Archive for January, 2009

Premios Dardo award

I’d like to thank Tuesday, an avid reader, for awarding me the Premios Dardo award:

The Premios Dardo Award exists to acknowledge the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

The Rules?

  • Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
  • Pass the award to 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

This isn’t exactly what the rules say, but I won’t award this to anyone specific. My not knowing many bloggers is one of the reasons. If you think you deserve this award, then award it to yourself!


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A Thousand Splendid Suns

I just read that Khaled Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, shall be adapted into a movie.

There isn’t a lot of information about the adaptation currently, but here’s what the author wrote on his blog:

A quick update. Because many of you have asked, I will quickly address the film version of A Thousand Splendid Suns.

It is being adapted to the screen by Steve Zaillian, the brilliant screenwriter behind Schindler’s List and Searching for Bobby Fisher. The film will be produced over at Sony/Columbia by Producer Scott Rudin, who just won an Oscar for No Country For Old Men. As of now, the matters of casting, location, and language have not been decided.

I am looking forward to this movie, because I’m interested in seeing how they will portray Afghanistan and who the actors will be.

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Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, two women with different expectations for their futures are brought together by fate and end up forming an unlikely friendship.

In Part 1, Mariam is a young girl who was born out of wedlock and is living with her mother in a small kolba. Mariam is constantly and bitterly reminded by her mother of her wealthy father Jalil, who is living with his family in a big house. When Mariam is fifteen, her mother commits suicide and Mariam has no choice but to stay with her father and his family. Out of shame and fearing for their reputation, they hastily marry her off to Rasheed, a shoemaker who lives in another place. Rasheed turns out to be a violent husband who does not care for Mariam.

In part 2, we listen to Laila’s story, a girl who has high expectations for her future and is always encouraged by her intellectual father to pursue her dreams. One unfortunate day, a rocket hits their house and kills both her parents. She is rescued by Rasheed, who sets her up in an evil plot (which shall reappear in the end) to marry him.

The story continues as these women become sisters and deal with the hardships of their lives while the conflicts in Afghanistan continue and new ones arise.

A Thousand Splendid Suns focuses mainly on the seemingly hapless and unjust lives of women and girls in Afghanistan and how they are affected by what is going on in their country which we don’t know much about.

This book was different from The Kite Runner, so it’s difficult to say which one way better, but I felt that A Thousand Splendid Suns had some disappointing flaws, particularly a twist in the near end of the story, which was not expected in a realistic work by this type of author. I’m not going to spoil it, but I thought it was unnecessary and felt like the author did it because he wanted to make his fans – who would not bear to have two lovers separated – happy and believe in love again (or something like that).

Khaled Hosseini sets a personal story in the book while educating the reader of the conflicts in his country, but the balance between the personal story and the real-life conflicts weren’t even. I thought that the way those two women ended up together didn’t match. The twists in the book were too ‘fateful’ and unimaginable.

I also didn’t quite enjoy the end. Unlike in The Kite Runner, I was very bored while reading the last part of the novel and hoped it would finish quickly because it was already expected and it was like the author just patched up the last sentence of the book to make it feel eloquent and poetic.

Despite this, Khaled Hosseini’s latest novel was very readable (like his other book) and heartwarming. It was also emotional.

The dialogue was witty and the author managed to portray the everyday lives of Afghans.

In conclusion, A Thousand Splendid Suns may not have been skillfully written as The Kite Runner, but it is certainly affectionate and different.

Khaled Hosseini’s website

My review of The Kite Runner

Buy A Thousand Splendid Suns at Amazon

The Kite Runner movie

Note: A Thousand Splendid Suns is to be adapted into a movie. There is not much information currently.

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I’m back from my new middle school! I went there with my dad this morning to take an English test (all foreigners have to take it).

I scored excellent on the English test and the math test.

I’m very enthusiastic to start school next week.

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7 things you don’t know about me

Thanks to Lauren, I’ve been tagged for the first time to write 7 things you don’t know about me!

  1. I was inspired by The Fray to learn the piano
  2. In Sudan, I skipped grades 6 and 8
  3. When I was nine, I unconsciously chewed my laptop battery wire until smoke rose out of it
  4. I’m left-handed
  5. I’d like to become the Minister of Education in Sudan
  6. Right now, I’m obsessed with the tv series, House
  7. I didn’t learn to read till I was 6; I was dyslexic before that


Books worth Reading

Final Haven

Tuesday in Silhouette

Adi’s Eye

Lucy of Teen Baker

Solange Alexandra

note: you should tag seven people

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Here I’d like to share with you some memorable parts I came across from Love in the Time of Cholera (Garcia Marquez) which I’ll always treasure:

It was fortunate that after so much governmental instability because of so many superimposed civil wars, academic standards were less selective that they had been, and there was a jumble of backgrounds and social positions in the public schools. Half-grown children would come to class from the barricades, smelling of gunpowder, wearing the insignias and uniforms of rebel officers captured at gunpoint in inconclusive battles, and carrying their regulation weapons in full view at their waists. They shot each other over disagreements in the play-grounds, they threatened the teachers if they received low grades on examinations, and one of them, a third-year student at La Salle Academy and a retired colonel in the militia, shot and killed Brother Juan Eremita, Prefect of the Community, because he said in catechism class that God was a full-fledged member of the Conservative Party.


After dinner, at five o’clock, the crew distributed folding canvas cots to the passengers, and each person opened his bed wherever he could find room, arranged it with the bedclothes from his petate, and set the mosquito netting over that. Those with hammocks hung them in the salon, and those who had nothing slept on the tablecloths that were not changed more than twice during the trip.


If anything vexed her, it was the perpetual chain of daily meals.
For they not only had to be served on time: they had to be perfect, and they had to be just what he wanted to eat, without his having to be asked. If she ever did ask, in one innumerable useless ceremonies of their domestic ritual, he would not even look up from the newspaper and he would reply: "Anything." In his amiable way he was telling the truth, because one could not imagine a less despotic husband. But when it was time to eat, it could not be anything, but just what he wanted, and with no defects: the meat should not taste of meat, and the fish should not taste of fish, and the pork should not taste of mange, and the chicken should not taste of feathers.


She would walk through the kitchen at any hour, whenever she was hungry, and put her fork in the pots and eat a little of everything without placing anything on a plate, standing in front of the stove, talking to the serving women, who were the only ones with whom she felt comfortable, the ones she got along with best.

Read my review of Love in the Time of Cholera

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Title: My Name is Red

Author: Orhan Pamuk

Date published: 1998 (2001 in English)

Number of pages: 413

My rating: 8/10 (a vibrant, amusing yet serious novel)

My Name is Red, a novel by the Nobel prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, takes place in the sixteenth century in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s a novel about how art is acknowledged by a religious viewpoint.

The story begins when the miniaturist (painter) Elegant Effendi is murdered and dumped in a well after challenging one of his co-workers about the book The Sultan has assigned upon them which shows his glory. The work is to be rendered in the European style, which can be dangerous because that type of art is considered blasphemous.

Each chapter is narrated by different characters with different perspectives, including themes such as the color Red, a coin, or figures in a painting.

Black is assigned to investigate the murder. The suspected miniaturists are Stork, Butterfly and Olive.

There is also a love story shrouded in the murder puzzle. Black is eager to reveal the murderer in order to prove to his uncle Enishte Effendi that he is worthy of his Effendi’s daughter, Shekure. Although he had loved her a long time ago, she has been married to an unloving fighter whom she considers (without documented evidence) dead in the war; she is raising two young sons alone.

One of the memorable and witty characters is Esther, the inquisitive Jewish clothier who sends and receives letters between the lovers. Although she is trusted for her illiteracy, she always asks her confidant to read her the letters and is therefore informed on the latest news.

What makes this novel very tricky and devious is that the man responsible for the murder of Elegant Effendi narrates – in separate chapters – 2 sides of his identity: as a murderer and as Stork, Butterfly or Olive; however he is cautious not to reveal his identity to the reader.

In the story, there are vivid recollections of the exquisite tales of the Ottomans, including the story of Husrev and Shirin. There are rich depictions of famous paintings even though you don’t actually see them.

Also in the book, Pamuk includes the many conflicts surrounding art in My Name is Red. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006.

Buy at amazon

Orhan Pamuk’s website

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