My War at Home

My War at Home
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  • ISBN-13: 9780743480475
  • ISBN: 0743480473
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Sultan, Masuda


My War at HomebyMasuda SultanSummaryA profound memoir of self-discovery, family tradition, and feminist ideals,My War at Homefollows the journey of Masuda Sultan as she transforms from a traditional Afghani-American woman who at seventeen enters an arranged marriage, to her emergence as a committed feminist political activist and Muslim woman.In August 2001, Sultan visited Afghanistan to meet her extended family and explore how she could reconcile her Afghani Muslim upbringing with her own feminist ideals. One month later, after her return to New York, September 11th devastated the world and the United States invaded Afghanistan. Resolved to find out what had happened to her family, Sultan traveled back to the devastated and war-torn Kandahar, taking a small film crew with her, determined to bring the reality of the war and what it has done to women and children to light.Discussion Guide1.My War at Homebegins with the Islamic saying, "The pleasure of God is the pleasure of the parents." What does this mean? How does it relate to the author's feelings about her arranged marriage?2. What are some of the positive aspects of arranged marriages, according to the author? What traits would the couples need to have to make an arranged marriage a success? What was missing from the author's marriage -- why did she eventually get a divorce? Are successful arranged marriages possible in the United States? Why or why not?3. While in Karachi, Pakistan, for the consummation of her marriage with her new husband, the author receives a white cloth from her mother, so that her mother "could prove my purity to my in-laws, despite the fact that I had grown up in America." What does this indicate that other countries think about Americans, particularly American women? What do you think that first night with her husband was like for the author? What if she couldn't have "proven her purity" -- what do you think would have happened?4. "When a woman has marital problems, friends and family tried to ease her pain by minimizing its importance or seeking solutions that cause minimal disruption to the husband, even if the husband's words or actions cause immense pain for the woman." How is this different from American women's responses to their female friends' problems? How is it similar?5. The author felt a tremendous mix of feelings about her new husband: "I wanted to scream, kick, and hurl things at him. But I also felt deeply sorry for him. I cared for him and did not want him to be sad and lonely. Maybe I just needed to try harder." What do the variety of feelings she felt reveal about the author? How do you think the author's American childhood affected her ability to adjust to her arranged marriage?6. As chronicled by the author, Muslim culture ranges from very conservative, where women and men are kept completely separate from each other, to more liberal, where women and men have equal access to education and political voice. How do conservative Muslim customs compare to conservative Christian, Jewish, and Hindu customs? How are the roles of women similar in each religion? How are they different?7. The author has fair skin and brown hair, which is different from the majority of Afghanis. How do her looks help her throughout the story? When do they hinder her? In addition to her appearance, in what other ways does the author feel like an outsider -- in both Afghan and American culture? What does she discover about herself when she goes to Kandahar the first time?8. "Although theburqasometimes symbolizes restrictions on women, I wanted to see it the way [my mother] would have seen it -- as a protective garment, as one that creates comfort for the woman because she doesn't have to worry about men looking at her body. Putting on theburqaalso meant leaving behind the New York woman...." How is theburqaviewed in Western culture? Can wearing a burqa create more freeSultan, Masuda is the author of 'My War at Home ', published 2006 under ISBN 9780743480475 and ISBN 0743480473.

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