A Thousand Splendid Suns

what important advice does babi give to laila?

what advice does babi give laila in chapter 16

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"The Bamiyan Valley below was carpeted by lush farming fields... there were green winter wheat and alfalfa, potatoes too. The fields were bordered by poplars and crisscrossed by streams and irrigation ditches. On the banks of the river, tiny female figures squatted and washed clothes. ... rice paddies and barley fields draping the slopes. It was autumn...people in bright tunics on the roofs of mud brick dwellings laying out the harvest to dry...Beyond the village, beyond the river and the streams, Laila saw foothills, bare and dusty brown, and beyond those, as beyond everything else in Afghanistan, the snowcapped Hindu Kush."

"It's so quiet," Laila breathed. She could see tiny sheep and horses but couldn't hear their bleatings and whinnying.

"It's what I always remember about being here," Babi said. "The silence. The peace of it. I wanted you to experience it. But I also wanted you to see your country's heritage, children, to learn of its rich past. You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you just have to SEE and FEEL."

The last paragraph here describes what Babi wants for his daughter, and it is as much his dream for her as it is advice. It's a beautiful conversation, and an even more beautiful exchange between a father and a daughter.


A Thousand Splendid Suns/ Chapter 16/ Page 134