The Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • Amir watches as Hassan runs Amir's last kite

    Amir says that "In the winter of 1975, I saw Hassan run a kite for the last time" (Hosseini 55). Hassan is Amir's closest friend since birth, almost like a brother to him. Along with the fact that soon after, Hassan is raped by Assef.
  • Period: to

    Afghanistan, from 1975 to 2002

  • Amir's thirteenth birthday

    Amir notes how he had "turned thirteen that summer of 1976" and how a massive celebration had been thrown by his father. At the party, Amir witnesses Hassan serving drinks to Assef, Wali and Kamal, proving that Hassan is extremely loyal.
  • Amir throws Pomegranates at Hassan in an attempt to provoke him

    As Amir throws the Pomegranate at Hassan, "'Hit me back!' [Amir] snapped"(Hosseini 93). Because Hassan never hits Amir back, he is trying to make Amir feel better without harming him. Because of Hassan's reaction, Amir feels even worse about what happened that previous winter.
  • Hassan is forced to leave by Amir

    After Hassan tells Baba that he had stolen the money he never touched, Amir realizes that "[Hassan] knew [Amir] had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time."(Hosseini 105). Amir realizes that he will likely never see Hassan again, and understands how impactful his actions will be on Hassan and Ali. Adding to the remorse and regret he has of what happened in the alleyway the previous winter.
  • Soviet Union Invades Afghanistan

    The article states that "The first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979"(The New York Times).
  • Amir and Baba leave Afghanistan for America

    Amir thinks, "My innards had bee roiling since we'd left Kabul just after two in the morning."(Hosseini 110). Amir is feeling sick both because of his car sickness and the fact that he is leaving his country behind him. Amir doesn't like the idea of leaving his country behind along with Hassan and his old life.
  • Amir graduates high school to pursue a career in Writing

    Amir says he "graduated from high school at the age of twenty, by far the oldest senior tossing his mortarboard on the football field that day " (Hosseini 131). Amir takes a large step towards becoming a writer. Amir's accomplishment allows Baba to be proud of his son.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    As Amir introduces himself to Soraya, she tells him "'I heard you write'"(Hosseini 147). This is the first time that Amir talks to Soraya, despite him falling in love with her looks beforehand, to Amir the idea that Soraya already knew of him makes Amir feel giddy.
  • Amir marries Soraya

    As Amir recalls his wedding, he thinks "We did Ayena Masshaf, where they gave us a mirror and threw a veil over our heads, so we'd be alone to gaze at each other's reflection" (Hosseini 171). Amir's marriage to Soraya supports the idea that Amir will be making money from his writing soon, and that Baba is likely to be out of the picture as he spends nearly his life savings on his wedding.
  • Baba's death

    After Soraya offers to bring Baba some morphine for his pain, he responds "'There is no pain tonight' Baba never woke up" (Hosseini 173). Baba's death signifies Amir becoming independent and no longer able to rely on both the income that his father received nor the power.
  • Baba is diagnosed with Cancer

    After Baba gets an X-ray of his lungs, they find a spot on his lungs, Baba casually asks, "'Cancer?' ... 'Possible. It's suspicious anyway,' the doctor muttered" (Hosseini 154). Baba being diagnosed with cancer leads Amir to be fearful of his father's health and worry about how he will exist in the world without his father there to guide and support him. Without Baba, Amir will find it harder to provide for him and Soraya.
  • US gives Afghan rebels Stinger Missiles

    According to the article, "the Soviet Air Force was also rendered largely useless by advanced Stinger antiaircraft missiles supplied by the United States to the rebels." (The New York Times)
  • Afghanistan was controlled by different Warlords

    After the Soviets leave Afghanistan, " power was anarchically divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms."(The New York Times).
  • Terrorist group, Taliban takes control of Afghanistan.

    According to the Article, "Buoyed by Pakistani aid, the Taliban by 1996 had taken control of Afghanistan"(The New York TImes).
  • Taliban provides haven for Osama bin-Laden

    After the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, "The Taliban ... provided a haven for Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996"(The New York Times).
  • President George W. Bush gives Taliban Ultimatum

    After the massively fatal bombings of 9/11, "President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over Mr. bin Laden" (The New York Times).
  • Rahim Khan calls Amir

    After Rahim Khan calls Amir and asks him to come to Pakistan to atone for his sins, Amir "went for a walk along Spreckels Lake" to think over whether he would return to his homeland (Hosseini 1). Rahim Khan calling Amir and telling him that he would like to speak to him before he passes is instrumental in Amir returning to Kabul and saving Sohrab.
  • Rahim Khan Tells Amir about Hassan's death

    After reading a letter that Hassan had written to Amir, Rahim Khan tells him, "'they took him to the street... and order him to kneel... and shot him in the back of the head.'" (Hosseini 219). Hassan's death makes Amir even more remorseful and guilty for his friend's death. this leaves Sohrab, Hassan's son, as one of the many orphans living in Kabul.
  • Amir fights Assef

    Amir finds Assef, who has taken Sohrab as a sex-slave, and they fight to the death over who will get him. During the fight, Amir starts "laughing... for the first time since the winter of 1975, [Amir] felt at peace" (Hosseini 289). Amir gets pleasure from this as he feels that he is finally receiving the punishment for witnessing Hassan's rape, but doing nothing of it at the time. Assef breaking Amir is Assef's promised punishment to Amir, but leaves Assef in worse shape than Amir.
  • Hamid Karzai, relative to former king of Afghanistan, is named chairman of an interim government.

    After the Taliban is defeated, "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).
  • Taliban defeated

    Due to President W. Bush's ultimatum, which the Taliban did not cooperate with, American troops were deployed in Afghanistan and "drove the Taliban out of the major Afghan cities by the end of the year" (The New York Times).
  • Amir finds out that Hassan is his half-brother

    After Rahim khan tells Amir of Hassan and Farzana's deaths, he tells him this, "'Ali was Sterile'" (Hosseini 222). Because of this, it is obvious that Baba is Hassan's father, not Ali, but nobody but Ali, Rahim Khan, Sanaubar and Baba himself knew of it. This means that Sohrab is Amir's half-nephew.
  • bin-Laden attacks world trade center

    Osama bin-Laden orchestrated " the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sept 11, 2001" (The New York Times).
  • Sohrab smiles for the first time since becoming an orphan

    After Sohrab and Amir win a kite battle, Amir sees that "one corner of [Sohrab's] mouth had curled up just so" (Hosseini 370). Sohrab's smile represents the idea that he will not be left expressionless for the rest of his life, but will experience a range of emotions including joy and happiness.
  • General Petraeus takes control of US Central Command

    After a dispute between President Obama and Vice-President Biden about the military involvement in Afghanistan, "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 in October 2008" (The New York Times).