Sunday, May 18, 2008

Splendid Suns - Mujahideen

Laila's brothers were part of the Mujahideen - the Afghan "freedom fighters" who were trying to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The Mujahideen have their origins in Pakistan, another very repressive Muslim civilization.

At the time of the Soviet occupation, the Mujahideen were seen as the underdog, sort of a Zorro-type group seeking to free their country from the evil oppressors.

Everyone in the book seemed to think that once the Soviets were gone, Afghanistan's streets would be paved with gold, and peace and prosperity would reign supreme. Of course egos and greed got in the way, and the resulting battles would eventually kill Laila's parents.

So what was the solution there?

"The Mujahideen, armed to the teeth but now lacking a common enemy, had found the enemy in each other."

Once the revolution is over, what do you do with all the revolutionaries?

Thinking back, they wanted to call George Washington "His Majesty the President of the United States." If things had happened differently after the American Revolution, how might the US have developed differently?

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