Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by 21mastersone75
  • Baba finishes building an orphanage

    When Amir was five, "Baba decided to build an orphanage... [and] paid for the construction of the two-story orphanage" (13). Later in the book when we discover that Amir and Hassan were half brothers, it became clear how building this orphanage was a way of atoning for "steal[ing Amir and Hassan's] right to the truth" (18) that they were brothers. However, Baba is never truly redeemed because when atoning for something, one must do something related to the sin they committed, which Baba did not.
  • Kite flying contest

    During the kite flying contest, kites "were coming down all over the place now... [and] I was still flying. [Amir's] eyes kept wandering over to Baba, bundled up in his wool sweater" (63). This shows how Amir thinks of this contest as his chance to prove himself to Baba, and not just a fun event to participate in. By competing in this tournament, Amir knows that he might be able to gain Baba's approval if he wins and becomes the last kite standing.
  • Hassan is raped

    When Hassan is raped by Assef, he "didn't struggle. Didn't even whimper. He moved his head and [Amir] caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it" (75-76), showing how Hassan was accepting of his being raped, knowing he had to stay strong for Amir, to run the kite for him so Amir can gain Baba's approval. Because Hassan is fiercely loyal to Amir, he allows himself to be put through this torment, knowing that Amir relied on him to run the blue kite that would gain Baba's aproval.
  • Ali and Hassan leave

    Not long after Hassan is raped, Ali said that "life here is impossible for us now, Agha sahib. We're leaving" (106), showing how Hassan knew about Amir being present when he was raped and told Ali about this traumatic event, causing Ali to pack up, and leave Amir and Baba to themselves. As much as Hassan is loyal to Amir, when Ali finds out what happened to Hasan, he immediately becomes protective of his son, and fearing for his safety, they flee Kabul to live somewhere safer and more accepting.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    After meeting Soraya at the flea market, Amir cannot stop thinking "of Soraya Taheri's sickle-shaped birthmark, her gently hooked nose, and the way her luminous eyes had fleetingly held [Amir's]. [His] heart stuttered at the thought of her" (142). Clearly, after meeting her, Amir is already in love with Soraya, and although Amir knows that her father is a general and not a particularly good person, he still wants to formally meet Soraya and get to know her.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    The minute Amir laid eyes on Soraya, he "thought about Soraya Taheri's sickle-shpated birthmark, her gently hooked nose, and the way her luminous eyes had fleetingly held mine. [Amir's] heart stuttered at the thought of her" (142). Amir is clearly in love with her and cannot stop thinking about her, hoping to meet her again and get to know her. Although her father is a general and is not a very good man according to Baba, Amir pays that no matter and seeks to be with her.
  • Amir and Baba start selling things at the flea market

    Two years after moving to the U.S. from Afghanistan, on "...early sunday mornings, [Amir and Baba] drove to the San Jose flea market off Berryessa, rented a spot, and sold... junk for a small profit" (137). Although moving to America allows Baba and Amir to make more money, they still found a way to make a little money in their spare time by selling things that some people no longer want. Despite that Amir and Baba do not need this extra money, they found it entertaining and do it just for fun.
  • Amir and Soraya marry

    During Soraya and Amir's wedding, they "looked down, solemnly respectful, casting only sideways glances at each other. The mullah questioned the witnesses and read from the Koran. [They] said [their] oaths. Signed the certificates" (170). This shows that despite the circumstances with Baba close to death, Amir and Soraya truly do love each other and want to go through with their relationship. Even though they have not been together for long, they married, showing how much they love each other.
  • Soviet Air Force Is Rendered Useless

    When the Soviet Air Force was attacked "by advanced Stinger antiaircraft missiles supplied by the U.S. to the rebels" (NYT), they were rendered useless
  • Amir gets his first novel published

    In 1988 during the summer, Amir "finished [his] first nonvel, a father-son story set in Kabul... [and ten weeks later] Martin called and informed [Amir he] was going to be a published novelist" (182-183). A year after this, Amir then goes "on a five-city book tour [and] became a minor celebrity in the Afghan community" (183). All his life, Amir always had a talent for writing novels, and by finally getting his novel published, he achieved his long-lived dream job.
  • Soviet Union leaves Afghanistan

    After some time, the "Soviet Union leaves Afghanistan after peace talks moderated by the United Nations" (NYT).
  • Power in Afghanistan was anarchically divided

    In 1994, "the power in Afghanistan was anarchically divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" (NYT).
  • Pakistani intelligence officers begin funneling arms, money, supplies & military officers

    In 1994, "Pakistani intelligence officers began funneling arms, money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men as well as military officers to help guide [the Taliban] in battle" (NYT).
  • Taliban takes control of Afghanistan

    Eventually, Taliban took "control of Afghanistan, imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law, banning movies and music and forcing women out of school and into all-enveloping burqa clothing" (NYT).
  • 800-year-old Buddha statues destroyed

    After Mr. vin Laden & Al Qaeda arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996, "Al Qaeda helped persuade Mullah Omar to order the destruction of the 800-year-old Buddha statues are destroyed at Bamiyan" (NYT).
  • Air & Ground campaign began

    After the attack of the Twin Towers in 9/11, "an air and ground campaign began that drove the Taliban out of the major Afghan cities by the end of the year" (NYT).
  • Hamid Karzai was named chairmen of an interim gov

    The former king of Afghanistan who was banished, Hamid Karzai, "was named chairmen of an interim gov that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him the leader of the country. He took office in June of 2002... [and] elected to a five-year term as president in 2004" (NYT).
  • Taliban continued to wage guerrilla warfare

    Although they were defeated "in 2001, the Taliban continued to wage a guerrilla warfare from a base in the mountainous & largely lawless tribal area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border" (NYT) also spilling into Pakistan, raising concerns about its stability & making Afghanistan once more a top foreign policy priority for the Western Allies.
  • Amir gets a call from Rahim Khan

    When Rahim Khan knows that he is dying, he calls Amir, saying that "there is a way to be good again" (2). Ever since Hassan was raped, Amir always felt that he needed to atone for his actions, but when Hassan and Ali moved away, Amir did not know how to atone for his actions. However, when Rahim Khan calls him, Amir is made aware that there could a way he can be redeemed and not have to suffer through his guilt of Hassan's raping anymore, so he blindly goes to Peshawar, needing atonement.
  • Amir flies out to Afghanistan to meet Rahim Khan

    When Amir meets Rahim Khan after the many years of not speaking to him, Amir is informed that Hassan was "shot in the back of the head" (219), by the Taliban two years after the Hazaras were massacred by the same people. Clearly, Amir is devastated by this news and could have thought that there was no longer a way to atone for what he did to Hassan. Now that many people from his life in Afghanistan are now dead, Amir is overwhelmed with grief and regrets that he never contacted them for years.
  • Amir and Assef discuss Sorhab and fight

    Because Assef remembers how Hassan threatened to take out one of his eyes, he says that amir "ha[s] to earn [Sorhab beause they] have some unfinished business" (286). Because of this, Assef wants a fight to the death, causing Amir to be beaten with brass knuckles until Sohrab takes his sling shot and shoots a brass ball into Assef's eye. Not even meeting Amir beforehand, Sohrab defends Amir, knowing that he was trying to help him escape from Assef's clutches.
  • Sorhab almost attempts suicide

    After Amir tells Sorhrab that he will have to go to an orphanage again in order for Amir to adopt him, he attempts suicide, saying after that he was "tired of everything" (354). Sohrab feels betrayed by Amir when he said that he has to go to an orphanage again, and, not wanting to suffer the same way he did before he was found by Amir, attempts suicide. Tired of being lied to and abused, he felt like there was no longer a reason for him to keep on living, and so he tried to commit suicide.
  • Amir and Assef fight

    When Amir and Assef fought over Sohrab, Amir laughed becaused he "...felt healed. Healed at last" (289). Thinking that through the pain being inflicted upon him, he was healed and although his body was being broken, he finally felt that he started to atone for what he did to Hassan by trying to fight for Hassan's son. Amir finally felt free from his torment that Hassan inflicted upon him when he was trying to defend the one thing that might help him atone for the things that Amir did to Hassan.
  • Attack on the World Trade Center

    After 9/11, "President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum hand over to Mr. bin Laden. When it refused, the United States joined forces with the rebel groups that had never accepted Taliban rule" (NYT).
  • First time Sohrab smiles

    When Sohrab smiled for the first time since Amir first met him, although "[i]t was only a smile nothing more... [b]ut [Amir will] take it. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time" (371). Because Sohrab went through so much after his parents died, it will take him a long time for the traumatic experiences he went through to heal to the point that he can put his pain in the past and move past these events that caused him to act this way.
  • General Petraeus takes charge of US Central Command

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

    On December 1st of 2009, "Mr. Obama announced his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops. He vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011" (NYT).
  • Obama administration emphasizes that the US will have forces in country until at least the end of 2014

    Although Mr. Obama vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011, "...the Obama administration announced changed its tone to increasingly emphasize the idea threat the United States will have forces in the country until at least the end of 2014.... [t]he 2014 date was based on the presumption that the American military would be successful in fighting off the Taliban that significant withdrawals would be underway by then" (NYC).
  • Period: to

    Soviet troops stay in Afghanistan

    Soviet troops say in Afghanistan for more than 9 years, "fighting a conflict that cost them about 15,000 lives and undisclosed billions of rubles, while undermining the cherished image of an invincible Soviet Army" (NYC).
  • Period: to

    Soviet Union Invades Afghanistan

    According to the article, "[t]he first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979, to assist Babrak Karmal, who had become president in a coup within the Afghan Communist leadership."