Marefat is a school but not just a school. It is a school under siege as it is in Afghanistan which on the whole views education with a rather wary eye. Boys and girls being educated together is bad enough but these children are not learning by rote. That is what is unusual for Afghanistan. They are being taught to think for themselves, to question, not to accept as truth what is being told. The man behind the venture is a bold soul and he faces many hazards in first setting up the school and then maintaining it.
Behind the school is the concept of persecution of a minority. The Hazaras are looked on with suspicion, have been for decades. They look different from the others in Afghan and they have always been at the butt end for everything and anything that has gone wrong. The situation continues todate and it was this marginalization that drove Aziz to start this school.
The story told from the point of view of different characters adds to the roundness of the story telling.
From Aziz its founder to the mother of five who knows that despite whatever odds she faces, she must send her children to school and then also get herself educated to some degree, and to the many girls and boys who get emancipated as a result of their education.
This was an eye opener - the extent to which discrimination, marginalization and lack of education exists today.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of St. Martin's Press.