Check out my previous post for some background info on this post!
To start off the novel study, our task was to read the first 20% of our chosen novel, which for me meant the first 50 pages from the book I chose, Thunder over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay.
As I have learned from both the book summary and the small section I have read, Thunder over Kandahar explores the challenges that Afghan women face. Constantly under threat from the Taliban, women can only talk to men who are relatives, they must be accompanied by a male relative at all times outside, and they must cover their bodies by wearing a hijab/burka. "Do not meet a man's gaze. Do not be alone with a boy who is not a relative. Do not let any skin show. There were many do nots. Mother was teaching her what was halal, or correct for Muslims, and what was haraam, or unacceptable..." (pg. 15, S.M.). Along with the constant dangers of their land-mine dotted society, women know nothing but the lack of freedom.
Since this novel study is focusing on global issues, the requirement for our reading choice was that the book focused on a global issue. More importantly, it was to be something we could see ourselves developing passion for, in hopes of taking action. This led me to choosing Thunder over Kandahar, as the prejudice against women is an issue that I feel strongly about, and I can make personal connections, and compare and contrast lifestyles.
Before starting the novel, I was definitely not a stranger to the world issues of inequality and lack of freedom for females. Because I am a Girl and The Girl Effect are two women's-rights organizations that I am aware of and that have sparked a fire inside me about the exploitation of women.
Now that I am 50 pages into the book, I am really starting to wonder the extent to which these women acknowledge inequality and the unfairness of it all. But then again, some people think it's ethically correct. I find it almost incomprehensible how values and morals can very so much and how discrimination and exploitation can be considered right.
So far, two main female characters have been introduced: Tamanna and Yasmine. Their places in society vary immensely, yet they find a common bond, and the reader follows them, learning about their family, lifestyle, home, and identity.
This is one of those books where I really want to keep reading, because I already know that the story line has a lot to teach me. I feel like I will grow as a person by reading this book, and so that makes me want to read it more and more!
What's your opinion on books that focus on global issues? Share your thoughts :)
One last thing: I encountered this article while scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I honestly hardly believed it could be true, until I tried the searches myself: http://www.upworthy.com/would-you-expect-these-results-to-appear-when-you-google-women-2
|Image from: http://www.behance.net/gallery/UN-Women/8467773|