Kite Runner & History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by erikajiang
  • Amir's Birth

    In 1963, a boy named Amir was born into a wealthy Pashtun family. Although giving birth welcomes a new life, sometimes during childbirth, the mother can "hemorrhage to death" (Hosseini 6) as Amir's mother, Sofia did. From a young age, Amir felt responsible for his mother's death, since Amir wanted to atone his sin of stealing Baba's rights to a wife, Amir constantly wants to prove Baba that he is not a disappointment. In doing so, Amir sacrifices relationships so he will not disappoint Baba.
  • Hassan's Birth

    Hassan was born in 1964 in an old shack behind Baba's mansion. His mother, Sanaubar left because "she had eloped with a band of singers and dancers" (Hosseini 210). Leaving Hassan with his father, Ali. In Afghanistan, status is highly regarded and since Ali was a Hazara with low socioeconomic status, Sanaubar did not want to associate herself with him and left. This proves that wealth, reputation, and education are heavily significant in Afghanistan and its cultures.
  • Hassan's Surgery

    On Hassan's birthday, Baba got him an operation to fix his cleft lip. Before the surgery, Amir became jealous and thought "Hassan hadn't done anything to earn Baba's affections; he'd only been born with that stupid harelip" (Hosseini 46). Even though Baba could not openly express his love for Hassan as deeply as a father could, the largest gesture he could give Hassan was the harelip surgery. This is significant because it shows Baba's true feelings toward Hassan that have been kept away.
  • Hassan Getting Raped By Assef

    A neighborhood bully, Assef approaches Hassan and brings him to an alleyway to rape him. As Amir walks by, he watches Hassan get raped instead of helping him because he "was afraid of Assef and what he would do to [him]" (Hosseini 77). Amir's instinct was to abandon Hassan, even though Hassan had put Amir's kite over his own body, showing his loyalty to Amir's family. In return, Amir put Hassan in danger, showing how Amir puts his father's acceptance over Hassan's safety and life.
  • Ali and Hassan Leave

    Hassan explains to Ali about him getting raped as Amir watched, Ali makes the decision that they have to move out of Baba's mansion. As Ali tells Baba that they are leaving, "Baba [did] something [Amir had] never seen...before: [Baba] cried" (Hosseini 107). Baba was depicted as a strong and emotionless person. Baba's crying shows how important Hassan and Ali were in his life. Suddenly the power shifts from Baba to Ali because Ali and Hassan hold a power much greater than wealth...love.
  • Surprise Invasion in Afghanistan

    Afghanistan used to be peaceful and secure, until "the 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union and the reaction both by Afghans and by their allies in the United States and Pakistan" (New York Times).
  • First Attack by the Soviet Union in Kabul

    The new president, Babrak Kamal called "the first Soviet troops [to] parachute into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979" (New York Times).
  • Amir and Baba Escape Kabul, Afghanistan

    Amir and Baba escaped the terrible conditions in Kabul, they "left the house where [Amir had] lived [his] entire life, as if they were going out for a bite" (Hosseini 112). Amir and Baba leaving this urgently shows how dangerous Kabul was and the poor conditions the city was in. This is significant because the conditions were terrible enough for Baba to decide to leave his mansion to Rahim Khan and Amir to leave his livelihood. Them leaving proved Kabul's dangerous state during a conflict.
  • Adjusting to Life in America

    In a local grocery store, Baba starts to have an issue with Mr.Nguyen's policy about checking IDs. This leads to Amir needing to deescalate the situation by removing his father and apologizing that “[his] father is still adjusting to life in America” (Hosseini 128). In America Baba realizes that he is an outcast. His broken English makes it hard for people to communicate with him. This causes Baba to rely on Amir because of Amir's ability to speak the foreign language, English.
  • Baba's Gift to Amir After His Graduation

    After Amir's graduation, Amir drove Baba around to let him sober up. Suddenly Baba told him to pull over, and he "reached into his coat pocket and handed [Amir] a set of keys... 'You'll need it to go to college'" Baba said (Hosseini 133). Baba giving Amir a car for college proves that he cares about Amir deeply. Even though Amir has the insecurity that Baba does not appreciate him, Baba's thoughtful gift represents his love for Amir all these years.
  • Hassan Returns to Baba's Mansion

    As Rahim Khan became weaker every day he was unable to clean Baba's mansion efficiently. He decided to go to Hazarajat and convince Hassan to help clean the mansion with him. Hassan gladly accepted because Baba "was like [Hassan's] second father" (Hosseini 208). Hassan dropped all of his responsibilities in Hazarajat to clean Baba's mansion out of respect. This shows Baba's importance and positive impact on Hassan's life. Also, how Hassan values family and friends over everything else.
  • Baba's Passing

    Baba was diagnosed with advanced "Oat Cell Carcinoma", a form of cancer. The doctor mentioned chemo but Baba refused and said: "no chemo medication for me" (Hosseini 156). Baba accepting his fate represents that he has finally atoned all of his sins and is ready to go on to the afterlife. Because Amir heavily relied on Baba, Baba's passing lets Amir become more independent and lets Amir make his own decisions. This leads Amir to adopt Sohrab and atone his sin of being cruel to Hassan in Kabul.
  • Soraya and Amir Try to Conceive a Child

    The doctor diagnosed Amir and Soraya with "unexplained fertility" (Hosseini 185). Amir felt that someone in the universe "had decided to deny [him] fatherhood for the things [he] had done. Maybe this was [his] punishment" (Hosseini 188). Amir's guilt is constantly on his mind, especially since he is trying to conceal it from everyone. Amir tries to blame their fertility on the sins he has done in the past to relieve the guilt that he has rooted deep down.
  • Departure of Soviet Union Troops in 1989

    In 1989 the soviet troops left Afghanistan "after peace talks moderated by the United Nations" (New York Times).
  • Soviet Air Force

    In 1989 the "Soviet Air Force was also rendered largely useless by advanced Stinger antiaircraft missiles supplied by the United States to the rebels" (New York Times).
  • Hassan's Mother, Sanaubar Returns

    One day Hassan's mother, Sanaubar returned to Baba's mansion to try and atone all the horrible acts she had done to Ali and Hassan. Hassan saw Sanaubar and "bolted out of the house" towards a hill. (Hosseini 210). A missing mother figure really damaged Hassan deep down and seeing her then brought out emotions from before. This is significant because Sanaubar has been depicted to make poor decisions but now she tries to atone her sins to become a loving grandmother to Sohrab.
  • Pakistani Intelligence Officers Support Mullah Omar's Cause

    As the "Pakistani Intelligence Officers began funneling arms, money and supplies to Mullah Omar's men." Near the end of 1994, "Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up warlords," promising to restore "the centrality of Islam to daily life" (New York Times).
  • Hassan and Farzana Get Killed by the Taliban

    The Taliban wanted to take Baba's home away from Hassan. Hassan wanted to protect Baba's mansion so "[he] protested." Until the Taliban shot him and "Farzana came screaming and attacked [the Taliban]" (Hosseini 218-219) then they shot her. Hassan's loyalty and respect towards Baba overweigh his self-worth, he rather protect Baba's mansion then protect himself. This is significant because it shows Hassan's selflessness and it represents how a lower class is able to protect a higher class.
  • Taliban Takes Entire Control Over Afghanistan

    By 1996, the Taliban "had taken control of Afghanistan, imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law," which included "banning movies and music and forcing women out of school and into all-enveloping burqa clothing" (New York Times)
  • Mr. bin Laden's Arrival in Jalalabad

    In May 1996, the Taliban "provided a haven for Mr. bin Laden" and "Al Qaeda" (New York Times).
  • New Leadership in Afghanistan

    "Hamid Karzai, a supporter, and relative of Mohammad Zahir Shab, the exiled former king of Afghanistan, was named chairman of an interim government that replaced the defeated Taliban, making him the leader of the country." He hoped to finally put peace in Afghanistan, later being "elected for a five-year term as president" (New York Times).
  • The Taliban's Comeback

    After the downfall in 2001, "the Taliban regrouped and began to extend its influence in the southern part of Afghanistan" (New York Times).
  • Amir Visits Rahim Khan

    Amir visited Rahim Khan because of Rahim's poor health. Rahim Khan started talking about Ali being sterile and how he was not Hassan's biological father. Amir refused to think that Baba was Hassan's father, he kept saying "[Ali] and Sanaubar had Hassan" (Hosseini 222). Although Amir and Hassan shared a father, Amir had different values than Hassan. Hassan was loyal and Amir was depicted as a close-minded. This shows a difference in values because of being raised in different cultures.
  • Sohrab Attempts Suicide

    In the emergency room, Amir prays that Sohrab will survive. Amir's guilt keeps growing, he thinks "his hands are stained with Hassan's blood" and he prays that God "doesn't let [his hands] get stained with the blood of [Sohrab] too" (Hosseini 346). As Amir's guilt lingers in his mind, all of his emotions emerge again but this time it was because he could not take proper care of Sohrab. Sohrab attempting suicide is meaningful because it shows how severely abused he was by the Taliban.
  • Post 9/11 Attack

    On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was under attack orchestrated by Mr. bin Laden. This lead to "President Geroge W. Bush [to] g[i]ve the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over Mr. bin Laden" and when refused "the United States joined forces with rebel groups that have never accepted Taliban rule" and it helped "dr[i]ve the Taliban out of major Afghan cities" (New York Times)

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    Kite Runner Timespan