Following the Soviet invasion, the Communists, to their credit, passed decrees making girls’ education compulsory and abolishing certain oppressive tribal customs—such as the bride-price, a payment to the bride’s family in return for her hand in marriage. However, by massacring thousands of tribal elders, they paved the way for the commanders to step in as the new elite. Aided by American and Saudi patronage, extremism flourished. What had once been a social practice confined to areas deep in the hinterlands now became a political practice, which, according to ideologues, applied to the entire country. The modest gains of urban women were erased.The first time a woman enters her husband’s house, Heela told me about life in the countryside, she wears white—her wedding dress—and the first time she leaves, she wears white—the color of the Muslim funeral shroud. The rules of this arrangement were intricate and precise and, it seemed to Heela, unchanged from time immemorial. In Uruzgan, a woman did not step outside her compound. In an emergency, she required the company of a male blood relative to leave and then only with her father’s or husband’s permission. Even the sound of her voice carried a hint of subversion, so she was kept out of hearing range of unrelated males. When the man of the house was not present, boys were dispatched to greet visitors. Unrelated males also did not inquire directly about a female member of the house. Asking How is your wife? qualified as somewhere between uncomfortably impolite and downright boorish. The markers of a woman’s life—births, anniversaries, funerals, prayers, feasts—existed entirely within the four walls of her home. Gossip, hopscotching from living room to living room, was carried by husbands or sons.
Anand Gopal
WONDERLANDIt is a person's unquenchable thirst for wonderThat sets them on their initial quest for truth.The more doors you open, the smaller you become.The more places you see and the more people you meet,The greater your curiosity grows.The greater your curiosity, the more you will wander.The more you wander, the greater the wonder.The more you quench your thirst for wonder,The more you drink from the cup of life.The more you see and experience, the closer to truth you become.The more languages you learn, the more truths you can unravel.And the more countries you travel, the greater your understanding.And the greater your understanding, the less you see differences.And the more knowledge you gain, the wider your perspective,And the wider your perspective, the lesser your ignorance.Hence, the more wisdom you gain, the smaller you feel.And the smaller you feel, the greater you become.The more you see, the more you love --The more you love, the less walls you see.The more doors you are willing to open,The less close-minded you will be.The more open-minded you are,The more open your heart.And the more open your heart,The more you will be able to Send and receive --Truth and TRUEUnconditionalLOVE.
Suzy Kassem