Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by ShedaS
  • Hassan is Raped

    At one point in the book, Hassan was about to be raped and Amir, "almost said something ... the rest of [his] life might've turned out differently if [he] had" (Hosseini 73). This one scene shapes Amir's entire life and how he lives it. Amir not standing up for Hassan is important as it causes him to live in guilt and continue to believe he is a coward until years after, when he helps Sohrab as atonement for this sin.
  • Amir and Hassan Win The Kite Championship in Afghanistan

    When Amir wins the kite competition, he sees it as "the single greatest moment of [his] twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of [him] at last" (Hosseini 66). This is an important moment because when Amir wins this one competition, it is the one that leads him to a better bond with Baba. He even sacrifices Hassan for this bond. This win was two small wins and a far larger and disappointing loss for Amir. This win plays a large role in the soon to be built guilt inside of Amir,
  • Amir Throws Pomegranates at Amir

    During one instance, Amir is throwing pomegranates at Hassan and with no reaction from Hassan's part until "Hassan did pick up a pomegranate ... [and] he ... crushed it against his own forehead" (Hosseini 93). Amir wants a punishment for watching Hassan get raped and not saying or doing anything to stop it so he throws the pomegranates at Hassan, aching for retaliation that never comes. He wants to be punished, but he never get that punishment which leaves Amir feeling more guilty than before.
  • Hassan and Ali Leave Amir and Baba

    When Ali and Hassan leave, Amir watches from the window as "Baba's car pull[s] away from the curb, taking with it the person whose first spoken word had been [his] name" (Hosseini 109). This moment is the last one in which Amir ever sees Hassan and Ali. This moment makes him feel guiltier than ever before since he was the reason they left. Once Hassan tells Ali the truth, he believes it is for the better if they leave Amir and Baba since Amir seemed to be a bad influence and poorly raised.
  • First Soviet Troops

    The arrival of Kabul's first soviet troops occurred "to assist Babrak Karmal, who had become president in a coup within the Afghan Communist leadership" (Afghanistan- An Overview 2).
  • Amir and Baba Leave Afghanistan

    At one point, Afghanistan was so unsafe that Amir and Baba "left Kabul just after two in the morning" (Hosseini 110). Their leaving was the beginning of a new life for Amir. To elaborate, he developed a life where he lived in America, published a book, got married, and had a better life in general which is important because when he lived in Afghanistan, he was not as safe nor as comfortable. America was a better option for Amir because it was where he felt he belonged.
  • Soraya Tells Amir of Her Past Sins

    Over the phone Soraya admits to Amir that she "'ran away with an Afghan man' ... [and] 'when [she] came home ... [her] mother had had a stroke ... [she] felt so guilty'" (Hosseini 164). This instance is important since it shows Amir atonement is possible and that he was not the only one carrying around guilt. From Soraya, he learns one can get over their guilt if they simply atone. This is significant because Amir has done wrong things in the past and this shows him he can overcome the guilt.
  • Baba Passes Away

    Every night, Soraya gives Baba pain killers, but one night, Baba tells her there is no pain and after that night, "Baba never woke up" (Hosseini 173). This event is important because once Baba passes away, Amir must fend for himself. Before then, he had to watch over himself and Baba, but what is important is that as his father passes away, he is now alone. He no longer has any family or friends from his childhood near him, he is fully responsible for himself without a guiding figure around.
  • Amir Gets Married to Soraya

    Amir and Soraya’s wedding was a large event as “Baba spent 35,000, nearly the balance of his life savings, on the ... wedding ceremony" (Hosseini 169). This action of Baba’s would be one of the last he does for Amir. Soon, Amir would have a wife to care for and more responsibility with Baba sick and not working. This is important as Amir learns to be more self reliant in many things in his life. Him marrying Soraya was a new direction his life took in which he would have to care for others.
  • Baba Discovers He Has Cancer

    When Amir saw Baba cough up blood, he took him to the hospital and discovered he had "cancer ... Baba's was called 'Oat Cell Carcinoma'" (Hosseini 155-156). Before Baba got cancer, Amir depended on him for many different aspects of his life including paying for a roof above their heads. When Baba got Cancer, he was weakened and eventually, that role was reverse. Amir had to watch over Baba. This is important because its the first time Amir's responsibility levels are truly tested.
  • Soviet Air Force Rendered Useless

    The United States issued advanced weaponry to the rebels which left "the Soviet Air Force ... largely useless" (Afghanistan - An Overview 2).
  • Amir's Novel Gets Published

    A couple months after Amir sent out publishing requests, "Martin called and informed [Amir] that [he] was going to be a published novelist" (Hosseini 183). In Afghanistan, writing is not a typical profession. Amir had never been taken seriously and had always been doubted, but publishing his book proved the doubters wrong. Amir has a job now and can care for himself and his wife better. This publishing proves he can be independent and survive on his own just as well as anyone else.
  • Soviet Troops Leave

    Through an independent decision, "the last soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989" (Afghanistan- An Overview 2).
  • United States Refuse to Recognize The Taliban

    The United States refuse to recognize the "newly formed Islamic militia, the Taliban, [who] rises to power on promises of peace" (A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan).
  • The Taliban

    The group that gave Al Qaeda a safe haven was "the Taliban, the extremist Islamic group that had seized control in 1996 after years of civil war" (Afghanistan - An Overview 1), in Afghanistan.
  • Amir Discovers Him and Hassan are Brothers

    Rahim Khan is trying to convince Amir to go get Sohrab and pulls out his final card by telling him, "'Ali was sterile' ... 'I think you know who'" (Hosseini 222), Hassan's true father was. Rahim Khan's confession that Hassan and Amir truly were brothers leads to Amir helping Sohrab. This new fact is significant as it is what finally convinces him to listen to Rahim Khan and pick up his suffering nephew. It is the leading factor of Amir finally finding a way to atone.
  • Amir Gets Beat Up by Assef

    Assef fought Amir for Sohrab and Amir took the hits calmly since "for the first time since the winter of 1975, [he] felt at peace" (Hosseini 289). Assef beating Amir up was the punishment he felt he deserved for all his past sins. The moment he realized that this was what he deserved, he let it happen and even laughed at the relief until Sohrab brought out his slingshot and shot a brass ball into Assef's eye. With that action, Amir and Sohrab left with Amir feeling like he had finally atoned.
  • Amir Defends Sohrab

    In one instance, Amir stands up to General Taheri by telling him, "'You will never refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab'" (Hosseini 361). In this moment, the change between young Amir and grown up Amir is blindingly obvious through his defending of Sohrab. Baba always used to worry about Amir not standing up for anything, but in this moment, he stood up for someone else. This is when it is shown that he has truly changed for the better.
  • Hassan and Farzana are Murdered

    Rahim Khan tells Amir that once he left for Peshawar, the Taliban raided Baba's house and "'shot [Hassan] in the back of the head' ... [they] 'shot [Farzana] too'" (Hosseini 219). When Farzana and Hassan are murdered, Sohrab loses his parents which is what carries the ending of the novel. Amir would not have found Sohrab, cared for him, or even known that him and Hassan were brothers if Hassan had not died. Ultimately, their deaths lead to a way for Amir to atone which plays a significant role.
  • 9/11 Attacks

    The Al Qaeda terrorist group set out on a mission "on the morning of 11 September 2001. 19 hijackers took control of four commercial passenger jets flying out of airports on the east coast of the United States" (The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks).
  • Sohrab Begins to Warmup to Amir

    One day, Amir ran a kite for Sohrab and finally got a positive reaction even though "it was only a smile, ...[Amir] take[s] it ... [b]ecause when spring comes, it melts snow one snowflake at a time" (Hosseini 371). To elaborate, Amir collects hope from Sohrab smiling for the first time since his attempted suicide since he knows that returning to speaking terms with him would take time. This is significant as it shows that although the novel ended, there is an improving future in store for them.
  • New Constitution

    After years of inequality an only slightly better amendment is made as "Afghanistan's Grand Assembly adopts a new constitution, strengthening the authority of the president" (Timeline: Afghanistan's turbulent history).
  • Offense Against Taliban

    Finally, after years of attempting to get rid of the Taliban, progress is made when "NATO and Afghan troops launch Operation Achilles, their largest offensive against the Taliban in the country's south" (Timeline: Afghanistan's turbulent history).
  • Obama's Plan

    In an attempt to help the lacking, "Obama announced his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops" (Afghanistan- An Overview 4), in Afghanistan.
  • First Official Afghan Leader Visit to Russia

    In a step towards amending relations, "President Karzai makes first official state visit to Russia by an Afghan leader since the end of the Soviet invasion in 1989"(Afghanistan profile - Timeline).
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    A timeline fo 10 events in Afghanistan from 1975-present day. Also a timeline of 15 important events from the novel The Kite Runner.