And the Mountains Echoed

Pari Wahdati Character Analysis

The daughter of Saboor and the brother of Abdullah, Pari plays a major role in more chapters of And the Mountains Echoed than any other character, and so is another contestant for the novel’s main protagonist. At a young age, she’s adopted by Mrs. Nila Wahdati, who eventually takes Pari to Paris with her. In Paris, Pari grows up to study mathematics—a field she enjoys, it’s suggested, because it clashes with her mother’s interests in poetry. More than almost anyone else in the novel, Pari’s adult behavior seemed dictated by the absences in her childhood: for instance, it’s implied that she’s attracted to the older, calmer Julien because he represents a father figure, of the kind Pari never had growing up. Pari has a similarly conflicted relationship with her adopted mother, Nila, and as a result makes great efforts to be a loving, attentive parent for her own children. In the end, Pari reunites with her brother, Abdullah. While this event may seem like the dramatic climax of the novel, Hosseini makes it clear that Pari’s odyssey from childhood to old age is only one small part of the story he’s telling. Pari may be the protagonist of her own story, but she’s an ensemble player in the “stories” of the other characters, and a supporting player in the stories of still others.

Pari Wahdati Quotes in And the Mountains Echoed

The And the Mountains Echoed quotes below are all either spoken by Pari Wahdati or refer to Pari Wahdati. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of And the Mountains Echoed published in 2014.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Father sat down by the remains of the fire. “Where did you go?” “Go to sleep, boy.” “You wouldn’t leave us. You wouldn’t do that, Father.” Father looked at him, but in the dark his face dissolved into an expression Abdullah couldn’t make out. “You’re going to wake your sister.” “Don’t leave us.” “That’s enough of that now.”

Related Characters: Abdullah (speaker), Father / Saboor (speaker), Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

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She hunkered down beside him now, her glasses pushed up on her hair. There was wetness in her eyes too, and when she dabbed at them with the handkerchief, it came away with black smudges. “I don’t blame you if you hate me. It’s your right. But—and I don’t expect you to understand, not now—this is for the best. It really is, Abdullah. It’s for the best. One day you’ll see.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Nila Wahdati (speaker), Abdullah, Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

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But there was no forgetting. Pari hovered, unbidden, at the edge of Abdullah’s vision everywhere he went. She was like the dust that clung to his shirt. She was in the silences that had become so frequent at the house, silences that welled up between their words, sometimes cold and hollow, sometimes pregnant with things that went unsaid, like a cloud filled with rain that never fell. Some nights he dreamed that he was in the desert again, alone, surrounded by the mountains, and in the distance a single tiny glint of light flickering on, off, on, off, like a message. He opened the tea box. They were all there, Pari’s feathers, shed from roosters, ducks, pigeons; the peacock feather too. He tossed the yellow feather into the box. One day, he thought.

Related Characters: Abdullah, Pari Wahdati
Related Symbols: The Yellow Feather
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

As you can see enclosed in the envelope along with this letter is my will, in which I leave the house, the money, and my few belongings to her. I ask that you give her both this letter and the will. And please tell her, tell her that I cannot know the myriad consequences of what I set into motion. Tell her I took solace only in hope. Hope that perhaps, wherever she is now, she has found as much peace, grace, love, and happiness as this world allows.

Related Characters: Uncle Nabi (speaker), Pari Wahdati, Dr. Markos Varvaris (“Mr. Markos”)
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

Well, children are never everything you’d hoped for.

Related Characters: Mrs. Nila Wahdati (speaker), Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

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Well, it’s hardly a mystery, mon amour, Maman had said. You miss your father. He is gone from your life. It’s natural that you should feel this way. Of course that’s what it is. Come here. Give Maman a kiss. Her mother’s answer had been perfectly reasonable but also unsatisfactory. Pari did believe that she would feel more whole if her father was still living, if he were here with her. But she also remembered feeling this way even as a child, living with both her parents at the big house in Kabul.

Related Characters: Mrs. Nila Wahdati (speaker), Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:

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She wonders often what sort of grandmother Maman would have made. Especially with Thierry. Intuitively, Pari thinks Maman would have proved helpful with him. She might have seen something of herself in him.

Related Characters: Pari Wahdati (speaker), Mrs. Nila Wahdati, Thierry
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

And so Baba’s little sister, Pari, was my secret companion, invisible to everyone but me. She was my sister, the one I’d always wished my parents had given me. I saw her in the bathroom mirror when we brushed our teeth side by side in the morning. We dressed together. She followed me to school and sat close to me in class—looking straight ahead at the board, I could always spot the black of her hair and the white of her profile out of the corner of my eye.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah, Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 362
Explanation and Analysis:

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I hold the note tightly against the blustering wind. I read for Pari the three scribbled sentences. They tell me I must wade into waters, where I will soon drown. Before I march in, I leave this on the shore for you. I pray you find it, sister, so you will know what was in my heart as I went under. There is a date too. August 2007.
“August of 2007,” I say. “That’s when he was first diagnosed.” Three years before I had even heard from Pari.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah, Pari Wahdati
Related Symbols: The Yellow Feather
Page Number: 418
Explanation and Analysis:

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She turns her face to look at him, her big brother, her ally in all things, but his face is too close and she can’t see the whole of it. Only the dip of his brow, the rise of his nose, the curve of his eyelashes. But she doesn’t mind. She is happy enough to be near him, with him—her brother—and as a nap slowly steals her away, she feels herself engulfed in a wave of absolute calm.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah, Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 421
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pari Wahdati Character Timeline in And the Mountains Echoed

The timeline below shows where the character Pari Wahdati appears in And the Mountains Echoed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...begins with an unnamed narrator promising to tell a story to two children, Abdullah and Pari. The narrator mentions the children’s mother, who is “away.” (full context)
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The narrator stops his story for a moment to note that Pari, Abdullah’s sister, has fallen asleep. He tells Abdullah to cover Pari with a blanket, and... (full context)
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The narrator ends his story. He tells Abdullah to go to sleep, as he and Pari have to wake up at dawn. He adds that he and Abdullah will say goodbye... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Pari, Abdullah’s sister, calls out “Abollah,” her affectionate name for Abdullah. Together, Father and Pari climb... (full context)
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Abdullah, Pari, and Father ride along in their wagon—their destination isn’t clear. They travel through a vast... (full context)
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...he can’t force himself to love her. Abdullah’s own mother died while giving birth to Pari. Iqbal, Abdullah’s half brother, is the son of Parwana and Father—he is one year old.... (full context)
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...hair. He remembers his mother as a person of boundless joy and goodness. His sister, Pari, has some of the same goodness in her, Abdullah believes. Sometimes, Pari seems to be... (full context)
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Pari asks Abdullah if their dog, Shuja, will be all right back at their home. Abdullah... (full context)
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...the children’s “Uncle Nabi” has found a job for Father—the job that Father, Abdullah, and Pari are riding out to perform. Uncle Nabi is actually Abdullah’ step-uncle, Parwana’s elder brother. The... (full context)
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Night falls, and Father, Abdullah, and Pari eat dinner together in the middle of the desert. As they do so, Abdullah remembers... (full context)
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As it gets later, Pari and Abdullah ask their Father to tell them a story. Sometimes, Abdullah notes, Father enjoys... (full context)
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...to a building where Uncle Nabi has been waiting for them. Nabi embraces Abdullah and Pari warmly, and leads them to his car. He drives the family through the streets, pointing... (full context)
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...Abdullah to his boss, Mr. Wahdati. Mr. Wahdati wears a beautiful, expensive suit, and offers Pari and Abdullah cookies, which they both eagerly accept. This charms Mr. Wahdati’s wife, Mrs. Wahdati,... (full context)
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...irritating, and he tells her to be quiet, calling her Nila. Nila offers to take Pari and Abdullah to the local bazaar while Father proceeds with his work. (full context)
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Nabi drives Pari, Mrs. Wahdati, and Abdullah to the bazaar. As they drive, Abdullah sees schoolchildren, about his... (full context)
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...the tree. As he works, he notices a small yellow feather, a wonderful gift for Pari, and picks it up. Abdullah thinks about the party he’ll be attending in the evening:... (full context)
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Abdullah returns to his home, carrying the yellow feather. He finds Pari’s collection of feathers, and adds the new one to it. Though it’s not revealed exactly... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Nabi stops for a moment to note the intimate connection between Abdullah and Pari, Saboor’s two children. For whatever reason, he explains, the two siblings were extremely close. During... (full context)
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...explaining what happened next in much detail: one day, Mr. Wahdati summons Saboor, Abdullah, and Pari to Kabul, where he keeps Pari and sends Abdullah and Saboor back to their village.... (full context)
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Pari was four years old when she came to live in Kabul. Over time, she grew... (full context)
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...looks pale, and is making strange gurgling sounds. Thinking quickly, Nabi tells Nila to keep Pari away from the sight, and then shouts for Zahib, who helps him dress Mr. Wahdati... (full context)
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...his food on the floor. Shortly after this episode, Nila tells Nabi that she and Pari are going to Paris, leaving Nabi to take care of Mr. Wahdati. She doesn’t say... (full context)
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As the months drag on, Nila and Pari remain in Paris, and Nabi stays in Kabul, taking care of Mr. Wahdati, who’s confined... (full context)
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...bury him next to his greatest friend, Mr. Wahdati, and 2) to find his niece, Pari, tell her that he’s leaving her all his money and property, and let her know... (full context)
Chapter 6
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After the editor’s note, the chapter describes a meeting between Pari—in her mid-twenties—and a middle-aged man named Julien. Pari and Julien are standing in Julien’s apartment,... (full context)
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Pari arrives at the hospital where her mother is being held. She greets her mother, who... (full context)
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Pari often thinks about her appearance, and about the lack of resemblance between herself and her... (full context)
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Back in 1974, Pari and Nila are leaving the hospital. Nila mentions that she has an interview the next... (full context)
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After leaving the hospital, Pari drives Nila back to her apartment, which Pari hasn’t seen in years. As she drives,... (full context)
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Pari reconnected with Julien at a student protest in 1973. Julien greeted her, and Pari noticed... (full context)
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A few weeks after their coffee date, Julien asks Pari to move in with him. Pari accepts, largely because she’s been arguing with her friend... (full context)
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...old. Her mother died of pneumonia during World War II, during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Growing up in Afghanistan, Nila was often beaten by her father, who accused her of... (full context)
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...with his chauffeur. As a result, she packed her bags and brought her daughter to Paris. She explains that her daughter can be “breathtakingly thoughtless,” and that she’s Nila’s “punishment.” (full context)
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In 1975, Pari comes home to her apartment. She has left Julien several months previously, and now lives... (full context)
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Pari proceeds to read her mother’s interview. As she does, she thinks about her mother’s recent... (full context)
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Pari meets with Collette to discuss Afghanistan. Instead of planning a trip, Collette introduces Pari to... (full context)
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Eric and Pari prepare to travel to Afghanistan together. They learn Farsi and take lessons, and at the... (full context)
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In 1981, Isabelle is three years old, and Pari has traveled to Germany to present a paper on mathematical research. At night, Eric calls... (full context)
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In 1985, Isabelle is seven years old, and Pari has two more children: Alain, aged four, and Thierry, aged two. Pari is teaching mathematics... (full context)
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In 1994, Pari and Eric go on vacation to Majorca (a popular tourist destination in Spain). They stay... (full context)
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In 2010, Pari is living in Paris, and is virtually confined to a wheelchair. Isabelle, who’s now married... (full context)
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One day, Pari sends Isabelle home earlier than usual, and receives a phone call she’s been expecting. The... (full context)
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Pari hangs up the phone, shocked—she’s just learned that her supposed parents were actually her adopted... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...She asks him about his conversation with “the French woman” (whom we know to be Pari). Markos explains that Pari visited him last summer. He found her to be a beautiful... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...a sibling, but never got one. Because her father spoke about his own little sister, Pari, so often, the narrator—whose name is also Pari—began to think of Pari as her own... (full context)
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The chapter cuts ahead several years. Pari II, now a young woman, is driving on the freeway. Her mother has passed away... (full context)
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The chapter cuts ahead several days. Pari II is reuniting with Pari, who has traveled to the United States. Pari II explains... (full context)
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As Pari II approaches Abdullah’s house, Pari confesses that she’s very nervous—she hasn’t seen her brother in... (full context)
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Pari II thinks back to her youth. When she was 11, Abdullah drove her to the... (full context)
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In high school, Pari II developed considerable skills as a painter. She applied to go to a prestigious art... (full context)
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Back in 2010, Pari II lets Pari into the house. She calls to Abdullah, and tells him he has... (full context)
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As Abdullah sits in his chair, stubbornly refusing to speak to Pari any further, he begins absent-mindedly singing a song—the nursery rhyme he sang to Pari II... (full context)
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The chapter cuts back to Pari II’s early twenties. Shortly before her mother (whose name, we know, was Sultana) died of... (full context)
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Back in 2010, Abdullah has fallen sleep, with Pari sitting next to him. Pari turns to Pari II, and explains that she’s brought photographs.... (full context)
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Pari stays with Abdullah and Pari II for the next month. They spend their time laughing... (full context)
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Alone, Pari II and Pari talk about Abdullah’s deteriorating mental state. Pari suggests that Pari II find... (full context)
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A short time later, Pari and Pari II sit on a wooden park bench, exchanging poetry in French, English, and... (full context)
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As they sit on the bench, Pari II gives Pari a package. Pari II found the package while she was packing for... (full context)
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Pari finds another item inside the package—a small yellow feather. Pari II asks her if she... (full context)
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The night after Pari receives her package from Abdullah, Pari II finds it difficult to sleep. Eventually, she falls... (full context)