Mariam's first physical symbol of shelter is her kolba, or small cottage, that she lives in with her mother until she is fifteen. It is very humble, and initially Mariam longs to live in her father's larger home, but when her mother dies and she goes to live with her father, she realizes how cold and lonely his house is and wishes to return to the kolba.
Another symbol of shelter is Ration Day. This is the day when her stepbrothers bring rations to the kolba. Mariam is disturbed by her mother's throwing stones at her brothers, but Ration Day gives her a sense of stability, as she knows she and her mother are being provided for.
Mullah Faizulla is a symbol of comfort and compassion for Mariam. She is a source of emotional shelter because she listens intently to Mariam's longings and provides religious and personal guidance.
School is a very important shelter for Laila, both physically and emotionally. She is proud that she is allowed to go to school and be an independent woman.
Tariq and his home and family are also sources of shelter for Laila. She feels happy and loved in their home and frequently goes there when she is young. Tariq is more of a brother to her than her two real brothers ever were. Tariq shows her his gun and vows to protect her.
Mariam and Laila
Aziza is a symbol of shelter for both Mariam and Laila. In her, they find their perfect love, and she brings the two of them together. They unite through their love for this child, and they provide strength and comfort for each other.