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Afghanistan/Kite Runner Timeline

  • Amir is Born

    In the very beginning of the story, Amir is reflecting on his childhood and thinks, "I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975" (Hosseini 1). His birth effects many other characters, and relationships in the book. In his father's eyes, Amir killed his mother, which causes him to have bitter feelings toward Amir.
  • Hassan is Born

    After Sanaubar left Ali and Hassan, "Baba hired the same nursing woman who had fed me to nurse Hassan" (Hosseini 11). Amir and Hassan were bonded by sharing something early on in their life. This relationship effects Amir later on in the book, and causes his guilt for not standing up for Hassan.
  • Baba Fixes Hassan's Cleft Lip

    One year for Hassan's birthday, Baba hired a doctor who said, "'my job is to fix things on people's bodies. Sometimes their faces'" (Hosseini 45). Instead of presenting Hassan with a toy, he gave him a chance to fix his hairlip. Baba's thoughtful gift proves that he cares a lot about Hassan and his well being. It also sparks a jealous feeling in Amir because he was beginning to feel that Hassan got all of Baba's attention.
  • Amir Wins the Kite Runner Contest

    Nearing the end of the contest, Amir knows he is going to win and thinks, "I didn't need to hear the crowd's roar to know. I didn't need to see it either. Hassan was screaming and his arm was wrapped around my neck" (Hosseini 66). When Amir cuts the last kite down, he is happy for himself, and he knows that he made Baba proud. This event draws Baba and Amir closer but tears Hassan and Amir apart.
  • Hassan is Raped by Assef

    When Amir goes looking for his kite and Hassan, he finds Assef as he, "Dropped his underwear. He positioned himself behind Hassan. Hassan didn't struggle. Didn't even whimper" (Hosseini 75). Amir witnesses Hassan getting raped, but he doesn't intervene or try to stop it. Amir feels guilty for the rest of his life, and makes many decisons based on his guilt.
  • Rahim Khan Gives Amir a Notebook

    At Amir's party, Rahim Khan pulls him aside and, "handed me something ... It was a brown leather-bound notebook" (Hosseini 99). Amir values Rahim Khan's opinion, and let him be the first to read one of his stories. This simple gesture encourages Amir to keep writing.
  • Ali and Hassan Leave

    Hassan tells his father what happened to him, and how Amir never said anyhing, and Ali says to Baba, "'Life here is impossible for us now, Agha sahib. We're leaving'" (Hosseini 106). Now that Ali knows what happened to Hassan, he can not live with Amir, who knew the whole time. At the time, Amir thought that getting rid of Hassan would cause him to feel less guilty, but instead it did the opposite.
  • Soviet Union invades Afghanistan

    Because the president of Afghanistan was a communist leader, "The first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979, to assist Babrak Karmal [president of Afghanistan]" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Period: to

    Soviet Troops Fight in Afghanistan

    The Soviets wanted to ensure their power in Afghanistan, but they were, "fighting a conflict that cost them roughly 15,000 lives" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Amir and Baba Move to San Francisco

    After Amir and Baba escape Afghanistan, they moved to America because, "Baba loved the idea of America" (Hosseini 125). This decision created a power shift from Baba to Amir. Because of his change in socioeconomic status, Baba no longer had much power over others. Amir knew how to speak in English, giving him the upper hand over Baba.
  • Baba Dies

    After the wedding, Baba is offered his medicine, "'Not tonight,' he said. 'There is no pain tonight.' ... Baba never woke up" (Hosseini 173). Baba knew he was going to die that night, and wanted to die on his own terms without medicine. His decision highlights his characteristic of being hard-headed and stubborn.
  • Soviets Withdraw from Afghanistan

    When the Soviets decided to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, "They left behind a country that was not only devastated by the war but had become a beacon to Islamic extremist from across the globe" (Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Hassan's Mother Returns

    When Sanaubar finds Hassan and sees him smile, she says, "'You smiled coming out of me, did anyone ever tell you? And I wouldn't even hold you. Allah forgive me, I wouldn't even hold you'" (Hosseini 210). Sanaubar was guilty for abandoning her son, so she returned to apologize. She also atoned for leaving by caring for Sohrab like her own son.
  • Power is Divided

    After the Soviets left Afghanistan devasted from war, "power was anarchically divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Taliban Gains Power

    One group that was started by a student movement was the Taliban and, "By the end of 1994 Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Taliban Gains Control of Afghanistan

    After gaining popularity and followers, "the Taliban by 1996 had taken control of Afghanistan" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Hassan and His Wife Die

    Rahim Khan reveals to Amir that the Taliban took Hassan to the street, told him to kneel, shot him, and when Farzana came running outside, they shot her too. Amir is shocked when he hears this, and can't help feeling guilty. Because Hassan is dead, Amir antones for his actions by rescuing Sohrab.
  • Amir Returns to Pakistan

    Amir recives a phone call with news that Rahim Khan is sick, so he tells Soraya, "'I have to go to Pakistan'" (Hosseini 191). Amir loves Rahim Khan like a father, and knows that he must go see him one more time before he dies. The trip also reveals more about Hassan's life to Amir, and gives him the chance to atone for his actions.
  • US Removes Taliban from Power

    After terrorist attacks on 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan and, "succeeded in dislodging Al Queda and removing the Taliban from power" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Amir Finds Out That There Isn't An Orphanage For Sohrab

    Rahim Khan to say this, because otherwise Amir wouldn't have risked traveling to Afghanistan. Amir needed to atone for his actions, and in a way Rahim Khan helped.
  • Amir Finds Out That There Isn't An Orphanage For Sohrab

    When Farid, Sohrab, and Amir return to Peshawar, Farid goes looking for the Americans Rahim Khan told Amir about and, "'I went to the US consulate,' Farid said, picking up my bag. 'There was never a Thomas and Betty Caldwell in Peshwar. According to the people at the consulate, they never existed'" (Hosseini 308). At this moment, Amir realizes that Rahim Khan gave him fake names, because he knew Amir wouldn't rescue Sohrab if there wasn't a place to take him afterwards. It was necessary for
  • Sohrab and Amir Escape Assef

    Sohrab shot Assef with his slingshot and, "Assef rolled on the carpet. Rolled side to side, shrieking, his hand still cupped over his bloody socket. 'Let's go!' Sohrab said" (Hossieni 291). Assef was surprised when Sohrab held up a slingshot, because it was the same weapon Hassan used against him when they were kids. This small action was a significant part in Amir and Sohrab's escape from Assef.
  • Afghanistan Gets New President

    After the Taliban and other extremist groups were thrown out of power, "Hamid Karzai [...] was named chairman of an interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him the leader of the counrty. He took office as interim president in June 2002" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").
  • Amir Finds Out He Can Take Sohrab to America

    Amir is relieved when he finds out he can take Sohrab home with him and exclaims, "'Sohrab! Soraya jan just called from California. We won't have to put you in the orphanage, Sohrab. We're going to America, you and I'" (Hosseini 343). When Amir finds out he can take Sohrab, he feels like he acheived atonement for what he did to Hassan. His excitement illustrates the father-son bond he and Sohrab formed.
  • Obama Deploys Troops to Afghanistan

    In efforts to fight and defeat the Taliban, "Mr. Obama announced his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops. He vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011" ("Afghanistan - An Overview"),
  • US Withdrawal of Troops

    Because circumstances are more now under control in Afghanistan, "the Obama administration increasingly emphasizes the idea that the United States will have forces in the country until at least the end of 2014, when it intends to pass responsibility for security to the Afghan government" ("Afghanistan - An Overview").