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Nana, Mariam's mother, was Jalil's housemaid. Jalil impregnates Nana and kicks her out of his house. Miriam would become a "harami" (illegitimate child). In Afghanistan (at the time but I suspect today as well) a single mother who was never married became social pariah. Jalil had little contact with Nana after she revealed her pregnancy. All Nana could do was try to survive. Jalil would bring gifts to Mariam but scorn Nana at the same time.