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Kite Runner and History of Afghanistan

  • Mohammad Zahir Shah becomes King

    Mohammad Zahir Shah becomes King
    In the 1920s, Mohammad Zahir Shah and his brothers rebuilt the walls of government in Afghanistan after an era of anarchy. After his father's assassination, Mohammad took the throne at just 19 years old. "Zahir Shah undertook a number of economic development projects, including irrigation and highway construction, backed by foreign aid, largely from the United States and the Soviet Union"(Encyclopædia Britannica).
  • Mohammad Daoud Khan becomes Prime Minister

    Mohammad Daoud Khan becomes Prime Minister
    While Mohammad Zahir Shah was being given eye treatment, Mohammad Daoud Khan took over Afghanistan. Daoud was a "Afghan politician who overthrew the monarchy of Mohammad Zahir Shah in 1973 to establish Afghanistan as a republic"( Encyclopædia Britannic). Daoud's changes to a Republic did not end up working very well.
  • Hassan criticizes Amir's story

    Hassan criticizes Amir's story
    After reading Hassan his own original story, Hassan notices a plot hole in it, angering Amir and making him think about, "What does [Hassan] know, that illiterate Hazara? He'll never e anything but a cook"(Hosseini 34). It is here that Amir displays a dark side of him that we have never seen before. We see how he thinks of Hassan in the back of his head, a servant who will always bend to his will.
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    Kite Runner and Afghanistan History

  • Hassan's Harelip Surgery

    Hassan's Harelip Surgery
    For his birthday, Baba paid for Hassan to have a harelip surgery. "'It's an unusual present, I know," Baba said. "And probaly not what you had in mind, but this present will last you forever" (Hosseini 46). Baba's gift, despite being a little insulting, was very kind and generous. Ridding Hassan of something that he was made fun of for is a great gift, but it also illustrates a side of Baba that is insensitive and arrogant.
  • Winter of 1975

    Winter of 1975
    Amir's life is changed forever after his dear friend Hassan is raped by another boy in an alley way over a kite. But Hassan would run that kite for Amir, "a thousand times over"(Hosseini 70). Again, we see how Amir treats Hassan as just a servant. He would let him be raped by another kid just for a kite.
  • Mohammad Daoud Kahn and the Soviets

    Mohammad Daoud Kahn and the Soviets
    Daoud Khan was, for the most part, dependent on the Soviets besides being more Nationalist than Socialist. Russia provided training and weaponry to Afghanistan. Daoud thrived in this new Soviet-run lifestyle, but it could never last. "Daoud’s middle course ended in disaster. On April 28, 1978, soldiers aligned with Taraki’s “Khalq” faction assaulted the presidential palace, where troops executed Daoud and his family"(U.S. Department of State).
  • The Russians Invade Afghanistan

    The Russians Invade Afghanistan
    The successfully invade Afghanistan and begin to institute their government.
  • America trains Afghans to fight Communists

    America trains Afghans to fight Communists
    Outraged by the Soviet Invasion, America took interest into an Anti-Russian Afghan. This man hated Americans as well as Russians, but America decided to shower him with resources so he could create an insurgency in the Russian scheme. "His name was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. He was the head of the Islamic Party and he hated the United States almost as much as he hated the Russians. His followers screamed 'Death to America' along with “Death to the Soviet Union'"(Blum). This paved the way for Al Queda.
  • Amir and Baba leave Kabul

    Amir and Baba leave Kabul
    With Russian imperialism and the loss of Ali and Hassan, Amir and his father Baba decide to leave their home in Kabul and head for Pakistan.
  • California

    California
    Amir and his father leave Pakistan and come to America to start over, Baba's gift to Amir.
  • Baba Dies

    Baba Dies
    After refusing cancer treatment, Baba has Soraya read him one of Amir's stories. Amir, "Traced [his] fingers along the gold-stitched boarders. I remembered...the night Rahim Khan had given it to me, the night of [Amir's] thirteenth birthday...Baba dragged his head off the pillow. 'I put her up to it. I hope you don't mind'"(Hosseini 172). This event where Baba finally reads Amir's stories shows how he accepts Amir as his son after decades of denial. Baba died later the same evening.
  • Rahim Khan messages Amir

    Rahim Khan messages Amir
    Rahim Khan calls Amir, dying with his days numbered, to ask one final request: find Hassan's son and bring him home. "Children are fragile Amir jan. Kabul is already full of broken children and I don't want Sohrab to become another" (Hosseini 220). Rahim Khan is not only asking Amir to save a little boy, but he also alludes to how Amir will be able to repent for letting Hassan down when he was raped.
  • Amir fights Assef

    Amir fights Assef
    In an battle between Amir and Assef over Sohrab, Amir is being pummeled but suddenly begins to laugh. "It hurt to laugh...but I was l laughing and laughing...I'd been looking forward to this...I remembered... I had pelted Hassan with pomegranates and tried to provoke him...I hadn't been happy...but I [was] now" (Hosseini 289). Amir being beaten up was what he had looked for all along, a relief of the pain he had built in his life since the winter of Hassan's rape.
  • Hassan and his Wife are Murdered

    Hassan and his Wife are Murdered
    In a discussion with Rahim Khan, Amir learns that Hassan is dead. The Taliban, "took him to the street...ordered him to kneel...and shot him in the back of the head...Farzana came screaming and attacked them..shot her too. Self-defense they claimed later...". These events devastate Amir. His friend, his half-brother who had sacrificed himself for Amir and had brought him so much joy had died as a whisper. For him a thousand times over.
  • Sohrab attempts Suicide

    Sohrab attempts Suicide
    After several terrible events, Sohrab sees the only solution as suicide, which he attempts. After a while, Amir, "pushed the door open. Stepped into the bathroom. Suddenly [he] was on my knees screaming. Screaming through [his] clenched teeth"(Hosseini 343). Amir's reaction shows his true feelings for Sohrab. This moment also illustrates how Amir is not the only one unable to suppress his dark memories.
  • Amir meets Farid

    Amir meets Farid
    In his travels to save Sohrab, Amir meets a man named Farid, who would be his driver. After Farid says he must return to his family, Amir, "gave him an envelope. When [Farid] tore it, his mouth opened. 'I didn't know how to thank you,' [Amir] said. 'You've done so much for.' 'How much is in here?' Farid said, slightly dazed. 'A little over two thousand dollars.' Amir takes after his father with his generosity by helping Farid, illustrating how Amir has changed during his experience.
  • Amir marries Soraya

    Amir marries Soraya
    Amir marries a woman named Soraya, daughter of a man named General Taheri. Baba approved of their marriage and, "spent $35,000, nearly the balance of his life savings"(Hosseini 169) on it, which is another instance of Baba's generosity. He gave Amir the greatest gifts and always had money for the poor in Afghanistan. He is good man.
  • Russia leaves Afghanistan

    Russia leaves Afghanistan
    In February 1989, "the mujaheddin prevailed and the Soviet Army was forced to withdraw"(ISW).
  • Sanubaur Returns

    Sanubaur Returns
    Sanubaur, Hassan's mother returned to him after she left him as a boy. Hassan accepted her back into his life and she joined his family. But it was short lived. "She lived to see him turn four, and then, one morning, she just did not wake up. She looked calm, at peace, like she did not mind dying now..."(Hosseini 211). Sanubaur atoned for actions, a reoccurring theme in this story. She received the closure she had sought for years and her death shows how she was at peace.
  • Taliban takes Power.

    Taliban takes Power.
    After intense fighting with Russians and Warlords in Afghanistan, "the Taliban came in as a cleansing force to establish law and order and wipe out the warlords and impose Islam, which they did. And they were quite popular doing it, initially. Their spread is really related to the support they got from Pakistan, which increased their military capability. And then they took Kabul in 1996"(Poolos)
  • Hazara Massacre in Mazar-e-Sharif

    Hazara Massacre in Mazar-e-Sharif
    After the Taliban took power, they did not bring about peace like they had promised. Instead, in, "a city in northern Afghanistan...one of the single worst examples of civilian killings in Afghanistan's twenty-year war where at least 8000 Hazaras were singled out and massacred by the Taliban regime"(Hazara.net) took place.
  • Sohrab's Half Smile

    Sohrab's Half Smile
    At the end of the novel, Sohrab and Amir partake in a kite fighting competition, where for the first time in a long time, Sohrab smiled. The "corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile. Hardly there. But there.
  • Taliban is Defeated

    Taliban is Defeated
    After America completely demolishes the Taliban, they are forced into retreat. The Americans launched a bombing raid against the Taliban Stronghold of Kandahar, "The apparent loss of Kandahar, the southern stronghold and spiritual heart of the Taliban, marks the final collapse of their formal rule in Afghanistan"(Morris). This is the officially marked end of the Taliban
  • The Twin Towers Fall

    The Twin Towers Fall
    On September 11, 2001, under orders from Osama Bin Laden, "the Twin Towers came crumbling down and, overnight, the world changed" (Hosseini 362).
  • Osama Bin Laden's Assassination

    Osama Bin Laden's Assassination
    After ten years, American successfully locates and eliminates the mastermind behind 9/11, Osama Bin Laden. "President Barack Obama, who monitored the raid in real time via footage shot by a drone flying high above Abbottabad, made a televised address from the White House, announcing bin Laden’s death. 'Justice has been done,' the president said"(History.com Staff).