Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

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    The Kite Runner & The History of Afghanistan

  • Amir is born

    Amir was born in the winter of 1963 causing his "mother [to hemorrhage] to death during childbirth" (Hosseini 6). Constantly through the book, Amir wonders if his relationship with Baba is partly due to his mother's death. This would explain some of the negaitivity that Amir receives from Baba.
  • Hassan is born

    Hassan is born in the winter of 1964 and his mother "[runs] off with a clan of traveling singers and dancers" (Hosseini 6). Her departure deprives Hassan of a mother during the early years of his life. The absence of a mother figure in Hassan's life creates a better bond with his father.
  • Amir wins a kite contest

    During the winter of 1975, Amir wins a kite contest with the help of Hassan. The win is an important milestone in his life, mostly because Baba was "proud of [him] at last" (Hosseini 66). Amir finally receives the attention that he has desperately longed for from Baba. His success in the kite contest serves as a change in their relationship.
  • Hassan is raped by Assef

    Only a short period of time after Amir and Hassan had won the kite contest, "Hassan was standing at the blind end of the [an] alley in a defiant stance" facing Assef and his friends (Hosseini 71). Assef, having been humiliated previously by Hassan, was seeking revenge against the Hazara. In the alley, Assef rapes Hassan while his friends hold him down. This causes a major shift in Amir and Hassan's relationship later in the book.
  • Ali and Hassan Leave

    Two days after Amir's thirteenth birthday party, he framed Hassan for stealing money and a watch. When Hassan agreed that he did these things, he was performing his "final sacrifice for [Amir]" (Hosseini 105). Hassan willingly took blame for something he did not do and Ali declared that they were leaving. Baba, who was confused as of why they decided to leave, shed tears on their behalf, the first time that Amir has ever seen him do so.
  • Soviet Union Invades

    Afghanistan had always been a peaceful country, until1979, when the Soviet Union invaded. "Now it is the scene of what has become the central military struggle for the United States" ("Afghanistan").
  • Baba and Amir leave Kabul

    In March, Baba and Amir begin their journey "out of Shorawi-occupied Kabul to the relative safety of Pakistan" (Hosseini 111). The city of Kabul along with most of Afghanistan had become too dangerous for Baba and Amir. This forced them to leave their home and other belongings behind in hopes to reach Pakistan safely.
  • Amir and Baba Live in the US

    In the 1980's, after their escape from Afghanistan, Baba and Amir move to America. "Baba loved the idea of America" but had trouble adapting to daily life (Hosseini 125). He worked long hours everyday in a gas station just to make enough money. His stubbornness to learn English also aided in his hardships.
  • Amir Graduates

    Amir finally graduates at the age of twenty in 1983. "[Baba's] eyes gleamed" from the happieness that consumed him when Amir graduated on the football field of his high school (Hosseini 131). This was an important time in their relationship and seemed to kickstart a new beginning for the both of them. One that didn't involve the past of Afghanistan.
  • Baba Diagnosed with Cancer

    After weeks of a bad cough, a doctor finds a spot on Baba's lung. After having it tested, the results come back positive for Oat Cell Carcinoma. When Baba denied chemotherapy and Amir tried to question him, Baba snapped back "'Don't you challenge me in public, Amir. Ever. Who do you think you are?'" (Hosseini 156). Baba's stubbornness is displayed in this part of the book even when his life is on the line. His mind is set on providing for his family and not prolonging the inevitable.
  • Amir Marries Soraya

    Only a few weeks after Baba's diagnosis, Amir and Soraya were standing together at the wedding ceremony. Baba was in delight, showing "an eternal smile, as wide as the skies of Kabul" (Hosseini 171). This was Baba's proudest moment as a father. He had the pleasure to see his son grow and aquire a wife of his own.
  • Baba Dies

    Only a month after the wedding, Baba died. The last words he said before he didn't wake up were "'Not tonight. There is no pain tonight'" (Hosseini 173). This shows that Baba was happy when he died. He felt a sense of pride to know that he lived a life that was worth living, had a son that he was proud of, a daughter-in-law that took care of him.
  • Soviets Leave

    "Eventually, after peace talks moderated by the United Nations, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989, in what was in effect a unilateral withdrawl" ("Afghanistan"). The departure of the Soviets left the country in ruin and extremists left in the country to roam free.
  • Sanaubar Returns

    After Rahim Khan takes Farzana and Hassan into Baba's home, a women knocked on their gates in the middle of the summer. This mysterious lady "was swaying on her feet, like she was too weak to even stand" (Hosseini 209). It was Sanaubar, Hassan's long-forgotten mother. She had returned after all of those years to seek forgiveness and see the son that she had rejected.
  • Internal Troubles

    "By the summer of 1994, power was anarchiacally divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" ("Afghanistan"). The internal fighting within Afghanistan caused a small civil war and a rocky future. The Taliban was the one fiefdom that thrived and rose to power in the mess.
  • Taliban Rise

    "By the end of 1994 Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east" ("Afghanistan"). Omar started the Taliban as a student movement that sought for justice and revenge. He eventually led his movement to power on a major scale.
  • Taliban Take Control

    By 1996, funded by the Pakistani intelligence, the Taliban were able to fully take over control of Afghanistan. They began "imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law" ("Afghanistan"). This reinstalled old beliefs and ways of things that they believed to be safe and protective over the people.
  • Hassan and Farzana Die

    Months before Amir meets Rahim Khan, Hassan and Farzana are shot by the Taliban in front of Baba's old house. The Taliban had "'accused him of lying when Hassan told them he was living with [Rahim Khan] even though many of the neighbors[...] supported Hassan's story'" (Hosseini 218). This quote illustrates the ruthless behavior of the Taliban. Their inability to listen to the truth even though it is presented right in front of them, just to kill a helpless Hazara.
  • 9/11 Attacks

    On September 11th, the terrorist group known as Al Qaeda led an "attack on the World Trade Center in New York" ("Afghanistan").
  • Bush Sends Ultimatum

    "After the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over Mr. bin Laden" ("Afghanistan"). Mr. bin Laden and the group known as Al Qaeda were targeted by the United States once the Taliban refused.
  • Amir Fights Assef Over Sohrab

    Amir's entire life since the winter of 1975 has been building up to this climax in his life. Amir had found Sohrab and had to fight Assef in order to get him back. He didn't put up a good fight, but "for the first time since the winter of 1975, [he] felt at peace" (Hosseini 289). His hysterical laugh only aided in Assef's anger, who was surprised by Amir's indifference. Amir had finally recieved the beating that he had deserved.
  • US Weakens the Taliban

    After the Taliban refused the ultimatum, Bush launched a full assult on Afghanistan. The US posed an "air and ground campaign [...] that drove the Taliban out of the major Afghan cities by the end of the year" ("Afghanistan"). The Taliban were forced to rebuild through the rubble after the year ended.
  • Sohrab Finally Smiles

    For a New Year's celebration, Amir took Sohrab to a kite contest. After they battled the last kite in the sky and won, "[Amir] looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile" (Hosseini 370). This ending scene in the book shows Sohrab's small but sure smile. This foreshadows the start of a happy life for Sohrab with his new family, ending his suffering still left over from his troubled past in Afghanistan.
  • Troops in Afghanistan Until 2011(So They Thought)

    When Obama gave his speech at West Point in 2009, he "vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011 ("Afghanistan"). However, later, the expected deadline was changed from 2011 to 2014, three years later.
  • Hamid Karzai

    Later in the year after 9/11, "Hamid Karzai, a supporter and relative of Mohammad Zahir Shahn, the exiled former king of Afghanistan, was named chairman of an interim government" ("Afghanistan"). This government was replacing the previously defeated Taliban.