessful in their efforts to prevent this criminal destruction. The destruction of these amazing statues is the entire world's loss.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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