What does Laila do with Mariam's money?

Laila uses Mariam's money to renovate an orphanage at which Laila's daughter, Aziza, used to live.

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Laila inherits a fairly substantial amount of money from Mariam's deceased father and wants to use it in a way that will honor her dear friend's memory.

It's important to consider the way Mariam's own childhood influences Laila's decision. Mariam longed for the love and acceptance of her father, yet...

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Laila inherits a fairly substantial amount of money from Mariam's deceased father and wants to use it in a way that will honor her dear friend's memory.

It's important to consider the way Mariam's own childhood influences Laila's decision. Mariam longed for the love and acceptance of her father, yet she spent her life beyond the circle of his protection. After her mother committed suicide, young Mariam had no one who served as her protector. Consequently, she endured a life of hardship which was further complicated when her father arranged for her to marry Rasheed, a vile man. After enduring years of his abuse, Mariam finally finds a true sense of belonging with Laila and her children and even becomes like a second mother to Aziza and Zalmai.

Knowing the pain young Mariam endured because of a lack of guardianship during her childhood and recognizing the powerful bonds she created with Aziza and Zalmai, Laila decides that the best way to honor her friend is to renovate an orphanage. Laila becomes a teacher there, and some of the children call her "mother." She plants apple trees, adds playground equipment, and repaints the entire building. She makes the space more comfortable by repairing the roof, patching the walls, replacing windows, and carpeting the floor. Wanting to ensure the children rest well, Laila adds some new beds with pillows and "proper" wool blankets.

Mariam is always close to Laila's heart, particularly when Laila is in the orphanage with the children. Using Mariam's money to create a sanctuary for children who are in need of a personal advocate allows Laila to cling to hope for the future.

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