Global Book Club

The Lightless Sky

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The Lightless Sky

by Gulwali Passarlay

A gripping, inspiring, and eye-opening memoir of fortitude and survival—of a twelve-year-old boy’s traumatic flight from Afghanistan to the West—that puts a face to one of the most shocking and devastating humanitarian crises of our time.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What are the costs of war? Are they worth it?

2. Looking into Gulwali's life and how he juggled culture and values, how did he find peace through understanding other ways of thinking? How can we do the same?

3. Gulwali Passarlay’s The Lightless Sky is similar to I am Malala because both were a part of the Pashtunwali tribe and involve the Taliban. The Taliban shot Malala on her way to school, but she survived. In this autobiography, Gulwali writes about girls and education saying he didn’t want his sisters to go to school, “not because I wanted to deny them an education, but because I didn’t want any of my friends telling me they had seen my sisters outside” (Passarlay, p. 32). Do young girls have agency in Pashtun culture?

4. Ponder this quote: “Hope, along these roads at least, was an allusion. Something dangerous—and costly—to entertain.” In this circumstance, why is hope dangerous?

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