Drinking Tea with the Taliban
I read Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario's memoir, It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War, and liked it very much. Is it an extraordinary work of masterful nonfiction? No. Is it the riveting account of a woman who has bigger balls than you do? Yes. There may be too much love story in this war story for man readers, but ladies looking to live boldly in a world that isn't made of pixels will be inspired by Addario's fearless approach to love and war.
“Madam,” Haleem said, “the commander’s men are worried you can’t drink your tea through your veil. They would really like for you to drink your tea.” The whispers continued, and if it weren’t for the veil, I would have had a difficult time concealing my smile. Only among Muslims is the hospitality so great that they cannot bear the notion that someone’s tea will be left untouched.
Haleem had another brilliant idea: “I know! You can stand in the corner of the room, with your back facing all of us, and lift your veil to the wall and drink your tea. Once you finish, you can replace your veil.”
And so, in a room full of some of the most vicious fighters against the United States and everything it stood for, I stood in the corner and faced the wall as I drank my tea.