Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • 1915 Cholera epidemic in Kabul

    Amir felt like he was home again when he relfected on his family history and said, 'this was the soil on which my great-grandfather had married his third wife a year before dying in the cholera epidemic that hit Kabul in 1915" (240). Since cholera is spread through contaminated food and water, it shows how Kabul struggled with being sanitary and keeping food and water clean. Also, the fact that Amir's ancestors stayed in Kabul all these years shows how special the land is to his family.
  • Baba was born, Ali adopted

    1933 is an important year because it was "the year Baba was born", and Ali "was adopted into the household" of Amir's grandfather (24). This year is significant because it marks the time where life-changing events took place. If Ali weren't adopted into the household, then Hassan would have never been born. Things would have been very differnt for Baba and Amir since they wouldn't have to deal with later struggles atoning for mistreating Ali and Hassan.
  • Amir Reading Stories

    Amir's writing career truly began when he made up a story that he pretended to read out of a book to Hassan, who absolutely loved the story. This encouraged Amir to start writing, and he "wrote [his] first short story" that night (30). If it weren't for Hassan's encouragement, Amir might have never thought about writing. Little did he know, this was just the beginning of his writing career, and he would grow up to be a professional writer.
  • Hassan gets raped

    Amir demonstrated his true character when he did not stand up for Hassan when he was getting raped because "Hassan was the price [he] had to win Baba" (77). At this point in the story, Amir is revealed as not only a coward, but also a selfish person. He later regretted not standing up for Hassan, and lived the rest of his life trying to atone for it.
  • Soviet Union Invades Afghanistan

    On December 27, 1979, "the first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul to assist Babrak Karmal, who had become president in a coup within the Afghan Communist leadership" (2).
  • Amir graduated high school

    During the summer of 1983, Amir graduated high school, and Baba said, "I am moftakhir, Amir", which means "proud" (131). This is significant because he had not only overcome an important milestone in his life by graduating high school, but also, Baba said he was proud of Amir. Amir had been yearning for Baba to love him and be proud of him for so long, so the fact that Baba said he was proud of him, was another accomplishment that Amir reached.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    Amir meets General Taheri's daughter Soraya one day during summer, and later that night he was "lying awake in bed [thinking] of Soraya Taheri...My heart stuttered at the thought of her" (142). For the first time in the story, Amir developed feelings toward a girl. This was a time in his life where he was really growing up, and searching for a spouse. Soraya played a significant role in Amir's happiness, which is why it was such an important part of the story when they met.
  • Rahim Khan searches for Hassan

    Rahim Khan tells Amir why he searched for Hassan in 1986, and admits that he did it because "[he] was lonely" (203). This was a huge turning point in the story because Hassan and his wife Farzana ended up going back to Kabul with him to live in his house, and guarded it until their deaths. Rahim Khan also would have never met Sohrab if he decided not to go searching for Hassan. Without Sohrab, Amir would have never found the opportunity to atone for not being a good friend to Hassan.
  • Sohrab was born

    Rahim Khan described the day Sohrab was born and said, "Sanaubar came out of the hut holding her grandson...clutching that baby in her arms like she never wanted to let go" (211). Since Sanaubar made a mistake the first time by fleeing after giving birth to Hassan, she demonstrated that she learned from her mistake when she "clutched" onto the baby and stayed with him. She was trying to atone for her mistake, which was a common trend amongst characters' behaviors throughout the story.
  • Rockets hit Kabul

    Between 1992 and 1996, Amir said that "Mujahedin forces had showered Kabul with rockets...inflicting much of the damage [he] was witnessing" (245). Because of the damage done to Kabul, Amir found the place where he grew up unrecognizable. This was an awakening moment for Amir because he learned how much Afghans were suffering at this point in time, and began to sympathize for them.
  • Mullah Omar has followers

    In 1994, Mullah Omar "had nearly 12,000 follwers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east:" (2).
  • Pakistani support

    Pakistani showed their support for the Tailban by "funneling arms, money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men, as well as military advisers to help guide them in battle" (3).
  • Taliban with Control in Afghanistan

    The Taliban had control in Afghanistan by 1996, "imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law, banning movies and music and forcing women out of schools and into all-enveloping burqa clothing" (3).
  • Taliban with Safe Haven for Bin Laden

    The Taliban supported Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden by providing "a haven for Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport" (3).
  • Taliban banned kite fighting

    Rahim Khan updates Amir on all of the events that occured in Afghanistan while he was in America, and told him that "the Taliban banned kite fighting" (213). This was a sad moment for Amir because many of his memories of Kabul included kite fighting. After hearing the news, Amir was learning that Kabul had changed and was completely different from what he remembered from his childhood.
  • Amir goes to Afghanistan

    Rahim Khan told Amir that there was a "way to be good again" (192). With these words, Amir knew that it was time for him to redeem himself for his wrong-doings. Living in so many years with regret, Amir knew he could not pass up the opportunity to finally atone. Once he could make up for his horrible mistakes in the past, Amir knew it would lift a heavy burden off his shoulders that he had been carrying for so long,
  • Amir and Assef meet as adults

    When Amir tried to find Sohrab and bring him to safety, he encountered Assef who wanted to fight him to the death. Describing the situation in which he was getting beat up, he said "for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace" (289). At this point in the story, Amir felt he had truly atoned for treating Hassan terribly in the past. What he meant when he said he "finally felt at peace" is that he was glad that he finally got what he deserved.
  • Sohrab tried to commit suicide

    When Sohrab tried to commit suicide, Amir went through his first experience in being a concerned father. When he was in the hospital and panicking, he said he "forced [air] into [his] lungs in big heaps, but it [didn't] clear th clamping feeling in [his] chest" (347). Clearly, Amir is sickly worried and concerned for Sohrab. Because he was so worried, it demonstrated how much he truly cared about Sohrab and how important it was to him that Sohrab became healthy again.
  • Amir comes home with Sohrab

    Amir explained that Sohrab never talked once he came to America. He described Sohrab's silence as "the silence of one who has taken cover in a dark place, curled up all the edges and tucked them under" (361). Based on this quote alone, one can infer that Sohrab was miserable and must have gone through a lot to get to this state. Also from what Amir described as "Sohrab's silence", it was clear that he was sad and disappointed that Sohrab did not fit in as well as he hoped he would.
  • Al Qaeda Attacks America

    After Al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. in 2001, "the U.S. has been militarily involved in Afghanistan" (1).
  • Hamid Karzai named chairman of government that replaced Taliban

    Hamid Karzai was "named chairman of an interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him leader of the country" (3).
  • Sohrab smiles for the first time in America

    When Amir was kite fighting in Fremont with Sohrab, he saw him smile for the first time since being in America. Amir said that "[he] blinked, and the smile was gone. But it had been there" (371). When Sohrab smiled, it sparked hope and happiness in Amir since he had been waiting for a reaction from Sohrab for so long. The fact that Sohrab smiled even for a little bit meant that things were starting to get better for him in America.
  • General Petraeus had taken charge of US Central Command

    General Petraeus was an Iraq commander who "received much of the credit for the success of the surge there, had taken charge of United States Central Command in October 2008, with responsibility for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the region" (4).
  • Obama's plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops

    Obama delivered a speech on December 1, 2009 at West Point, announcing "his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops" (4).
  • Time Obama vowed to bring trrops home

    Obama vowed to bring troops home in July of 2011, "saying that the United States could not afford and should not have to shoulder an open-ended commitment" (4).