An Amazing Personal Coincidence

by Phyllis Chesler

An Afghan professor, Bahar Jalali, is a woman who now lives in the United States, and has a book coming out about the 1960s in Afghanistan, when hopes were high about the country’s modernization. Today, in an exchange of emails, this accomplished woman just told me that she and her family knew the German-born second wife of the former Mayor of Kabul—the very woman who tried to help me escape my posh captivity so long ago. Mutti was her name. Jalali is in touch with Mutti’s daughter.

This was a madeleine cake of sorts and it suddenly brought me back to Mutti’s home, where we are sipping tea, tasting a home baked cake, and it’s a little before twilight on a cold and wintry day. The Mayor is in his slippers. Mutti and I are whispering about our plans as the men talk. I am still there—as are they all.