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When Amir and Farid arrived at the orphanage in Karteh-Seh, they found it located in a "war-ravaged neighborhood" with boarded-up windows and "splintered walls." The orphanage's director, Zaman, gave the photo of Sohrab only a "cursory glance." At first, he claimed that he had never seen the boy in the picture before, and he locked Amir and Farid outside. After Zaman was convinced that the two men were not Taliban--and that Amir was Sohrab's uncle--he let them inside. Zaman talked frankly with the two men, offering them tea and agreeing to try and help Amir locate Sohrab, but also warning that it might be "too late." When Zaman reveals the horrifying truth about how his orphanage stays financed--that a Taliban official visits monthly, trading cash for children ("Usually he takes a girl. But not always.")--Amir intervened when Farid tried to strangle the director. Amir has more sympathy for the director, who has "spent my life's savings on this godforsaken place." Zaman tells them he has little choice with the Taliban. "I swallow my pride... and leave the judging to Allah." He tells Amir where to locate the Taliban who had taken Sohrab, and as he leaves, Amir watched Zaman as a "group of children surrounded him, clutching the hem of his loose shirt."
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