Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • Period: to

    Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • Amir is born

    Amir doesn't remember his mother because she "hemorrhaged to death during childbirth" (6). Baba always blamed Amir for the death of his beloved wife, and Amir has to carry that with him his entire life. One year after this, Hassan was born, and the boys played together their entire childhoods.
  • Baba builds an orphange

    When Amir was 5, Baba decided to build an orphange, all by himself. Many people thought he was crazy, but he couldn't be swayed. Baba "personally funded the entire project, paying for the engineer, electricians, plumbers, and laborers" (12). This event demonstrated the massive amount of power Baba held in Kabul. On a whim, he was able to come up with an idea and make it happen, even though some thought it was crazy.
  • Amir writes his first story

    During his childhood, Amir discovered his love for writing stories. Amir first presented his work to his father, but it was Rahim Khan who asked, "May i have it Amir jan? I would very much like to read it" (31). This was the beginning of what would later become Amir's full time job when he moved to America. If Rahim hadn't reached out to Amir and his writing, the boy may have never pursued writing.
  • Hassan gets violated

    Amir thought that winning the annual kite tournament would win Baba's love, so when the two boys won, they were elated. Hassan promises to run the kite, but is cornered by Assef, who sexually assaults him. Amir "could hear Assef's quick, rhythmic grunts" (77) but does nothing. This event leads to the boy's relationship deteriorating, then ending. Additionally, Amir has to live with the guilt that he feels for not taking any action to help his friend.
  • Amir frames Hassan

    Amir decided that he couldn't live with the guilt that he was feeling. He thought that if Hassan left, he would be able to get over his greif and move on with his life. So Amir "lifted Hassan's mattress and planted [his] new watch and a handful of Afghan bills under it" (91). This eventually leads to Hassan and Ali leaving the house, but does nothing to quell Amir's shame. Little does Amir know that he will never see Hassan again, and never really atone for his sins against his old friend.
  • Soviet Occupation

    On December 27th of 1979, "the first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul." From then, Russia began to forcibly take over Russia.
  • Baba and Amir move to America

    The soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 left the country very unsafe, and "Baba loved the idea of living in America" (109). Baba and Amir relocated to Fremont, which had a large population of Arabs. Even though they were safer, life was hard for the father and son in th US. Baba enjoyed none of his previous socioeconomic status, and had to work long shifts at a gas station. The stress eventually got to him, and he started to develp cancer.
  • Amir marries Soraya

    In America, Amir falls in love with Soraya, who he meets at the Afghan street fairs he and Baba frequent. When the two decide to marry, Baba spends "35,000, nearly the balance of his life savings, on the awroussi, the wedding ceremony" (148). In his final act of fatherly compassion, Baba goes all out on Amirs wedding. Baba knows he will die soon, and finally gives Amir the love that his son had been yearning for his entire life.
  • Baba dies

    After their, wedding, Soraya and Amir move in with Baba. they both know he is on his last legs, and Amir wants to spend time with his dad. When the cancer kills Baba, people "filled the parking spots at the mosque in Hayward... people had to drive three of four blocks north of the mosque to find a spot" (151). The thought of living without Baba scares Amir, as his father always had an important role in his life. Perhaps more importantly, Baba's chance to atone for his sins dies with him.
  • United States supplies weapons to Afghanistan

    Thanks to "advanced Stinger antiaircraft missisles supplied by the United States to the rebels," the Afghans were able to fight off the Soviet Air Force,
  • Amir publishes his first book

    After Baba's death, Amir and Soraya move into their own apartment. There Amir can focus on his writing, and in the summer of 1988, he publishes his "first novel, a father-son story set in Kabul" (159). Rahim Khan's early encouragement of Amir's writing led to the boy becoming a published author. Because of Rahim, Amir was able to contradict his father's wishes for once and follow his passion.
  • UN peace talks

    Thanks in part to weapons supplied by America, "the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in Febuary 1989." The peace talks that forced the Russians out of Afghanistan was moderated by th United Nations.
  • Taliban Takeover

    With the help of "Pakistani intelligence officers funneling arms, money, and supplies" to the Mullah Omar, the Taliban began to take control of Afghanistan. The Taliban started out as a relegious movement meant to purify the country.
  • bin Laden arrives in Afghanistan

    The Taliban supported Osama bin Laden and the Al Quaeda and welcomed them with open arms. Bin Laden and "Al Quaeda helped persuade Mullah Omar to order the destruction of the 800-year-old Buddha statues at Bamiyan."
  • Rahim calls Amir

    While Amir was living in America with his wife, "Rahim called from Pakistan" (1). This prompts Amir to travel back to Kabul and face his past sins. Rahim also tells Amir that he is feeling very sick, and doesn't know how much longer he will leave.
  • Amir visits Rahim, learns secrets

    A week after Rahim's call, Amir boards a plane and flies to Pakistan. When he arrives at the man's door, "a thing made of skin and bones pretending to be Rahim Khan opened the door" (172). The two old friends catch up for a while, then Rahim drops a bomb on Amir. Khan reveals that Baba was actually Hassan's father too, and the Hassan and Amir are half brothers. Rahim also tells Amir that Hassan is dead, but he has a surviving son. This prompts Amir to go find the son.
  • Farid talks to Amir

    Amir returns to Afghanistan to find Sohrab, Hassan's son. He finds his homeland in shambles, torn by war. When he makes a remark about it to his driver, Farid, the man exclaims, "That's the real Afghanistan ... You've always been a tourist here, you just didn't know it" (204). Amir is stunned by the truth in the words. Over the course of the trip, he pays special attention to the struggle of the average Afghan, who live a life he never really experienced.
  • Amir fights Assef

    Amir learns that the Taliban has Sohrab, and he goes to a meet a Talib official. The man he meets turns out to be Assef, the boy who violated Hassan. Assef says Amir can have Sohrab, but Amir has to fight him. Amir gets beaten badly by his childhood bully but explains, "my body was broken ... but i felt healed. Healed at last" (253). Amir welcomes the punishment, thinking it makes up for all the times Hassan never retaliated. Sohrab is able to distract the Talib guards and the two escape.
  • Amir takes Sohrab back to America

    Amir "had a glimpse of the mother she might have been, had her womb not betrayed her" (312).
  • Amir brings Sohrab to America

    Amir fights to be able to adopt Sohrab, and eventually the two are able to go back to America. When Soraya meets Sohrab for the first time, Amir gets "a glimpse of the mother she might have been, had her womb not betrayed her" (312). The 3 live together, but Sohrab is haunted by his past and never speaks. Despite their best efforts, neither Soraya or Amir can cheer up Sohrab.
  • Terrorist Attacks on 9/11

    When Al Quaeda attacked the "World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over Mr. bin Laden." This began America's War on Terror.
  • Karzai Government

    In 2001, Hamid Karzai "was named chairman of an interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him leader of the country." He began his campaign promising peace and prosperity, but his popularity steadily dived as his country remained poor.
  • Amir and Sohrab make some progress

    One day Amir and Sohrab are at the park, and a kite fight begins. The two take part in it, and end up winning. Afterwards, Amir "looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth curled up just so. A smile" (323). After such a long time of depression, Sohrab begins to climb out the hole he was in. Even though it was such a small gesture, it excites Amir and shows the potential for a bright future.
  • Wikileaks published

    Wikileaks was six years of classified information that was leaked in 2006. The leak told the story of the American ground forces as they "struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated, and more deadly each year."
  • General Petraeus put into command

    General Petraeus had led the war effort in Iraq successfully, and President "Obama tapped Gen. Patraeus to lead the war effort [in Afghanistan].
  • Troops come home

    President Obama insisted that American troops will start to come home in 2014. This date "was based on the presumption that the American military would be successful enough in fighting the Taliban."