The Lovers: Romeo and Juliet in Afghanistan by Rod NordlandAlternate cover edition here
A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner—an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.
Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia’s large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family’s honor. They are still in hiding.
Despite a decade of American good intentions, women in Afghanistan are still subjected to some of the worst human rights violations in the world. Rod Nordland, then the Kabul bureau chief of the New York Times, had watched these abuses unfold for years when he came upon Zakia and Ali, and has not only chronicled their plight, but has also shepherded them from danger.
The Lovers will do for women’s rights generally what Malala’s story did for women’s education. It is an astonishing story about self-determination and the meaning of love that illustrates, as no policy book could, the limits of Western influence on fundamentalist Islamic culture and, at the same time, the need for change.
Afghanistan's Romeo & Juliet.
They live in Bamiyan, where the Taliban destroyed two famed sandstone Buddhas in They fall in love as teenagers, exchanging flirty glances in the fields of their village, skirting elders and convention. Soon their parents find out; marriage is deemed impossible, and Zakia runs away to a shelter. In one instance, Nordland, along with a videographer and a photographer, descends upon a remote house where the couple have taken refuge. Ali knows the plan, but whether Zakia agrees is never revealed. The photographer, semi-fluent in English, breaks in anyway and takes her picture, claiming not to understand the custom. It is a pity, for his skills as a journalist are evident in his rendering of this love blossoming against all odds.
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The true story of Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet. Even today, women are killed for such small "transgressions" as glancing at the wrong man or being seen alone with a man who is not a relative. H er name was Zakia.
CNN Zakia and Ali knew theirs was a forbidden love. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Journalist Rod Nordland says their image is iconic for some Afghans. Story highlights Zakia and Ali, a young Afghan couple, stays together despite the chance of Zakia's "honor killing" In the new book "The Lovers," Zakia talks of being courted by Ali's poetry and song. So begins, with gloomy prophecy, one of the most famous stories in English literature. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet would take their own lives out of despair.
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Teachers, not yet a subscriber? No obligation or credit card is required. The true story of two young Afghans who risked death by defying their families and their culture to be together. Her name was Zakia. Shortly before midnight on the freezing-cold night of March 20, , she lay fully clothed on her thin mattress on a concrete floor and considered what she was about to do. Her 4-inch open-toed high heels were beside her mattress next to the photograph of Ali, the boy she loved.