Sometimes, we might find ourselves born in societal atmospheres that are against the very thought of LGBTQ or homosexuality. Such societies may even fail to acknowledge that the LGBTQ community deserves equal rights. If you haven’t been brought up in such a manner, then you will not have been ingrained with the idea that living your life as an LGBTQ individual is a ‘sin’.
One of the main principles that all humans should live by is that we should all live in liberation. If you’re looking for a book to expand your knowledge on the area of LGBT literature and feel the stories from someone who has lived the life, then The Carpet Weaver by Nemat Sadat should be your go to. The book has been set in Afghanistan and will make quite the interesting read.
The plot of the novel is the journey of a 16 year-old boy, Kanishka exploring his gay story and thinking about the possibility of moving to America from Afghanistan via Pakistan as a refugee. Kanishka and Maihan, his bisexual best friend, fall in love. They however, try as much as they can to keep their relationship private since the word ‘gay’, is disrespectful in countries such as Afghanistan that are Islamic countries. They do this because they will be shunned from society in the event that their secret comes out.
The two lovers are threatened by unknown people as their love for one another deepens and grows. They end up getting sexually assaulted and beaten mercilessly by the other boys in their school who suddenly find them enjoying their romance.
As time lapses, their situation gets worse and the political conflicts get to a climax. Kanishka’s father belongs to the Maoist community and this results in him being taken away and arrested. Once he gets into the prison, he never comes back out again. It is soon up to Kanishka to bear the responsibilities of his family, his mother and his sister.
To rid themselves of all the political conflicts that threaten them, the family turns their eyes to America, a place where they believe is a paradise and the dreamland they’ve been thinking of. But, to get to America, they have to enter Pakistan, a place of slavery and brutality for Afghan refugees. While they live in the Pakistani camps, his sister’s health gets worse and Kanishka has a heavy heart.
He has displayed his inner bravery during tough times as well as during the journey to America from Pakistan. Kanishka engrosses himself in the works of poets such as Rumi every time he is disheartened or happy. At these moments in the novel, the writer acknowledges the significance and importance of literature.
The novel isn’t just about the story of Kanisha’s forbidden relationship. It is also a tale about the struggles and suffering, and ultimately, the bravery of Kanishka. It is also a narrative about political conflicts, the taboo of homosexuality, and religious intolerance. It is a story about hope where there is despair. Whether you’re ready or not, this book will leave a mark in your mind and heart with its vivid and heart-wrenching descriptions.