This story provides an opportunity to journey with a brother and sister as they walk from eastern Afghanistan to Iran. On a geopolitical map of the Middle East, locate the route the siblings might follow. Using the map and your prior knowledge of the Middle East, predict what challenges they may face. Before The author uses descriptive language to illustrate the scenes in this story. Be conscious of the images being “painted” in your mind and the emotions they evoke as you read.
After they had been walking for days, they passed the ruins of two Soviet MiGs. Nooria took o her hat and scratched her head at the oddity in this land of mountain desert. Malik walked on, hardly glancing at the wreckage. “Malik, when we get to Iran, what will you do?” He doesn’t look at her when he speaks. He doesn’t like to see the size of the pack strapped to the back of her little body. She insists on carrying it without his help. He thinks her too proud. “ ere are jobs shelling pistachios,” he says. “But these are very poor. Maybe if I grow bigger I can be a construction worker. I have heard those men are paid well enough. I could shell pistachios first though.” “I can shell pistachios too.” “No, you will go to school.” “Nana said you taught me well. at I’ve learned to read fast and that I may be as smart as you. I can shell pistachios after school though. We can shell them together.”
When Nooria walks, a spoon in her pack clanks inside an empty thermos. ere are times when the distance between them can grow to twenty metres. Malik does not look back. He listens for the clanking of her spoon to know how far behind she has fallen and if he must slow his pace. Most of the time they walk in silence. Other times they play their game.
Previously on Ismailimail…
Samosa recipe from ‘Four Generations of Ismaili Women’ as featured on Loving Spoonfuls – The Grandmother Cooking Show, Winnipeg
Nursing in the new millennium: Dr. Susan French comments on helping to develop AKU School of Nursing, Karachi