I put the women's health donation widget on my blog after reading the blog post on BlogHer about Afghan women and the substandard health care they receive. I had first read about this issue in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The harrowing description of one of the characters' deliveries was truly horrifying. Anything we can do to help these women, families and the Afghan society is worthwhile.
I wasn't the world's biggest fan of the book. I thought it was written for me, and not really in the "true voice" of an Afghan woman. I wished there was a real Afghan woman who could tell her own tale and achieve the acclaim and broad appeal that Khaled Hosseini, a man who has lived in the US for the past 20 or so years, has attained. But I guess, through his work, people like me know the plight of the Afghans.
Speaking of Afghanistan, I have read, and agree, that the image of the young Afghan woman from the cover of National Geographic (back in 1983) MUST have been the inspiration for Robert Lentz' icon of Mary Magdalene. They are visually too similar to be a coincidence. And the photograph stays with you... through the years... just like the icon.