Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • Amir makes up a story for Hassan

    The narrator describes, "One day, in July 1973, I played another little trick on Hassan. I was reading to him, and suddenly I strayed from the written story. I pretended I was reading from the book" and Hassan says that "That was the best story you've read me in a long time" (Hosseini 30). By playing tricks on Hassan, Amir shows that even though he thinks of Hassan as a friend, he still knows that there's a racial divide between them. However, Hassan is oblivious and just keeps going with life.
  • Hassan is violated

    Amir is confused and doesn't know what he can do to help Hassan. He describes, "I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan--the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past--and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran" (Hosseini 77). Amir knows that he should save Hassan, but he can't find the courage to do it. He leaves Hassan there with Assef and his friends just so he can save himself. His decision is what tears his relationship with Hassan apart.
  • Hassan and Ali leave

    As Hassan and Ali get ready to leave, they ask Baba, "'Will you take us to the bus station, Agha sahib?' Then I saw Baba do something had never seen him do before: He cried" (Hosseini 107). Hassan and Ali mean a lot to Baba, and their leaving takes a great toll on him. He lets himself become exposed as a weaker person in an attempt to keep his lifelong friend and his son with him, but he can't. This could lead up to a devastating emotional crash for Baba.
  • Soviet Union Invasion of Afghanistan

    Afghanistan was a peaceful country until the "first Soviet troops parachuted into into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979, to assist Babrak Karmal, who had become president in a coup wihtin the Afghan Communist leadership" (The New York Times 2).
  • Period: to

    History of Afghanistan

  • Amir and Baba move to America

    The author describes, "Baba loved the idea of America. It was living in America that gave him and ulcer" (Hosseini 125). The war becomes rough enough that they have to move to America for safety. However, Baba still greatly misses his home country, and his idea of America differs from the actual thing. His decision to move from his home, where he was well and happy, to America could greatly affect his mental and physical health in the years to come.
  • Amir meets Soraya Taheri

    As Amir and Baba adjust to life in America, Amir meets an Afghan girl at a flee market where he works, and he thinks to himself, "My heart stuttered at the thought of her. Soraya Taheri. My Swap Meet Princess" (Hosseini 142). He seems to be starting to have romantic feelings towards this girl. This could become an aspect of his life that could make him happier; something to help distract him from his past acitons. She could be the person that helps him to forgive himself.
  • Baba is diagnosed with cancer

    When the pulminologist comes in with the results, it is found out that Baba has "'Oat Cell Carcinoma.' Advanced. Inoperable" (Hosseini 156). Baba learns that the chemotherapy will only prolong the outcome of the cancer, and decides not to take it. This leaves Amir with an incoming future where his father his dead, leaving him without another person that he cares about.
  • Amir becomes engaged to Soraya

    After Soraya tells her story of what happened before she met Amir, She finds that Amir doesn't care. He says, "Nothing you said changes anything. I want us to marry" (Hosseini 165). Amir is able to see past Soraya's differences and still loves her. His love for Soraya shows the strength of true love.
  • Baba dies

    As Baba is being put to bed, he refuses his morphine and says, "'Not tonight,' he said. 'There is no pain tonight.' 'Okay,' [Soraya] said. She pulled up his blanket. We closed the door. Baba never woke up" (Hosseini 173). Baba's death adds another person to the list of people Amir has lost in his life. It takes a great toll on him, and he has a hard time adjusting to life without Baba. This shows that the loss of a family member can significantly change the life of the rest of the familiy.
  • Amir finishes his first book

    Amir says, "In the summer of 1988, about six months before the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, I finished my first novel, a father-son story set in Kabul, written mostly with the typewriter the general had given me" (Hosseini 182). His storyline, about the father and son, shows how much his father ment to him. His novel is almost like a way for Amir to remember the things he loved about his father.
  • The Soviets leave Afghanistan

    The author writes, " Eventually, after peace talks moderated by the United Nations, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989, in what was in efect a unilateral withdrawl" (The New York Times 2).
  • Mullah Omar gains power

    The author describes, "By the end of 1994 Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east" (The New York Times 2).
  • The Taliban takes full control of Afghanistan

    With the help of Pakistan "the Taliban by 1996 had taken control of Afghanistan, imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law" (The New York Times 3).
  • Osama bin Laden arrives in Afghanistan

    The Taliban's control over Afhganistan made it safe for terrorists like Osama bin Laden to return and he "arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996" (The New York Times 3).
  • Hassan and his wife die, and his son is left orphaned.

    As Amir protests, Rahim Khan says, "So they took him to the street...and order him to kneel...and shot him in the back of the head...Farzana came screaming and attacked them...shot her too. Self-defense, they claimed later..." (Hosseini 219). Amir can't comprehend the death of his friend, who he shunned during their last moments together. Amir has another person to add to the list of people he has loved and lost. Hassan's death shows that unantoned guilt can be worse than just losing a person.
  • Amir goes to see Rahim Khan in Afghanistan

    As Amir sits down with Rahim Khan for the first time in years, he thinks, "For example, the 'elephant in the room' saying. Nothing could more correctly describe the initial moments of my reunion with Rahim Khan" (Hosseini 197). Amir still feels guilty about what happened between him and Hassan, and he knows that Rahim Khan knows. He doesn't want Rahim Khan to think any differenty of him. His guilt illustrates that any event in a person's history can affect them and their chioces for a lifetime.
  • Amir decides to resuce Sohrab

    As Amir remembers Hassan, he thinks, "He was gone now, but a little part of him lived on. It was in Kabul. Waiting" and the next morning Amir tells Rahim Khan that he "was going to Kabul" (Hosseini 227). Amir realizes, while looking at the polaroid of Hassan and his son, that finding Sohrab and bringing him to a safe place may be the only way he can redeem himself for what he did. He is tired of living with the guilt, so he tries to atone for his sins by saving the son of his half-brother.
  • Assef fights Amir

    As Assef hits Amir, Amir begins to laugh. Assef says, "'WHAT'S SO FUNNY?' Assef bellowed. Another rib snapped, this time left lower. What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace" (Hosseini 289). After 26 years, Amir has finally found peace. He is able to forget the guilt that has been wracking his brain and move on with his life. He is able to forgive himself for what he did all those years ago.
  • Amir tries to adopt Sohrab

    When Amir tells his wife about Sohrab, Soraya says to "bring him home" (Hosseini 326). She, along with Amir, wants to have Sohrab as their son. Making Sohrab Amir's legal son would atone for all the time that Amir missed with Hassan, all the memories that could've been made if Amir had forgiven himself earlier in life. It would give Amir another chance to make up for his past actions.
  • Al Qaeda attacks the World Trade Center

    Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group Al Qaeda led and "attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001" (The New York Times 3).
  • The Karzai gov. is put into place

    The author writes, "In December 2001, Hamid Karzai, a supporter and relative of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the exiled former king of Afghanistan, was named chairman of and interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban" (The New York Times 3).
  • The Taliban Returns

    The author writes, "Despite their defeat in 2001, the Taliban continued to wage a guerilla warfare from a base in the mountainous and largely lawless tribal area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border" (The New York Times 3).
  • Sohrab smiles after a year of solemn silence

    As Amir and Sohrab fly their fighting kite, they break their opponent's string and "[Amir] looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile. Lopsided. Hardly there. But there" (Hosseini 371). After Sohrab tried to kill himself, he didn't have much of a reason that he felt was good enough to keep on living. His smile shows that he is starting to feel like he is cared for and loved again. It shows that he is still able to have fun after all he's been through.
  • Iraq commander takes charge of US Central Command

    The author describes, "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, with responsibiility for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the region" (The New York Times 4).
  • Obama announces plan to add more soldiers to Afghanistan

    The author writes, "In a speech delivered Dec. 1, 2009, at West Point, 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" (The New York Times 4).