A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of the most powerful novels I've ever read. Given all that's taking place in Afghanistan today, especially regarding the lives and rights of women, I highly recommend this beautifully-written, emotionally-driven story.
Featuring two women who find support, love and strength amid the heartbreak and brutality of their daily lives, it personalized for me the political situation that has existed there for decades. While many are torn about participating in the war, this perspective gave me a different view of why some feel we should continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of all Afghans.
It's hard not to ask why so many civilians and foreign soldiers should be sacrificed in the name of this most current conflict. That said, how can we walk away considering the efforts and recent deaths of real Afghan women who have taken on leadership roles, working to improve their country's future? Or the women, and men, who have seen so many of their civil rights taken away?
It seems that despite the setbacks, it's going to take a concerted effort dependent on force first, but also featuring development and diplomacy. I hope a time will come when armies are no longer visible, nor needed.