From my review:
I’m so glad I read A Thousand Splendid Suns. It made me care so much for the Afghanistan people and their history. I learned about so many things I wasn’t aware of before like the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. I really connected with the women of this country and I empathized with them as they watched the destruction of their heritage and memories. This book also made me realize how inaccurate my views of the people of Afghanistan really were…. Read more
Herat was visible from here, spread below her like a child’s board game: the Women’s Garden to the north of the city, Char-suq Bazaar and the ruins of Alexander the Great’s old citadel to the south.
-Khaled Hosseini A Thousand Splendid Suns pg 27
What a cool place that I didn’t know about before reading this book. It has a history that spans over 2500 years. Today it is in disrepair, but they are trying to raise money to fix it. Also I think it’s so awesome that families have picnics here. (Source)
The two Buddhas were enormous, soaring much higher than she had imagined from all the photos she’d seen of them. Chiseled into a sun-bleached rock cliff, they peered down at them, as they had nearly two thousand years before, Laila imagined, at caravans crossing the valley on the Silk Road. On either side of them, along the overhanging niche, the cliff was pocked with myriad caves.
-Khaled Hosseini A Thousand Splendid Suns pg 133
I had no idea these existed. They are huge, beautiful and epic. When Laila first describes them, it reminded me of the statues from The Fellowship of the Rings.
BUT THESE BUDDHAS ARE ACTUALLY REAL. It still blows my mind that a statue that big would exist in our real world.
Here’s the devastating thing. When I looked up these statues, which are called the Buddhas of Bamiyan, I found out that the Taliban blew them up with dynamite in 2001 because they were “idols.”
There just aren’t word for how sad this makes me. These were built in the 6th century and I just can’t fathom the kind of evil that would want to destroy something like this. The only silver lining to this tragic event was the discovery of ancient monk caves that had not been seen before. Some of these caves had paintings that were so well preserved that you can still see the color. They are now believed to be the oldest know surveying oil paintings in the world. (Source)
Books and Movies
I was surprised to see some American culture in this book. There was one book and one movie mentioned in A Thousand Splendid Suns.