Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

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  • Amir Finds his Talent for Stories

    As Amir read to Hassan, he decided to stray from the words written in the book and tell his own story. As Amir finished his story, "Hassan began to clap," (30) and said, "That was the best story you've read to me in a long time" (30). Here Amir finally finds something he excels at. All this time, trying to be like his father, he hasn't found any talent inside of him, until now.
  • Amir Writes his First Story

    Amir decided to write his own story, which was read by Rahim Kahn who then wrote to Amir," God has granted you a special talent . . . the most impressive thing about your story is that it has irony" (32). Amir's first story incorporated irony, which is using opposite words or story to state a point, and has actually been a huge part of Amir's life. For example, its quite ironic that Amir has everything and Hassan has nothing. However, Amir is jealous of Hassan.
  • The Begining of the End

    For the first time ever Amir and Hassan were introduced to the sounds of gunfire as they hid in a corner, "Huddled together in the dinning room...none of us had any notion that... our way of life... had least the beginning of the end... The generation of Afghan children who..would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born" (36). This quote shows the beginning of not only the end of Amir and Hassan's way of life, but also the war torn Afghanistan we know today.
  • Amir Wins the Kite Tournament

    Amir and Hassan finally achieve their dream of winning the kite flying contest as they scream, "We won! We won!" and Baba was standing, "on the edge pumping both of his fists"(66). Amir has won and immediately looks to Baba getting his first taste of Baba's hard earned approval. And this time Baba is focused on Amir not Hassan, something Amir has been desperate for and will now never give up no matter the cost.
  • Hassan is raped

    While running the last kite for Amir, Hassan is stopped by Assef and his gang of boys. Amirs arrives at the scene soon after finding, "Assef... standing over him [Hassan], the heel of his snow boots crushing the back of Hassan's neck" (75).Amir debates endlessly whether to interfere and help Hassan or desert him and finally decides on the latter. He wouldn't want to give up the approval from Baba he had just earned. He guesses this is the price to pay for the favor of Baba.
  • Baba Gets Mad

    Hassan's rape has haunted Amir to the point where he asks Baba if they could get new servants. Baba reaction is huge as he yells, "Hassan's not going anywhere...this is his home and we're his family. Don't ever ask me that question again!"(90). Firstly, the fact that Amir is considering getting rid of Hassan shows the guilt, regret and pain Amir is feeling because of him, who has done nothing to Amir. Secondly, this quote shows how much Baba cares for Hassan, maybe more than he cares for Amir.
  • After Amir's Birthday

    Amir received many gifts for his birthday, but he knew that, "he didn't want any of it-- it was all blood money; Baba would have never thrown me a party like that if I hadn't won the tournament,"(101). Amir calls all his expensive gifts "blood money" because he knows that he would have never gotten any of it without his father's approval, which he had payed so dearly for with Hassan. He realizes that Baba threw the party not because he cares for his son, but only to show off Amir's success.
  • Baba Cries for the First Time

    Hassan has been accused for stealing. Baba forgives him, but Ali has made the decision to leave. While Amir is a bit relieved, Baba is devastated and Amir watches his father beg Ali to stay as he says,"I saw Baba do something I had never seen him do before: He cried. 'Please,' Baba was saying. I'll never forget...the pain in his plea, the fear."(107). Who knew someone so low in society could cause Baba, who is the most powerful, so much pain. This just shows how much Hassan and Ali mean to Baba.
  • The Soviet Union Gets Involved

    The Soviet Union launched and invasion in Afghanistan which, "descended into a prolonged and bloody occupation" (NYT) and weakened the once stable government.
  • Amir and Baba Reach America

    Finally Amir and Baba have arrived to America, which Baba has always idolized as he always tells Amir that America is,"the brash savior,"(125). Here we see that Baba loves America, but once he starts to live there he finds a tiring life of work. When Amir suggests going back to Peshawar Baba says that Peshawar," was good for me. Not for you [Amir]... I didn't bring us here for me,"(130). Even though his life is so much harder now, Baba still finds ways to find ways to shows his love for his son.
  • Amir and Baba leave Afghanistan

    The Russians had invaded and Afghanistan is no longer safe. And so Amir and Baba leave their home as Amir says,"we'd left the house where I'd lived my entire life. Baba and me, sitting with our suitcases between our legs cramped with these strangers in the tarpaulin-covered cab of an old Russian truck," (110-112). Baba and Amir have left everything behind. Their home, wealth, and their life. In just a few years Afghanistan when from a beloved home to a war torn, unsafe place.
  • Amir Graduates from highschool

    Amir had graduated high school and Baba said to him," I am moftakhir, Amir... Proud"(131). Amir had gotten what he had longed for all his life, his fathers admiration and pride. For one of the first times Baba was proud of his son. Not embarrassed, but proud.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    Amir and Baba had started making extra money by selling item on the flea market. One day They come across an old Afghan friend and met his daughter Soraya. From the first time he saw her Amir described her as a, " slim-hipped beauty... my[Amir's] heart quickened... my heart stuttered at the thought of her"(140-142). Amir is in love with Soraya. He beings to see her and soon enough Baba goes to ask her father for a marriage. Amir is finding a great happiness despite what he has gone through.
  • Baba dies

    About a month after Amir and Soraya's wedding Baba passes. Soraya had moved in with Amir to take care of Baba. One night decided not to take his medicine before bed and never woke up. After his death Amir constantly thinks,"My whole life, I had been 'Baba's son.' Now he was gone. He couldn't show me the way any more"(174). Amir had always lived under his strong, noble, father. Now Baba was gone, and that terrified Amir. It scared him that the steady, guiding father he depended on was now gone.
  • The Soviets Leave

    " After peace talks moderated by the United Nations, the last Soviet Soviet troops left Afghanistan" (NYT). Even through the invasion was over, Afghanistan was left is ruins by the wars and, "had become a beacon to Islamic extremists from across the globe" (NYT).
  • Soviets Defeated

    Once the U.S. involved itself, "the Soviet Air Force was . . . rendered largely useless by advanced Stinger antiaircraft missiles supplied by the United States to the rebels" (NYT), and soon left Afghanistan.
  • Results of the Invasion

    Because of the ruined government and country left by the Soviets, "by the summer of 1994, power was anarchically divided among competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" (NYT)
  • The Rise of the Taliban

    A student movement based on, "purifying the country" (NYT), was the start of the Taliban. Their first actions was when Mullah Omar, a Pashtun injured from the war, and a band on men attacked a group of warlords and, "by the end of 1994 Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers" (NYT).
  • Pakistan Supports the Taliban

    Pakistan supported their neighbor by providing, "intelligence officers . . . money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men, as well as military advisers to help guide them in battle" (NYT).
  • The Taliban Takes Control

    The Taliban had now, "taken control of Afghanistan, imposing strict enforcement of fundamental Islamic law, banning movies and music and forcing women out of school and into all-enveloping burqa clothing" (NYT). They also provided a haven for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
  • Mr. Bin Landen Arrives

    The Taliban also provided a refuge for, "Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996" (NYT).
  • The United States Invasion

    The Taliban refused to George W. Bush's terms and in that same year were driven out of major cities in Afghanistan by rebel groups now supported by the U.S. The United States led an invasion in Afghanistan and, "succeeded in dislodging Al Qaeda and removing the Taliban from power" (NYT).
  • The U.S. Gets Involved

    On Sep. 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center and so, "President George W. Bush gave the Taliban and ultimatum to hand over Mr. bin Laden" (NYT).
  • Amir goes to Afghanistan

    Rahim Khan calls Amir telling him to, " Come. There is a way to be good again" (192), referring to Amir's situation with Hassan. When he gets there Rahim Khan tells Amir everything that has happen to Hassan including Hassan's death and they are half-brothers. Amir's reaction to the news is huge as he screams, " You bastards... How could hide this from me? From him?"(222-223). Amir has just realized his whole life was lie and guilt come poring into him as he remember what he has done to Hassan.
  • Amir goes to find Sorab

    Amir also learns that Hassan has a son, Sohrab, who is now orphaned with no chance of a future and so he decides to," go to Kabul and bring Sohrab... give him a new life... with people who love him"(220), in Peshawar. Amir has decided to do this last favor for his dead friend. He seeks atonement of his horrible sins against Hassan and believes he will find it through Sohrab.
  • Amir gets Sohrab

    Amir finds Sohrab with his worst enemy, Assef who is now a leader in the Taliban. However, Amir must fight for Sohrab. Assef overpowers Amir, but Amir finds relief in the pain. However, almost exactly like his father, Sohrab was," holding the cup of the slingshot at the end of the elastic band which was pulled all the way back"(290). Sohorab hit Assef in the left eye. Amir found relief in the pain because feels that it is his punishment he has craved for. The punishment for all his wrongs.
  • Sohraab commits suicide

    Amir wants to take Sohrab to America, but to do that he must send Sohrab to an orphanage, something Amir promised he would never do. Sohrab is devastated and when Amir enters the bathroom where Sohrab was showering he finds,"a left arm dangling over the side of the tub, the blood-soaked razor sitting on the toilet tank... his eyes half open but lightless"(348). Going back to the orphanage was too much for Sohrab. He's been through so much at such a young age. That is the horrible effects of war.
  • Sohrab's Smile

    Sohrab lives through his attempted suicide and goes to America with Amir, but is silent. The light in his eyes are gone, replaced with a dead stare. One day, however, there is a kite flying tournament and Amir enters with Sohrab. They fly the kite together and as Amir looked down at Sorhrab he sees," one corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile. Lopsided. Hardly there. But there"(370-371). After all this dead silence, Sohrab finally gives a smile. Maybe there is hope for him after all.
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    Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan