Kite Runner and the History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by Sofia_Husain
  • Assef Assaults Hassan

    Assef rapes Hassan after the kite contest. Amir sits from a corner, watching, too scared to do anything. He narrates, "I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan - the way he stood up for me all those times in the past - and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran" (Hosseini 77). Amir leaves his best friend to get raped, and doesn't help him when he's in trouble. This reveals to us that Amir doesn't value his friendship with Hassan, and is not a good friend.
  • Hassan's lip gets fixed

    Hassan was born with a cleft lip, so for his birthday, Baba gets him surgery to have it fixed. After the surgery, Amir says, "I wished I too had some kind of a scar that would beget Baba's sympathy. It wasn't fair. Hassan hasn't done anything to earn Baba's affections" (Hosseini 46). This reveals that Amir longs for Baba's approval and affection. He becomes jealous of Hassan, because Baba treats him nicely out of sympathy for his lip. Amir wishes to gain Baba's sympathy for more attention.
  • Hasan and Ali Leave

    After Amir's birthday party, Ali and Hassan tell Baba that they want to leave. Amir looks at Hassan, and narrates, "He had told him everything, about what Assef and his friends had done to him, about the kite, about me. Strangely, I was glad someone knew me for who I really was" (Hosseini 106). This reveals to us that Amir knew he wasn't a good friend. He felt guilty for betraying Hassan, and was relieved to know that someone knew his actions and that he didn't have to have a guilty conscience.
  • Soviet troops parachute into Kabul

    Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul for the first time, "to assist Babrak Karmal, who had become president in a coup within the Afghan Communist leadership" (The New York Times).
  • Amir and Baba Flee Kabul

    When Amir and Baba are fleeing from Kabul, they have to stop at a checkpoint. The soldier at the checkpoint will only let them cross if he can spend 30 minutes with the woman in the truck. Karim says, "It's his price for letting us pass," (Hosseini 115). This demonstrates the harsh conditions Amir and Baba endure trying to cross the border. They must sacrifice people in order to escape to a better life, which gives the reader a better understanding of the setting the main character grew up in.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    After Amir meets Soraya, he talks about her with Baba, wanting to know more about her. Amir narrates, "My heart stuttered at the thought of her. Soraya Taheri. My Swap Meet Princess" (Hosseini 142). This quote reveals the first time Amir ever felt feelings for Soraya. This is the first time he has fallen in love, and is a big moment, because it is just the start of their future and forever relationship.
  • Soraya and Amir get Married

    During the process of marriage between Soraya and Amir, Baba is extremely ill. As they are going to the ceremony of giving word, Amir asks Baba, "Are you all right? Do you feel up to this?" (Hosseini 166) Baba responds by saying, "Up to this? It's the happiest day of my life, Amir" (Hosseini 166). Here, Amir is receiving praise from his father, showing it is an extremely important event in his life. Baba is proud of Amir and happy for him, showing that their father-son bond has strengthened.
  • Baba Passes Away

    After Baba dies, Amir and Soraya's family hosts funeral for him at a mosque. Amir has a realization that he won't have Baba to guide him anymore. "Baba couldn't show me the way anymore; I'd have to find it on my own. The thought of it terrified me" (Hosseini 174). This reveals to us that Amir greatly depended on his father. He needed his father to help him make choices in life, but now that he is gone, nobody will show Amir the way. So, Amir will have to guide his own life.
  • Peace with Afghanistan

    Finally peace in Afghanistan when "after peace talks moderated by the United Nations, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989" (The New York Times).
  • Amir and Soraya try to have children

    After Amir and Soraya had been trying to have kids for a while, she wasn't getting pregnant, so they went to get tested. While speaking with the doctor, Amir narrates, "He sat across from us, tapped his desk with his fingers, and used the word 'adoption' for the first time. Soraya cried all the way home" (Hosseini 186). This reveals that Amir and Soraya can't have children unless they adopt. This event causes them to grow closer. But, Soraya's father claims adoption is not for Afghans.
  • Mullah Omar gains followers

    Towards the end of 1994, a Pashtun named "Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east. With his promise of restoring the centrality of Islam to daily life, he created a genuinely popular movement in a country weary of corruption and brutality" (The New York Times).
  • Power In Afghanistan is gained

    After Soviet troops departed, in Afghanistan, "power was anarchically divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" (The New York Times).
  • Pakistani Officers support Mullah Omar with supplies

    In Pakistan, "intelligence officers began funneling arms, money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men, as well as military advisers to help guide them in battle" (The New York Times).
  • Al Qaeda is Given Safe Haven

    Al Qaeda had been given safety in the country by "the Taliban, the extremist Islamic group that had seized control in 1996 after years of civil war" (The New York Times).
  • Hassan is Murdered

    Hassan and his wife, Farzana, were kicked out of their house by the Taliban, and Hassan was accused of being a liar. After Hassan protests and refuses to leave his home, Rahim Khan tells Amir how he was murdered. Amir reacts by saying, "No. God, no" (Hosseini 219). Here, Amir is shocked and saddened by Hassan's cruel and unfair death. This reaction of Amir's reveals that he greatly cared about Hassan, and still thought of him as a friend after all these years.
  • The Taliban are defeated

    They were defeated in 2001, so "the Taliban continued to wage a guerrilla warfare from a base in the mountainous and largely lawless tribal area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border" (The New York Times).
  • Regrouping of the Taliban

    After the Taliban regrouped, they began "to extend its influence in the southern part of Afghanistan. Their rise was assisted by a resurgent opium trade, which helped to fill the group's coffers" (The New York Times).
  • Amir and Assef battle again

    After Amir goes to retrieve Sohrab from Kabul, he has to take him from Assef, who joined the Taliban. After saying he wanted Sohrab, Assef agrees to let Amir take him is they can fight. Amir narrates, "What he fished out of that pocket didn't surprise me one bit: stainless-steel brass knuckles" (287). This is an important moment, because Amir demonstrates that he will fight Assef to save Sohrab and give him a family. Amir proves he cares about Hassan and his family, and wants to help Sohrab.
  • Amir tries to bring Sohrab to America

    After talking with Sohrab, Amir tells him he will take him to America. Soraya calls with good news and tells Amir, "So he made a call to his INS friends. He called me back tonight and said he was almost certain he could get Sohrab a humanitarian visa" (Hosseini 343). This is a big moment, revealing that Amir and Soraya would finally get to start a family. It also reveals Amir's guilt, because he wanted to give Sohrab a good life and take care of him, because he wasn't a good friend to Hassan.
  • Sohrab Tries to Commit Suicide

    After Amir tells Sohrab he might have to go back to an orphanage for just a little bit of time, Sohrab cuts his wrists in the bathtub and bleeds out. Amir walks in and screams, and an ambulance comes to take Sohrab to the hospital. Sohrab says, "-wish you hadn't ... I wish you had left me in the water" (Hosseini 355). This reveals to us that Sohrab was extremely unhappy in the orphanage. Sohrab was so upset that he wanted to take his own life, showing that he was traumatized from the orphanage.
  • Amir Stands up for Sohrab

    Sohrab, Amir and Soraya have dinner with General Sahib. After chatting at the table, General Sahib calls Sohrab a rude name, so Amir says, "You will never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab" Hosseini 361). Amir stands up for Sohrab, the boy that he and Soraya adopted. This reveals that Amir treats Sohrab like his own son, showing us the bond in their relationship. Amir greatly cares about Sohrab, which indirectly shows he cares about Hassan.
  • Amir Returns to Kabul

    Amir returns to Peshawar to visit Rahim Khan. After being told that Hassan's son is in Kabul, Amir arrives in Kabul. Shocked, he narrates, "Because when Kabul finally did unroll before us, I was uncertain, absolutely certain, that he had taken a wrong turn somewhere" Hosseini 244). Here, we see how shocked Amir is to learn how the Taliban have changed his home town. Amir deeply loved Kabul, and it meant a lot to him. He had many memories and was upset to see the city he grew up in was destroyed.
  • September 11th attacks

    The United States has been at war with "Afghanistan since 2001, when it led an invasion after the Sept. 11 attacks by Al Qaeda" (The New York Times).
  • Harim Karzai becomes chairman

    A man named "Hamid Karzai, a supporter and relative of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the exiled former king of Afghanistan, was named chairman of an interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him the leader of the country" (The New York Times).
  • Sohrab smiles for the first time

    After Sohrab has gone through so much, Amir decides to teach him to fly a kite. Amir shows him a trick that Hassan, Sohrab's father used to do. The opposing kite falls, and Amir narrates, "I looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile" (Hosseini 370). This moment represents that taking Sohrab from Afghanistan to America made him happy. Sohrab had finally healed from the damage he had endured. This showed Amir gave Sohrab a loving and happy life in America.
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    Kite Runner and the History of Afghanistan