When Zalmai is born, Rasheed puts him on a pedestal and raises him to be a man in Rasheed's own image. This means that even as young child, Zalmai learns to treat Laila with contempt. Will Tariq be able to undo the psychological damage already done to Zalmai? Will entrenched customs and attitudes like Rasheed's be able to be changed in a new Afghanistan? Has Hosseinin accurately portrayed a typical Afghan male with old-world values and traditions? How does Rasheed's behavior toward Zalmai influence Aziza's psyche as a woman?
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