Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Battered, Not Pretty but Still Standing

In the book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, by author Khaled Hosseini, Babi, Laila and Tariq are venturing out from Kabul to see some of Afghanistan’s cultural sites:

Babi pointed and said:
“That’s called Shahr-e-Zohak. The Red City. It used to be a fortress. It was built some nine hundred years ago to defend the valley from invaders. Genghis Khan’s grandson attacked it in the thirteenth century, but he was killed. It was Genghis Khan himself who then destroyed it.”

“And that, my young friends, is the story of our country, one invader after another,” the driver said, flicking cigarette ash out the window. “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.

Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Great Britain: Bloomsbury, 2007), 132.

A review of this book can be found at this site:

Reviewing Books and Movies

Further stories from this book posted on this site are:
Time Like a Piano Accordion
Three Cups of Tea in a Thousand Splendid Suns
The Taliban: How Fundamentalism takes the Fun out of Life

Image: Shahr-e-Zohak, The Red City (courtesy of the blog writer with an amazing story and sensational pictures at Kabul Diary).