And the Mountains Echoed Chapter Five Summary & Analysis
Chapter Five Summary – Spring 2003
The narration shifts to Idris and Timur – the two cousins that lived and grew up across the street from the Wahdatis. There is a girl they are visiting in the hospital. Ara, their guide and worker alongside Mr. Markos, leads them into the hospital. The girl’s name is Roshana (Roshi) and she is about ten years old. Idris and Timur are shocked by her appearance for she has been horribly disfigured.
Amra does not explain who had done what to Roshi despite being asked by the cousins. When questioned why they are in Afghanistan, they admit they want to “give back” to their homeland, to “bear witness to the aftermath of all these years of war and destruction” (136). However, the real reason they have come back is to “reclaim the property that had belonged to their fathers” (136). The value had been skyrocketing now that there are a lot of foreign people needing places to live in Kabul while they are rebuilding.
The story moves into a flashback to provide some relational context between these two cousins. The story follows Idris at the death of his father and Timur being right beside him through it all, dramatically crying as though it was his father. Timur is a successful car salesman. While Idris is struggling through his medical residency, his wife is working as a secretary at a law firm while preparing for her LSATs. Timur loans Idris the money to pay for his father’s funeral and burial. Idris, although he finds Timur’s behavior despicable sometimes, feels obligated and attached to him because he has provided him with financial assistance.
Back in the present narration, Timur and Idris stop at the Wahdati house. There are over twenty people gathered there, expats that have, in various forms, come to help rebuild Kabul. Markos brings in Nabi, and Timur and Idris recognize him and exchange affection. Amra is also there.
Later when Idris is outside, Amra joins him and notices Idris’ slight criticism of his cousin. Idris admits to himself that he is embarrassed of Timur, as he feigns…