A thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Laila and Mariam's Lives

  • Mariam is born

    There are various accounts as to how Mariam was born. Her father Jalil, says she was born in a hospital in Herat. However her mother, Nana, says that she was born just outside Herat, with no medical assistance, with only her mother to guide her into the world in her kolba
  • Laila's parents move to Kabul

    Fariba and Hakim move as newly-weds when Hakim is accepted to Kabul University
  • Mariam (5) is called a 'harami' by Nana

    Mariam breaks Nana's mother's tea set and is called a 'bastard' by Nana. This was on a Thursday
  • Mariam (15) leaves the kolba and travels to Herat

    She travels alone against her mother's orders, in order that she might see her father, his cinema where he says she can watch 'Pinocchio' and her siblings. The next day, she realises that Jalil never wanted her to come to Herat and she goes back to the kolba, where she sees that her mother committed suicide. Subsequently, they hold a funeral for Nana (pg 36)
  • Mariam (15) marries Rasheed

    Mariam is told she has a suitor - Rasheed, who is in his 40s, who is a Pashtun (Afghan). The day after she meets and marries him (pg 46) . Jalil does not stop the marriage, but instead allows her to be taken away. Mariam is devestated
  • Mariam celebrates her first Ramadan with Rasheed

    She is now leaving in Kabul. She celebrates by watching fireworks and having the Eid of her childhood (pg 79). She alsoo cooks for Rasheed and his friends and stays out of sight, how she likes it. She also meets Fariba - the mother of not-yet-born Laila - who greets her
  • Mariam suffers her first miscarriage

    After being essentially raped by Rasheed, Mariam suffers the first of her long series of miscarriages, when Fariba notices her bleeding in the bathhouse. Mariam is devestated and angered (pg 91)
  • Laila is born

    Laila is born to Fariba and Hakim, during the beginning of the communist coup in Afghanistan (pg 101)
    Mariam is 19
  • Laila's brothers. Ahmad and Noor, join the war against the Soviets

    They join the jihad, much to Fariba's disapoointment. Fariba begins to become withdrawn from the world and blames their leaving on Hakim, because he let them go (pg 109)
  • Jalil tries to visit Mariam (28) in Kabul

    However, Mariam does not go out to see him. However he stays out there for hours and then leaves, after leaving a letter at her door. She destroys it. (pg 301) Jalil dies later in the year
  • Laila (9) and her family are informed that Noor and Ahmad have died

    Spring 1987, Laila wants to tell her father how Tariq, her childhood best friend, beat up her bully, but before she can do so, a messenger comes to tell them that her borthers have died in action. This destroys her mother. Soon after, they hold a funeral, where Mariam and Laila meet for a split second (pg 135). Laila does not feel the kind of pain and sorrow that is required of her because she never really knew her brothers, like how she knows Tariq
  • Hakim has Laila (14) drop out of school

    Unexpectedly, Hakim, who believes that education is more important than marriage, has Laila drop out of school because the war has become too dangerous and the streets are too unsafe (pg 174) That same month, Giti, one of Laila's best friends is killed by a stray rocket, whilst walkking home from schoool. Laila cries at her funeral (pg 175)
  • Tariq tells Laila that he is leaving Afghanistan

    His joruney is to Peshawar, Pakistan then to Iran, maybe. They have sex and hurriedly tidy themselves after. Tariq proclaims desires to marry her but Laila declines, having thought about how it would break her parents if she left. In the end, she makes Tariq leave (pg 176) 17 days after, Fariba agrees to leave Afghanistan too
  • Laila's house is hit by a rocket, killing her parents

    Eighteen days after Tariq leaves, whilst Laila and her family are preparing to leave Afghanistan, a rocket blows up their house, killing Fariba and Hakim, who were inside, and injuring Laila, who was carrying a box of books outside (pg 188)
    Just before this, Rasheed was telling her about a poem that he could only remember two lines of by Saib-e-Tabrizi (pg 186)
    Laila turns deaf in one ear but she is saved by Rasheed, who found her in the rubble. Mariam looks after her, under Rasheed's commands
  • Abdul Sharif comes to tell Laila that Tariq has died

    Sharif 'finds' Laila in Rasheed's house to tell her that he met Tariq in an hospital, where he had been taken when he was caught in cross fire in a lorry of refugees. Tariq dies due to his inguries in hospital, but not before he tells Sharif to find Laila and tell her what happened to him. (pg 201)
  • Rasheed marries Laila six weeks after Tariq left for Pakistan

    Not long after this, Rasheed proposes to marry Laila. Mariam objects, but Laila says yes immediately. The ceremony is dull and quick (pg 213)
    Mariam is 33. Laila is 14
  • Laila (14) gives birth to Aziza

    Early Spring. Rasheed is not happy, because it is not a boy. (pg 229)
    A few months later, Mariam and Laila bond when Laila sticks up for Mariam as Rasheed tries to beat her. They begin talking and drinking chai together (pg 244)
  • Tariq (17) is jailed with intent to smuggle cannabis

    During his stay at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, his dad passed away, and he was looking for work so that he might find an apartment for him and his mum. He offered to deliver a coat to a friend of the shopkeeper but he was stopped by police where it was found that the coat was lined with cannabis. He was jailed (pg 328)
  • Laila (15) and Mariam (34) tell their life stories to each other

    Mariam, whilst braiding Laila's hair, tells Laila about her early childhood, Nana, Jalil, Mullah Faizullah, the jinn, Bibi jo. Laila confesses about Tariq and tells Mariam that she and Aziza are running away this spring (pg 249)
  • Mariam and Laila try to run away

    Laila, having stolen Rasheed's money and sold her money, and Mariam leave for Lahore Gate Bus Station, inteding to travel to Pakistan. It is risky because women now don't have privileges like they did in 1978, and so can't be seen outside w/o a man. They find a man willing to stay with them, but he rats them out to the soldier at the bus door and they are taken home, after being interrogated by the police (pg 257). Rasheed beats, locks and starves them in seperate rooms for day s(pg 263)
  • Laila (19) gives birth to Zalmai

    At Rabia Balkhi, the only hospital in Kabul that treats women (because the Taliban, who had recently announced their Sharia law and gender segregated many services), Laila is given a C Section on with no anaesthetic, and gives birth to Zalmai (Rasheed's name for the boy he wanted Mariam to have). (pg 284)
    This happens sono after Laila almost carried out an abortion with a metal spoke by herself but failed to, seeing as the baby was blameless (pg 277)
  • Rasheed's shoe shop burns down

    Following the devestating drought, and periods of poverty, Rasheed's only source of income is burnt down, resulting in Mariam, Laila, Aziza and Rasheed's possessions being sold for money, including the TV. Rasheed enters periods of temper tantrums and is fired from lots of jobs. Soon, the money runs out and they are overcome by hunger (pg 297-8)
  • Tariq (24) gets out of prison after a seven year stay

    His mother died whilst he was in prison. He then went to live with the brother of a man he befriended in prison. This is in Muree with Sayeed, the brother. Here, Tariq keeps up with the maintenance of Sayeed's small hotel (pg 331)
    He also buys his white goat, Alyona, named after the character in the film that Laila and he watched on teh day that the Soviets left in 1992
  • Laila (22) takes Aziza (8) to the orphanage

    Against Laila's wishes, Aziza is taken to the orphanage, so that the number of mouths to feed is less at home. In order to be accepted, Laila tells Aziza to lie and say that her father was killed by the Muhjahideen (pg 308). Laila tries to see Aziza every week but Rasheed doesn't want to go so she risks being beat by the Taliban, if seen alone, to see Aziza (pg 313). Aziza is being taught new things every day at the orphanage.
  • Laila sees Tariq (25) at her house on the way back from the orphanage

    After they took Aziza out for a day out to Titanic City, Rasheed took the bus to work, and Laila, Mariam and Zalmaii dropped Aziza back off to the orphanage. Then Laila sees Tariq at the front door of the house (pg 319). They talk for a long period of time about his life during the almost 10 years apart, where Laila tells Tariq about his daughter.
    Rasheed had paid Sharif to li about Tariq's death
  • Mariam (42) kills Rasheed

    Mariam ends up killing Rasheed with a shovel, as he is strangling Laila due to the fact that Tariq was at his house earlier. Zalmai and Aziza are upstairs (pg 341)
    Laila and Mariam leave his body in his toolshed, and then she tends to Laila's wounds. Mariam devises a plan, a fantasy to calm Laila. However, Mariam later reveals that she meant for Laila and Tariq and the children to leave Kabul and for her to give herself up to the police. In the end, Laila does just that (pg 349)
  • Mariam is executed

    After spending ten days in prison, where she is seen as a notorious figure with a request for no visitors, (her trial having taken place a week before that, in which the sympathetic judge had no choice but to obey Allah by condemning her to death), Mariam is finally executed in front of thousands of people. She only cries for a few moments on the day, and her last thoughts are passages that Mullah Faizullah taught her (pg 361)
  • Laila (23) and Tariq (25) marry in Muree

    As soon as they get to Muree, Sayeed arranges the ceremony and a mullah to marry the two of them. The wedding is quick and hushed. Laila and the kids help Tariq work in the hotel. Aziza loves Tariq and Tariq is trying to get Zalmai to warm to him (pg 367)
  • Laila tells Tariq she wants to move back to Kabul

    Despite the war waged on Afghanistan by America, Laila feels a yearning for Kabul, knowing that Mariam did not die for a life of mediocrity in a secluded village. Another reason for her decision is because the poetry that Babi recited to her before his death rose in her mind. Tariq agrees, and Laila wants to go to Herat first (pg 379)
  • Laila goes to Mariam's kolba

    After going to Mullah Faizullah's house, talking to his son, Hamza, and telling him about Mariam's life story. There, at the kolba, she is able to vivdly imagine Mariam's life, whereas in Muree, sometimes she wasn't able to picture her clearly (pg 387).
    Back at Herat, Hamza gives Laila a box which Jalil had given to Mullah Faizullah in case Mariam ever came back to Herat. Laila opens it back at the hotel and finds a DVD of Pinocchio and a letter and Jalil's life savings in a burlap sack (pg 391)
  • Laila is pregnant with Tariq's baby

    They are thinking of names for the baby.
    Laila likes Omar
    Aziza likes Aman
    Zalmai likes Clark
    Tariq likes Mohammed But if it's a girl, there's only one name: Mariam (pg 402)
  • Laila (25) and Tariq (27) renovate the orphanage in Kabul

    With the help of Zaman, the orphanage director, Laila and Tariq renovate the orphanage. They feature in one of Kabul's newspapers, just as Giti and Hasina, her childhood best friends, imagined. Laila now also teaches at the orphanage. Zalmai is an aspiring basketball player and Aziza enjoys school (pg 399)