After he was blinded by a roadside bomb in his native Afghanistan, the young poet Zaheer Ahmad Zindani was rejected by the family of his teenage love, The New York Times reports. They married the girl to someone else.
But it was hard to convince any family to marry their daughter to a blind man. Zaheer’s mother, Bibi Sediqa, was determined to find happiness for her son, though, and she knocked on as many as 18 doors.
Bibi had already lived through many tragedies: Married at 14, she lost her husband to an American air strike at 26 and was left with three young daughters and two sons, including 7-year-old Zaheer.
Then came the encounter with a Taliban roadside bomb that took Zaheer’s sight at 17. His young sister was with him, and she burned to death.
Now, after watching her son’s wedding, Bibi said, “This was my first real happiness in life.”