We're not going to sugarcoat it: Babi is a nerd. Frankly, we wouldn't be surprised to find a Dungeons and Dragons T-shirt in his closet. He probably wears a calculator watch. We're not haters, though: the Kabul of A Thousand Splendid Suns could probably use a few more nerds.
Aside from Babi, Kabul is filled with a bunch of macho men, and they're not exactly great company. We see characters like Rasheed mock Babi for being an intellectual (with less originality than a high school bully) calling him a "mouse" and describing him as weak (1.12.13). Even Babi's own wife implies that he's a weak father for allowing their sons to go to war. Everybody around Babi, aside from Laila, wants him to be more like Captain Kirk and less like Spock.
But there's nothing wrong with Spock, right? We can clearly see how Babi's views on education and women's rights shaped Laila—how would Laila have turned out if Babi had been more like Rasheed? We don't even want to think about that, but you can be certain that she wouldn't have become the brave, confident woman we come to admire. By the end of the novel, Babi's passion for education is still making an impact on the people of Kabul, through Laila.