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The doctor, however, manages to get me alone for a brief moment and tells me that I must return to the States for treatment. The next thing I remember is someone tugging at my IV line. I call out and am rescued by a sister-in-law, who sits with me through the night. He arrives and almost immediately says: “I think it will be best if you leave with our approval on an Afghan passport, which I have obtained for you. My husband grows incensed and begins to hit me and call me names. Even when I board the first plane out, he still believes that as a dutiful wife I will one day return to him.

I tell my husband about his mother’s attempt on my life. But he now realizes that if I survive this disease, I will leave him. That night, a he climbs into my bed when I am feverish and sick and forces himself on me. He is trying to impregnate me because if I am carrying his child, I will not be allowed to leave. You have been granted a six-month visa for reasons of health.” He must have decided that he did not want a sick — or dead — American daughter-in-law who was trying to flee on his hands. When the plane takes off, I am filled with more fierce joy than my body can contain.

It can mess with your head and the way you look at yourself.

How do you respect yourself or how [can] your family respect you, if he is your legal guardian?

I call myself a feminist — but not just any feminist.

My temperature climbs to 105 degrees, but I receive no sympathy from my family.I see how endemic indigenous barbarism and cruelty is and unlike many other intellectuals and feminists, I don’t try to romanticize or rationalize it. The UN Web TV Channel is available 24 hours a day with selected live programming of United Nations meetings and events as well as with pre-recorded video features and documentaries on various global issues.I am unprepared for my first-ever Muslim prayer service. As the excitement over our arrival wears off, so does my special treatment. Two weeks into my confinement and I have only left the compound twice — both times with a calvary of people guarding and watching. One day, I decide to sunbathe on the private terrace that adjoins my bedroom. Then I hear a loud commotion that sounds like men yelling at each other. You have managed to upset all of Kabul,” my husband says. I discover that mother-in-law has instructed the servants to stop boiling my drinking water.Suddenly, all the men drop to the floor on all fours, prostrating themselves. He explains that a group of workmen a quarter-mile away caught sight of a “naked woman” and could not concentrate on work. Because the sewage system consists of open irrigation ditches that are used as public bathrooms and for drinking water, I contract dysentery. She gives me prayer rugs and prayer beads and urges me to convert to Islam.

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