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A Thousand Splendid Suns

by on January 28, 2010

I don’t want to do a book review.  That is not my forte, and I’ve always found that book reviews are a bit unfair to people who haven’t read a book – even if it’s a review that makes them want to read said book.  That said, I’m going to do something like a book review.  A thousand Splendid Suns.  I don’t want to say, ‘this was good,’ ‘this was bad;’ that’s not my point.  I want to comment on the human condition. What the author wrote was not fiction. Nor was it non-fiction. It was something more – it was reality.
Imagine Afghanistan, if you can, that has not been destroyed by thirty years of war. Sometime in the 1970’s. Imagine a world where you are what you are born as. You are a bastard? You are always a bastard. You are a son of a fishmonger? You will be a fishmonger too. You sell rugs in the bazaar? So will your sons. That is this world. Europe was like that once, too. We are not so advanced, or so different. Ideas, ideals, and ideologies. They are so unavoidable. Our way changed because our ideals changed our ideas. Someday, quite without meaning to, we may change again.
I want to make just one more observation (a short post is a relief after the State of the Union). Our ideas of justice change. Sharia under the Taliban in Afghanistan is very different from Sharia in North Africa which is very different from Sharia in Saudi Arabia. And all of it is based on interpreting the same text, the same rule of laws.
Not such an explicit book review, eh? All I’ve told you is that the book exists. I hope you read it.

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