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Tariq is Laila's next door neighbor, a few years older than Laila. Tariq lost a leg during a war, and many of the people in the neighborhood refer to him as the cripple. Yet, Tariq has a strong heart, and he stands up for Laila when she gets picked on. Tariq and Laila fall in love and conceive a child, but then Tariq's family moves to Pakistan to avoid further violence in Kabul. Their relationship is actually based on mutual love and respect rather than patriarchal possession.