Torpekay, for example, is an Afghan girl from western Herat Province.Although just 17, she has been married for four years.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."I didn't have a knife, I didn't have any drug to inject into myself, so I decided to set myself on fire.Using gasoline was the easiest way." The issue of child marriages, which affects more than 50 million girls worldwide according to the United Nations, was thrust back in the headlines recently when the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) selected its "Photo of 2007." The winning shot, by American photographer Stephanie Sinclair, shows a 40-year-old Afghan man, Mohammad, sitting next his visibly horror-stricken fiancee, Ghulam. "We needed the money," Ghulam's parents, from Ghor Province, were quoted as saying.She survived the attempt, and has been recovering at a local hospital.
The marriage can take place only when they are sixteen.It requires a lot of planning and is often very expensive.The Afghan marriage customs are also governed by marriage laws that are very strict and prescriptive.The expenses of the bride from the date of the engagement will have to be borne by the groom’s family as per Afghan marriage traditions and customs.Afghan women are not permitted to marry non Muslim men.Abdul-Kareem is the son of one of the founders of the modern banking system in Afghanistan. Then, when I express my desire to travel, he asks me to marry him. I did not know that this would be our final destination. I learn that my real mother-in-law, Abdul-Kareem’s biological mother, is only my father-in-law’s first wife. But before the caravan of black Mercedes-Benzes can leave, an airport official demands that I turn over my American passport. It will soon be returned to me, so I reluctantly relinquish it. That means — I would soon learn — that I would not be able to leave Afghanistan at will.