What is significant about Laila's exchange with Hakim as they niche sit atop the Buddhas?
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Hakim reminisces about bringing Fariba to this place, and he speaks of her fondly. Hakim confesses that he is also upset about the death of Ahmad and Noor, but he is also extremely thankful for Laila.
Hakim speaks of leaving Afghanistan, but they know it would be impossible because of Fariba. Laila does not want to tell Hakim that she does not want to leave Afghanistan, because she knows she'd miss Tariq too much. Laila reveals to the readers that Fariba accused Hakim of having no convictions, but in fact Fariba is Hakim's conviction. Each person confesses their inner thoughts. It is really an act of communion.