The book starts off I think in 1978 and follows the lives of 2 girls. But what I found the most interesting was though it starts off in 1978, it works its way up to 2001 and beyond, all the while describing Afghanistan. And you see the transformation that Afghanistan went through--and that is amazingly striking/depressing. In 1978 (under the communists) it was more or less liberal, with women in school, walking around the streets unveiled, etc, etc, but then once the Taliban came in, it went completely backwards in time a couple of centuries. Women became the equivalent of animals, not allowed to go out unless with a male relative, forced to wear the burqa, forget about education, forced to go to inferior hospitals just for women, singing was banned, LAUGHING was banned---and the best part? The Taliban claimed that this was all in the name of God.
This just gets me.
"Be decent women, cover yourself, don't laugh, you are inferior to men." Why? Because God says so.
How dare you? How dare you do all these horrible, unthinkable, unjust, immoral, inhumane, hypocritical things and dare claim that it is in the name of God?????
So I have to say, even though I am fully against the War in Iraq and Bush and all that jazz, the US invading Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban is something I fully support.
Just something I felt like getting off my chest. I'd recommend you read the book; though I didn't love it, the fact that women in Afghanistan were living like THAT at the same exact time I was living a completely different live in the US is really eye opening. Also the thought that people still live like that today (Saudi is the obvious example but there are many others) is infuriating.