Saturday, August 27, 2011
Afghanistan. Post 9/11. The Taliban have left and the bruised and battered Afghans struggle to put there lives together amidst tragedy. No Afghan family is untouched by war and many struggle with homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and death of a family member. Yet, the people of Afghanistan are survivors and fighters who are full of hope.
Fawad is the precocious pre-teen narrator who was born under the shadow of the Taliban. Fawad lost his father, two brothers and his sister was abducted during the reign of the Taliban. He lives with his mother as they struggle to survive. Fawad begs on Chicken Street and his mother cooks for foreigners. Life takes a dramatic turn when they move in and then become friends with the foreigners that Fawad's mom works for. Fawad's impressions about foreigners as a group of godless, naked, drunk and clearly crazy people made me laugh out loud multiple times.
Born Under a Million Shadows is a witty, funny, moving look at current day Afghanistan and its people as seen through the eyes of a child. What makes this story special in that the author lived there for over two years and fell in love with the people and landscape. Busfield puts a lot of her own experiences and much of her heart into this soulful novel of hope and love. She highlights the issues of street children, and the fact that education is important if the country is going to be able to decrease the infant mortality rate and get out of the cycle of poverty. Juxtaposing the foreigners with a small family of Muslims who need the foreigners to survive was genius and captivated me from page one.
"Afghanistan is famous for two things: fighting and growing poppies." (pg 60)
Hopefully Afghani people will soon learn to fight with words and an education instead of guns.
Born Under a Million Shadows will raise your level of consciousness.
If you are interested in sponsoring a street child in Afghanistan please visit www.aschiana.com Twenty dollars a month will pay for a child's education and replace the earnings they would have made for their family on the street selling their meager wares to foreigners. Please consider this.