A Thousand Splendid Suns
I read this book very quickly. Like The Kite Runner, this novel pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the very last page. Its sad and scary and I find myself so much more sympathetic towards the people of the Middle East. A Thousand Splendid Suns was incredibly well written and will be one of the books I recommend to my friends.
I just ordered a book called Kabul Beauty School. I am interested in learning more about the people of Afghanistan. I wonder how one person like myself can possibly help make the world a better place?
The Kite Runner movie comes out this week, I hope to see it over the weekend. If the film is as amazing as the book, it will be an Oscar contender.
Here is an essay from the author Khaled Hosseini from Newsweek magazine:
In an exclusive essay in the December 10 issue (Newsweek, Monday, December 3), best-selling author Khaled Hosseini writes that despite Afghanistan’s raging Taliban insurgency, governmental corruption, rampant poverty and persistent oppression of women, there are signs of positive developments. Still, the only certain thing about Afghanistan, he writes, is that “without a genuine and sustained long-term commitment on the part of the United States and its allies, Afghanistan is doomed.”
As a good-will envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Hosseini, who traveled to Afghanistan in September, compares the country today to how he last remembered it in 2003.
“When I visited Kabul in 2003, it looked like a war zone, a grim landscape of jagged debris, flattened buildings and roofless walls. The Kabul I saw in September is dramatically improved,” he writes. “Many of its neighborhoods have been rebuilt. I was happily surprised to visit cultural landmarks, like the famed gardens of Babur, and find them successfully renovated. In many towns, I saw children in uniform walking to school. School enrollment, in fact, has increased to more than 5 million children over the past five years. Land mines are being cleared, the press is relatively free (if under attack by religious conservatives) and telecommunication is booming. (Even in the poorest, most remote villages, I had the surreal experience of seeing old men in tattered clothes speaking on cell phones.) The rebuilt roads I traveled in northern Afghanistan were in excellent shape, and traffic on them was brisk, boding well for commerce.”
Earlier this year the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission conducted a survey in 32 out of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, and found that nearly 80 percent of Afghans polled said that they felt optimistic about the future. “I find this to be an extraordinary statistic (I suspect far fewer of us here in America would say the same about our own future). This finding isn’t proof of a dramatic improvement in Afghan standards of living,” Hosseini writes. “Rather, it reflects the constitutional ability of Afghans to remain hopeful and optimistic in the face of overwhelming hardship. Which, to me, makes it a moral imperative that we in the West not give up on a people who have not given up on themselves.”