Afghanistan / Kite Runner Timeline

  • Hassan's birthday / surgery

    Hassan's birthday / surgery
    It is Hassan's birthday and his gift from Baba and Ali is a surgery for his cleft lip he's had since he was born. Baba and Ali introduce him to Dr. Kumar, the plastic surgeon. Amir says, "I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget Baba's sympathy...Hassan hadn't done anything to earn Baba's affections; he's just be born with that stupid harelip." (46). Amir is jealous of Hassan's treatment and desperately craves attention from Baba. he is annoyed by the fact that he cares for Hassan.
  • Amir wins the kite-fighting tournament / Hassan gets raped

    Amir wins the kite-fighting tournament / Hassan gets raped
    After the competition, Amir finds Hassan in an alley with Assef who rapes him. Amir responds by running because he is "afraid of getting hurt." "That's what I made myself believe... Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay to win Baba." (77). Amir chooses to avoid, as he starts to believe it isn't worth standing up for him. To empty his guilt, he comes to the conclusion that Hassan is lower than him and gives up altogether. Ultimately, he is more desperate to win Baba and acts selfishly to do so.
  • Amir's 13th birthday / Ali and Hassan leave Kabul

    Amir's 13th birthday / Ali and Hassan leave Kabul
    Baba throws a big house party for Amir's birthday, inviting family and friends. Later on the next day, Amir decides to frame Hassan for stealing his money and watch which leads to Ali and Hassan moving out. When Hassan takes the blame for Amir, Amir says to himself, "I loved him in that moment, and "I wasn't worthy of this sacrifice." (105). Amir is filled with guilt, but is relieved along with his shame because he is saved by Hassan. He is reassured that the whole mess and misery is over.
  • Soviet Union plans to invade Afghanistan

    The Soviets organized a massive airlift into the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. The invasion "descended into a prolonged and bloody occupation that was in many ways comparable to the American experience in Vietnam."
  • The beginning of the Soviet invasion

    The beginning of the Soviet invasion
    The first Soviet troops followed their plan by parachuting into Kabul to assist Babrak Karmal, who had just become president in a coup with the Afghan Communist leadership. Western analysts say the Soviets did it to "replace Hafizullah Amin, the Afghan leader, who had lost their trust."
  • Soviet invasian / Baba and Amir leave Kabul

    Russian forces have invaded Afghanistan causing violence and turmoil which leads to Baba and Amir moving out. They leave to Peshawar to stay with relatives. Amir says to himself while in the truck, "This had to be a dream. Tomorrow I'd wake up, peek out the window: no grim Russian soldiers patrolling the sidewalk, no tanks, no curfews." (113). Amir is saying goodbye to his hometown which has turned into an unsafe place. It is hard for him to accept his new life ahead and let go of the past.
  • Baba and Amir arrive and settle in Fremont

    Baba and Amir arrive and settle in Fremont
    Baba and Amir adjust to their challenging new life in the U.S. Baba goes from being a wealthy businessman to a gas-station worker. Amir graduates high school. When Amir tells Baba he wants to become a writer, Baba responds, "How likely is getting discovered?" He brings up medical, law school, and "real work." (134). Baba has high expectations for Amir and worries about his financial situation if he decides to pursue his dream. He wants him to hold a high-respected status in society after him.
  • Amir and Soraya get married / Baba dies

    Amir and Soraya get married / Baba dies
    Amir receieves the General's permission for Soraya's hand in marriage. They have a joyful ceremony shortly. A month later, Baba dies. A thought occurs to Amir that "Baba had restled bears his whole life. Losing his wife, raising a son by himself. Poverty. In the end, a bear had come that he couldn't best." (174). Amir starts to understand how much Baba had gone through and how much courage and strength he had. He realizes that as his son, he holds a part of him and that he must carry his lecacy.
  • The end of the Soviet invasion

    The troops stayed in Afghanistan and fought more than 9 years; however, eventually, after several peace talks by the United Nations , the last troops left. After the forces departed, it caused chaos as "Afghanistan descended into vicious internecine strife."
  • Amir's first novel is published / Amir and Soraya are unable to have a baby

    Amir finishes his first novel and is accepted by a New York agency. He soon he becomes a well-known novelist. Meanwhile, Amir and Soraya try to have a child. He thinks to himself, "The idea of fatherhood... I found it frightening, daunting, and exhilarating." (184). Amir is overwhelmed by the thought of being a father. It is a life-changing situation for him and he is nervous and unsure he is ready to take on this challenge. He realizes the energy and responsibility it takes to be a father.
  • Sohrab is born / Hassan's mother returns

    Sohrab is born / Hassan's mother returns
    Hassan and Farzana take care of Sanaubar, who is weak and old. Sanaubar delivers their baby, Sohrab. She dies when he turns four. When the boy is born, "She stood... tears streaming down her cheek... clutching that baby in her arms like she never wanted to let go. Not this time." (211). To atone for how she had left Hassan when he was born, she decides to take on the honorable act of being there for her grandson and taking care of him. She did not want to fail him like she had failed Hassan.
  • The Taliban takes action

    The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan. It first took action when Mullah Omar, a Pashtun and a small band of men attacked a group of warlords who raped a girl. The movement was dedicated to "purifying the country." By the end of 1994, Mullah Omar had about 12,000 followers.
  • The Taliban takes control

    The Taliban takes control
    By 1996, The Taliban started to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law that resulted in harsh rules. For example, movies and music were banned, and women were forced out of schools and into burqa clothing, Those who challenged the law were brutally treated. Western diplomats say, "Al Qaeda also helped persuade Mullah Omar to order the destruction of Buddha statues at Bamiyan."
  • Hassan and Farzana are killed by the Taliban

    Rahim Khan hands Amir a letter Hassan had written to him. He tells him about the tragic story of how Hassan and his wife were killed by the Taliban. He says, "They took him to the street...and ordered him to kneel...and shot him in the back of his head." All I could manage was to whisper "No. No. No." over and over again." (219). Amir is crying on the inside and is too overwhelmed by feelings to say anything. He probably feels grief, anger and regret now that it is too late to see him again.
  • Amir visits Rahim Khan in Pakistan

    Amir visits Rahim Khan in Pakistan
    Rahim Khan informs Amir about life under the Taliban's control. He is dying and mainly calls Amir over because he wants him atone for his actions by adopting Sohrab, Hassan's son. He refuses while Rahim says, "A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything." (221). He is Referring to Amir, as he is afraid to take an active role and do something right for once. He is acting selfish and is trying to make an excuse to avoid the situation and not be responsible.
  • Amir rescues Sohrab

    Amir rescues Sohrab
    Amir meets with the Taliban official who owns Sohrab. He turns out to be Assef. He brings up their "unfinished business" from years ago and beats up Amir. Sohrab intervenes by firing a slingshot at Assef's eye. He says, "I started laughing...What was so funny was that for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace." (289). Amir believes he is being punished for his sins and not standing up for Hassan. He feels deserving of it and that it is worth his sacrifice for rescuing Sohrab.
  • Rahim Khan passes / leaves Amir a note

    Before Rahim Khan dies, he writes Amir a meaningful letter that he hopes to inspire him and think deeply about. He wants him to understand how ashamed Baba was living with his sin and trying to equally love his sons. He says that every good deed he did "was all his way of redeeming himself. He believes true redemption is when guilt leads to good." (302). He is sending the message to Amir that forgiveness comes with redemption. He believes in still acting with integrity while holding guilt.
  • Sohrab attempts suicide

    When Sohrab finds out he might go back to an orphanage, he attempts suicide, before Amir rushes him to the hospital. He prays for the first time in fifteen years. "There is a God," he says to himself. He promises to become a practicing Muslim and to think of God "every day from this day on if he only grants me this one wish." (346). He desperately wants Sohrab to live, as he is his only hope. He prays for God's forgiveness and promises to become virtuous and pure for Sohrab. He ends up living.
  • Amir and Sohrab arrive in San Francisco

    Amir and Sohrab arrive in San Francisco
    The following night, General Taheri and Jamila visit. The general asks Amir at the dinner table why he brought back a Hazara. He reveals the story without hesitation. He turns to the general and says, "General Sahib...You will never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab." (361). Amir is finally standing up for his true beliefs by defending Sohrab. His growth is shown as before, he was unable to stand up for Hassan's treatment and now he is confident.
  • The Al Qaeda attacks (9/11)

    The Al Qaeda attacks (9/11)
    The Al Qaeda, an organization consisting of Islamic extremists were given a "safe haven in the country by the Taliban," another extremist group that seized control after years of civil war. The Al Qaeda was given a place of refuge by the Taliban. The terrorist attacks took place in the World Trade Center in New York.
  • The invasion after the Al Qaeda attacks

    The invasion succeeded in removing Al Qaeda and the Taliban from power; however, the Taliban made a comeback, "fueled by profits from the opium trade... and safe havens in Pakistan."The Taliban fought back due to its power and profits.
  • Post 9/11 invasion

    After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush gives the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over bin Laden, but it refused. The United States then joined forces with rebel groups and "an air and ground campaign began that drove the Taliban out by the end of the year."
  • The Taliban is driven out

    The Taliban is driven out
    The major campaigning "drove the Taliban out of the Afghan cities by the end of the year," as Taliban members retreated to the Tora Bora mountains along the border of Pakistan, and escaped after the battle.
  • Sohrab smiles for the first time

    Sohrab smiles for the first time
    Amir takes Sohrab and Soraya to the park. Amir tries to cheer Sohrab up, as he is still depressed. He refuses to talk but once Amir starts to fly a kite, Sohrab is interested. They both run the kite together and cut another competing kite. People cheer and Amir looks down at Sohrab, "One corner of his mouth had curled up... A smile. Lopsided...Hardly there. But there." (370). Sohrab is finally feeling less hopeless and starting to feel comfortable in his new home and family. He starts to accept.
  • Karzai becomes head of government

    Hamid Karzai, a supporter of the former king, was named chairman of the government that replaced the Taliban. He became the country's leader. He took office as interim president and said he "hoped to secure peace and win international help for the country."
  • Obama announces his plan

    President Obama delivers a speech on his plan to deploy 30,000 troops. He "vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in at least 2011 or 2014." They continue to fight against the Taliban.