After Mariam's tragic and horrific death by public execution in one of the infamous stadiums in Afghanistan that are used for such executions, Laila and Tariq run away with both of Laila's children and live for a while in Pakistan as refugees. However, in a novel that is dominated by such a fierce passionate love of Afghanistan, as symbolised by the poem where the title is taken from, they yearn to return to their homeland. The US invasion of Afghanistan gives them this opportunity and they return to Kabul. The novel ends on a hopeful note as we are shown a couple that genuinely loves and is committed to each other and their country, in spite of all of the many sufferings, cruelties and the harshness of life in Afghanistan. This gives us hope of a brighter future as such individuals work to try to restore something of Afghanistan's fabulous past in the bitter, war-torn present.