Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by eric.yarmolinsky
  • Baba builds an orphanage

    Amir's father Baba decides to build an orphanage when Amir was very young and even though "Skeptics had urged him to stop his foolishness and hire an architect. Of course, Baba refused, and everyone shook their heads in dismay at his obstinate ways.Then Baba succeeded and everyone shook their heads in awe at his triumphant ways" (Hosseini 13). Baba's passionate and stubborn personality is demonstrated greatly through this action. He does not listen to those who insist he will fail.
  • Hassan gets a lip surgery

    For his birthday present, Baba gave Hassan a no expenses surgery to fix his cleft lip. Amir narrates, "Baba never missed Hassan's birthday. For a while, he used to ask Hassan what he wanted, but he gave up doing that because Hassan was always too modest to actually suggest a present" (Hosseini 44). Even this early in the book, there is already strong foreshadowing that Hassan is more than just Amir's servant to Baba. This builds an important exposition for Baba's feelings towards Hassan.
  • Amir wins the kite fighting contest

    In the winter of 1975, there was a large kite fighting competition that joined all the neighborhoods around Kabul. Amir wins the competition and recalls the fight. He says, "I opened my eyes, saw the blue kite spinning wildly like a tire come loose from a speeding car" (Hosseini 66). This competition holds great significance to Amir because he finally has a chance to please Baba. Amir really applies his focus and tries his best to win the competition and comes out victorious.
  • Hassan gets raped

    Out of anger, Assef decides to rape Hassan and although Amir watches at first, stops out of guilt and as he was running away "[He] realized something else. [He] was weeping. From just around the corner, [he] could hear Assef's quick, rhythmic grunts" (Hosseini 77). This moment has great significance, because not only does Amir leave Hassan, but he is aware and upset at himself but for some reason he can't stop himself. This shows just how important Amir values the possibility of pleasing Baba.
  • Amir's thirteenth birthday party

    During Amir's final summer of peace, he celebrates his thirteenth birthday party that was so grand in scale that "For days, the house was teeming with Baba's hired help" (Hosseini 94). Baba strongly prioritizes his status in society. This is shown here because of how much he is investing into Amir's birthday party. This creates an image in Amir's mind where Baba is great.
  • Hassan and Ali leave Kabul

    At the point where Baba understands that he has no chance of keeping Hassan and Ali with them, Amir describes, "when he straightened, I saw in his slumping shoulders that the life I had known since I'd been born was over" (Hosseini 108). This demonstrates how close the relationship between Baba and Ali was. Also, we once again see how Baba can't do anything to stop his own son from leaving him because of how important honor is to him.
  • Soviet Invasion

    Afghanistan has not been at peace for a long time. This has been "since 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded...The first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979" (New York Times).
  • Baba gets into a confrontation with a Russian soldier

    When the Russian soldier would like to take a women from the group on her own, Baba confronts him, asking where his shame was, and the Russian responds, "'There is no shame in war"' (Hosseini 115). Baba's strong morals are demonstrated here displaying his bravery. Even when at the risk of dying Baba would not back down and stood his ground.
  • Kamal dies

    When Baba and Amir were escaping Afghanistan, they ended up being in the same group as Kamal and his father. However, his father freaks out and yells, '"He won't breathe! My boy won't breahte!'" (Hosseini 124). Here, it is shown that Kamal gets a punishment that only Amir is aware of why. Although it is unfortunate that he died, this symbolizes that Amir can't forget about the action he did a few years ago which keeps a sense of guilt in his mind.
  • Amir graduates high school

    Amir had been in American for around two years at this point and "[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). This signifies the life of an immigrant from Afghanistan. He is not necessarily the same as other kids and because of his language barrier as well as his different societal norms, Amir isn't able to finish high school at the normal age of 18.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    When Amir first sees Soraya at a Sunday flea market in the Afghan area, he describes, "I saw she had a brown, sickle-shaped birthmark on the smooth skin just above her left jawline" (Hosseini 140). Here, we can see that Amir has an instant attraction towards Soraya. This foreshadows that they may have a much close relationship in the upcoming years.
  • Amir marries Soraya

    Amir and Soraya get married, and as one last parting gift to them, "Baba spent $35,000, nearly the balance of his life savings, on the awroussi, the wedding ceremony" (Hosseini 169). This incredibly selfless act of Baba's displays how much he really has cared for Amir and how they have become very close in the recent years. The money also symbolizes Baba's last true valuable item which he held on until the last moments of his life.
  • Baba dies

    After many months of furiously fighting cancer, it was time for Baba to move on. In Baba's last moments, Baba says, "'Not tonight' ... 'There is no pain tonight"' (Hosseini 173). Here, Baba not only feels that he is going to pass, but he leaves peacefully. Because of this smooth death, it allows Amir to be able to grieve in a much smoother process.
  • Rahim Khan leaves to Hazarajat to find Hassan

    Rahim Khan decided to leave Kabul and go search for Hassan. He recalls that the biggest reason why he left "was that [he] was lonely" (Hosseini 203). This shows that even though Rahim felt as though he was in isolation, there was someone to turn to. It also foreshadows that Hassan is now dead because he is not with Rahim when Rahim meets Amir.
  • Rahim Khan meets Farzana, Hassan's wife

    When Hassan introduced Farzana to Rahim Khan, he recalls, "She was a shy woman, so courteous she spoke in a voice barely higher than a whisiper and she would not raise her pretty hazel eyes to meet my gaze" (Hosseini 205-206). This demonstrates the different classes in Afghan culture. Even though they were both okay with talking to each other, because Farzana is a woman as well as a Hazara, she does not feel like she has the right to look Rahim Khan in the eye.
  • Final Soviet Troops Leave Afghanistan

    Although the conflict lasted for a very long time, the United Nations held peace talks which eventually led to "the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989" (New York Times).
  • Sohrab is born

    When Rahim Khan is telling Amir about the birth of Sohrab, Hassan's sun, he narrates, "They named him Sohrab, after Hassan's favorite hero from the Shahnamah, as you know, Amir jan" (Hosseini 211). This is significant because it shows that there is still a connection between Amir and Hassan. Although they haven't seen each other in so many years, they still know each other as brothers.
  • Pakistan begins to support the Taliban

    When the Taliban was on the verge of demise, they were assisted when "Pakistani intelligence officers began funneling arms, money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men, as well as military advisers to help guide them in battle" (New York Times).
  • Taliban occupies Afghanistan

    When talking about the seizing of Afghanistan, the article states, "the Taliban, the extremist Islamic group that had seized control in 1996 after the civil war" (New York Times).
  • Osama bin Laden Seeks Haven in Afghanistan

    When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, they "provided a haven for Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalabad Airport in May 1996" (New York Times).
  • U.S. Invasion

    In 2001, the United States of America led an invasion which "succeeded in dislodging Al Qaeda and removing the Taliban from power" (New York Times).
  • Hamid Karzai is named chairman

    Once the Taliban was overruled, "In December 2001, Hamid Karzaik a supporter and relative of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the exiled former king of Afghanistan, was named chairman of an interim government ... making him the leader of the country" (New York Times).
  • Sohrab attempts suicide

    In a more depressing moment of the book, Sohrab attempts to kill himself, and "Suddenly [Amir] was on [his] knees, screaming. Screaming through [his] clenched teeth. Screaming until [he] thought [his] throat would rip and [his] chest explode" (Hosseini 343). Although they had only been together for a short time, Amir already felt like he has such a close relationship with Sohrab. In this situation, Sohrab symbolizes Hassan in that Amir does not want to mess up their relationship.
  • Attack on the World Trade Center

    The horrible act of terrorism that was "the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001" (New York Times), led to many grave repercussion for American society.
  • Taliban Resurgence

    The Taliban, although defeated, kept fighting and "As the American military focus was diverted to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Taliban regrouped and began to extend its influence in the southern part of Afghanistan" (New York Times).
  • Obama announces military plan for Afghanistan

    When the American people were eagerly waiting for a solution, Obama satisfied them and "In a speech delivered Dec. 1, 2009, at West Point, Mr. Obama announced his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops" (New York Times).
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    Kite Runner & the HIstory of Aghanistan