Saturday, February 11, 2006
Book 3: The Swallows of Kabul
This is another one that attracted me by the cover. Written by an Algerian military officer employing a psuedonym to escape censorship, this book is about Kabul, Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. The story follows two couples whose lives intersect several times, in the city, in the home and in the skewed fundamentalist justice system. (I am listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast while i type...it's hilarious and I recommend it. Look it up!) I enjoyed this book because it invited me into another world, one that I cannot fathom...a world where brutality by the police is expected, where women are not allowed to show anything in public but their eyes, where those who were once scholars, intellectuals and thinkers are cowed into silence by the harsh and totalitarian regime. It reminds me a bit of communism. anyway, maybe because i'm a bit melancholy, or i'm just weird, I liked reading this book for the sense of hopelessness and despair in these people's lives. And I'm glad there was a real sense of tragedy; it spurred me on to pray for the Afghanistan and other countries where the people are suffering at the hands of their rulers. God loves these people and desires them to know him, and sometimes I forget that there is a whole wide world out there, that people are in pain, but God hears them. It brought a verse in Exodus to mind, where Israel is suffering in the slavery of the Egyptians. "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel- and God knew." I love that God cares about every single person, every single care in their hearts and he wants to heal them. The cool thing about the gospel is that it's true and it's personal and it meets our needs and longings. Sorry, I'm not being very coherent or sensible, but this is kind of a soapbox I sometimes get up on...God doesn't just care about us or "good people", but everyone even those officers of the Taliban who are infliciting the horrors in this book. It applies for everyone and can change everyone. Oh, I gave this book a star. It was just about the best one I've read so far, except for the one am reading now, but you'll just have to wait!