The gift of books

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We are thrilled to welcome this new writer to InterestEng and look forward to more beautiful stories.

I WAS born as an emigrant child in Iran. My parents left Afghanistan when the communist revolution happened, but they were not married to each other at that point. They got to know each other and married in Iran. 

    A happy memory that belongs to the time when I was residing in Iran is when I went to the weekly bazaar with my mother. One week she was in search of something that would attract my attention. After getting close I was able to see its pictures clearly, it was a children’s book exhibited! I took it and started to turn its pages and look at the pictures. That was a pure joy I can say. The book was about a little girl who was selling matches. Another one was about a girl with a red cloak. I can say that was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I started to read books and still I do so. 

     I remember when I was in second grade the school started to publish its own magazine. It contained amazing and interesting contents like stories, informational pieces, and jokes. I could not wait for the new volume. It was published weekly and I read the whole volume in one night. I was still going to the bazaar or a bookstore to buy more storybooks. I had a collection of different genres including religious books, too, because one day at the bazaar a middle aged woman told my mother, “Your son should read religious type books more, it is good for him.”  I can remember her, watching her from below, while she was covered with a big black veil. 

     When we came to Afghanistan I was seven. After two years I discovered that there was a library near to our home, thanks to a neighbor’s son, who was my friend. It is still active. This library gave kids books and magazines without any bond. My favorite books were the series called, Qesehay khob baray bachehay khob, which means good stories for good kids. After some years I got a membership card, another happy day that I can’t forget. I remember that in the autumn, when I was in fifth grade, my savings reached 350 Afghanis, which made me able to get the membership card for the library. I started borrowing books formally. One day
I accidentally picked up one of Darn Shan’s novels by the name of Stories from the ghost lands. It was very interesting for me.  After awhile, some of my classmates read that series at my suggestion. 

     These are happy memories from a happy time in my life. Maybe they cannot be correctly called happy memories, but that is what they are from an emigrant child.
                                                                                                          — Great Afghan Book Lover

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