Yasmina Khadra

“Furthermore, I refuse to wear a burqa. Of all the burdens they've put on us, that's the most degrading. The Shirt of Nessus woudn't do as much damage to my dignity as that wretched getup. It cancels my face and takes away my identity and turns me into an object. Here, at least, I'm me Zunaira, Mohsen Ramat's wife, age thirty-two, former magistrate, dismissed by obscurantists without a hearing and without compensation, but with enough self-respect left to brush my hair every day and pay attention to my clothes. If I put that damned veil on, I'm neither a human being nor an animal, I'm just an affront, a disgrace, a blemish that has to be hidden. That's too hard to deal with. Especially for someone who was a lawyer, who worked for women's rights. Please, I don't want you to think for a minute that I'm putting on some sort of act. I'd like to, you know, but unfortunately my heart's not in it anymore. Don't ask me to give up my name, my features, the color of my eyes, and the shape of my lips so I can take a walk through squalor and desolation. Don't ask me to become something less than a shadow, an anonymus thing rustling around in a hostile place.”


Yasmina Khadra, Swallows of Kabul
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Swallows of Kabul Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
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