Thursday, October 18, 2007
This book reminds me of a favorite quote from Les Miserables. "Teach the ignorant as much as you can, society is guilty in not providing universal education & it must answer for the night it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty is not merely he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness."
Thirty years of war are chronicled in this book, wars that left at least one generation and possibly two or three without the opportunity to go to school.
Worst of all, it left the Taliban in power. Imagine what our hospitals would look like if one day our government sent every female home. My friend Niki is a nurse at a local hospital, when I asked her this question she told me that the hospital would have to shut down, "We don't have a male nurse on our staff," she said.
The school my daughter attends has 4 male staff members that I know of. Even if you sent all the girls home from school, which the Taliban did, you would have four men teaching 500 boys.
I wish that I could find the exact quote for you, but Benjamin Franklin once said that our wealth as a nation was not our gold or our natural resources, but in our collective industry and I would add to that, our people. Here in the United States, we are rich in people. True, we have a few duds here and there, but for the most part we are richly blessed in teachers, firefighters, religious leaders and all sorts of people whose efforts make up the comforts we enjoy. I have never been more grateful for all of those gifts than now after finishing this book.
This book, by the way, is beautifully written and has a very tender story in it. The brutality is very difficult to even imagine, but how I admire these Afghan women who have faced untold horror, but who hold their heads up and push forward in their efforts to create a better life for their families and their nation.