A Person of Consequence

Miriam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Miriam thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate belongings. –Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Marine Sgt. Kimberly Nalepka and Lance Cpl. Victoria Rogers speak to students at a local school in Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on April 30. Nalepka and Rogers, members of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment Female Engagement Team, visit medical clinics and schools on a regular basis.
Marine Sgt. Kimberly Nalepka and Lance Cpl. Victoria Rogers speak to students at a local school in Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on April 30. Nalepka and Rogers, members of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment Female Engagement Team, visit medical clinics and schools on a regular basis.

Fly Your Kite

Hassan and I looked at each other. Cracked up. The Hindi kid would soon learn what the British learned earlier in the century, and what the Russians would eventually learn by the late 1980’s: that Afghans are an independent people. Afghans cherish customs but abhor rules. And so it was with kite fighting. The rules were simple: No rules. Fly your kite. Cut the opponents. Good luck.
–Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Army Staff Sgt. James Bates, a security force squad leader for Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah, pulls security as local residents watch during a mission to the director of information and culture’s office in Farah City, Farah province, Afghanistan, last Tuesday.