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Kite Runner + Afghan History

  • Amir is born

    "It was there, in that little shack, that Hassan was born in the winter of 1964, just one year after my mother died giving birth to me" (Hossini 5). This quote gives us insight into the different status of the two boys, just in the places they were born. It also sets the stage for Baba's resentment of Amir for killing his wife.
  • Hassan is born

    "While my mother hemorrhaged to death during
    childbirth, Hassan lost his less than a week after he was born. Lost her to a fate
    most Afghans considered far worse than death: She ran off with a clan of
    traveling singers and dancers" (Hossani 6). This quote shows us the type of person Hassan's mother was, and how society viewed that type of behavior. This quote also goes into more detail on the nature of Amir's moms death.
  • The king, Zahir Shah, is overthrown by his cousin

    "THEY WEREN'T SHOOTING ducks after all. As it turned out, they hadn't shot
    much of anything that night of July 17,1973. Kabul awoke the next morning to
    find that the monarchy was a thing of the past. The king, Zahir Shah, was away in
    Italy. In his absence, his cousin Daoud Khan had ended the king's forty-year reign
    with a bloodless coup" (Hosseini 32). This quote shows us the beginning of the end of Amirs stable life.
    it also sets a standard for coups that will slip over the book.
  • Amir wins the kite tournament

    "'We won! We won!'...[I] saw Baba on our roof. He was standing on the edge, pumping both of his fists. Hollering and clapping. And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last" (Hossini 58). This quote shows the first time Baba is proud of Amir, and how important this was to Amir. This gives us insight into the factors that form someone who sacrifices a friend for misinformed pride.
  • Hassan is raped

    "Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan's hips and lifted his bare buttocks. He kept one hand on Hassan's back and undid his own belt buckle with his free hand. He unzipped his jeans... [II s]aw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb" (Hossini 66). This quote shows us the pivotal moment in Amir's life, where he didn't step in. It also highlights the societal difference where the rape is acceptable, and how Hassan should just take it.
  • Hassan and Ali leave

    ""Life here is impossible for us now, Agha sahib. We're leaving."... I saw that Hassan had told him. He had told him everything... Strangely, I was glad that someone knew me for who I really was" (Hossini 91). This quote shows us Ali's extreme devotion to his son, and the lengths he will go to protect his family. We can also see Amir's guilt lifted as he isn't alone in sholdering the burden of his greed.
  • Soviet invasion causes turmoil

    "Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, has known little peace since 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded"
  • Baba and Amir flee Afghanistan

    "Karim was a people smuggler—it was a
    pretty lucrative business then, driving people out of Shorawi-occupied Kabul to the relative safety of Pakistan. He was taking us to Jalalabad, about 170 kilometers southeast of Kabul" (Hossini 97). This quote shows us how much afganistan shifted when leadership shifted. It reminds the reader of Hassan leaving, both for safety, just from different dangers.
  • Baba and Amir move to California

    "Baba loved the idea of America. It was living in America that gave him an ulcer" (Hossini 109). This quote shows us how Baba has changed, from a man who has it all, and has it all covered, to a man who stresses about everything, and scrapes by, but on his own terms. We can also see how his realistic nature has become more idealistic and delusional, as he cant let go of the way he thinks things should be.
  • Amir meets his wife, Soraya

    "LYING AWAKE IN BED that night, I thought of Soraya Taheri's sickle-shaped birthmark, her gently hooked nose, and the way her luminous eyes had fleetingly held mine. My heart stuttered at the thought of her. Soraya Taheri. My Swap Meet Princess" (Hossini 123). This quote shows us how quickly Amir falls for Soraya, and how deeply in love he falls. We can also see him draw an analogy to his mother, who he refers to as his fathers princess.
  • Baba is diagnosed with uncurable cancer, and declines chemo

    "Baba's [cancer] was called "Oat Cell Carcinoma. Advanced. Inoperable. Baba asked Dr. Amani for a prognosis. Dr. Amani bit his lip, used the word "grave." "There is chemotherapy, of course," he said. "But it would only be palliative... It means it wouldn't change the outcome, just prolong
    it."...Baba said. 'But no
    chemo-medication for me" (Hossini 136). This quote shows how baba wants to control how he dies. It also shows how baba wants to maintain his sense of dignity.
  • Amir gets married to Soraya

    "The phone rang just before noon. It was Baba. "Well?" "The general accepted [your marriage proposal]"" (Hossini 142).
    This quote shows us the moment Baba is replaced by Soraya. It also shows us how differently other cultures handle marriage.
  • Baba dies

    "Baba had wrestled bears his whole life. Losing his young wife. Raising a son by himself. Leaving his beloved homeland, his watan. Poverty. Indignity. In the end, a bear had come that he couldn't best. But even then, he had lost on his own terms" (Hossini 152). This quote highlights Baba's need to control things, including the way he looked as he died. This quote also shows us how much Amir respects Baba for this trait.
  • Taliban hits 12k followers

    "By the end of 1994 Mullah Omar had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east"(New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Pakistan juices up the Taliban

    "As early as 1994, 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 Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Taliban takes control

    "[Afghanistan was controlled by the] Taliban, the extremist Islamic group that had seized control in 1996 after years of civil war" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Taliban enforce strict interpretation of Islamic law throughout Afghanistan

    "Buoyed by Pakistani aid, the Taliban by 1996 had taken control of Afghanistan, imposing strict - enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law, banning movies and music and forcing women out of schools and into all-enveloping burqa clothing" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Taliban protects Bin Ladin, and Al Qaeda in Afganistan

    "The Taliban also provided a haven for Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996, and for Al Qaeda" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Period: to

    USA in Afganistan

    "The United States has been militarily involved in Afghanistan since 2001, when it led an invasion after the Sept. 11 attacks by Al Qaeda" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Rahim Khan calls Amir back to Afghanistan because he's sick

    "My suspicions had been right all those years. He knew about Assef, the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known. Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up. Said it in passing, almost as an afterthought" (Hossini 168). This quote gives us insight into Rahim Khans choices, and gives the reader a new angle to view him from. It also leaves the reader wondering why he didn't step in at the time.
  • Amir takes Sohrab home

    ""Take him, then," Assef said... I saw Sohrab in that Polaroid again, the way his arm was wrapped around Hassan's leg, his head resting against his father's hip. They'd both been smiling" (Hossini 250). This quote shows us how much happiness the Taliban has taken from people, by describing the smiles that would still exist if the Taliban hadn't snuffed them. This quote also shows us how much Sohrab loved his father, foreshadowing his difficulty accepting Amir as a father figure.
  • 9/11, twin towers fall

    9/11, twin towers fall
    Not part of my 25, just thought it was an important divider
  • US raids take Taliban out of power, and dislodge Al Queda

    "The 2001 invasion succeeded in dislodging Al Qaeda and removing the Taliban from power, but not in eradicating either group" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Amir shares his first happy moment with Sohrab in America

    "I looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth had curled up just so.
    A smile.
    Hardly there...
    "For you, a thousand times over," I heard myself say" (Hossini 323). This quote comes full circle with earlier in the book, when Hassan says the same words to Amir. We can feel Amir trying to find a way to be good again, and trying to live without blocking out his mistakes.
  • Obama brings the US's focus from Iraq to Afghanistan to prioritize the Taliban

    "President Obama made Afghanistan the central military focus of his administration, drawing troops out of Iraq and increasing the number in Afghanistan by almost 50,000. He put Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the 2007“surge” in Iraq, in command of American forces in Afghanistan, and the pace of American operations stepped up enormously" (New York Times Afghanistan an Overview).
  • Obama's 2011 pullout date missed

    "He vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011, saying the United States could not afford and should not have to shoulder an open-ended commitment. Yet in a move away from that July 2011 deadline, the Obama administration changed its tone to increasingly emphasize the idea that the United States will have forces in the country until at least the end of 2014"