Earlier this week I saw the film "Osama" with my good friend Gila (who is a regular reader of this blog, and to whom I am deeply indebted for ideas and encouragement). I don't know how to describe this film other than to say it is simply harrowing. There is little or no graphic violence. There are few direct references to large-scale atrocities. Instead, the film drags you, day by day, through the relentless cruelties and humiliations endured by individual women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. You know, even though you don't want to know, that what you're being shown in the story of "Osama" - a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to survive - has been repeated millions of times in millions of lives.

Remember, too, that it is happening today, right now, in Iran and elsewhere. (There is hope for Afghanistan, but there is still a long road ahead for Afghan women.) When you read about people like Leyla, remember that what we are hearing is only a tiny shadow of the evil.