He blames her for the miscarriages and for undercooking the rice.
After Rasheed marries his second wife, Laila, he blames Laila for giving birth to a girl.
When Laila and Mariam attempt to run away from Rasheed, the police catch them and return them home to their abusive husband.
It is unlawful for a woman to run away from her husband—even if he is a brutal abuser like Rasheed.
Broken down by years of abuse in her marriage, Mariam has learned not to stand up for herself.
Laila, on the other hand, speaks up and defends her co-wife when Rasheed strikes her.
Mariam will be strengthened, and not diminished, by Laila’s entry into her home.
Laila, too, will gain from her relationship with the older woman.
From Laila and particularly from Aziza, Mariam learns of the power of love.
Aziza loves her despite everything—despite her shame (being born out of wedlock) or her aging face.