The Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

Timeline created by 23ordonez84
In History
  • Afghanistan Becomes an Independent Nation

    Afghanistan Becomes an Independent Nation
    Afghanistan becomes an independent country as a result of the British defeat during the Third British-Afghan War. A campaign for socioeconomic reform is started by Amir Amanullah Khan
  • Zahir Shah Becomes King

    Zahir Shah Becomes King
    During his reign, which lasts 40 years (1933-1973) Afghanistan enjoys a period of some stability.
  • Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan Become Prime Minister

    Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan Become Prime Minister
    As prime minister, some of his actions are to bring in new social reforms. For example, he grants women "a more public presence", the right to attend universities, and more. Also, being pro-Soviet, he seeks for economic and military aid from the union.
  • Amir Reads His Own Story to Hassan

    Amir Reads His Own Story to Hassan
    As children, Amir reads to Hassan. But one day, he "take[s] over the story", coming up with his own. When he finishes, Hassan claps (30). This marks the beginning of Amir's path as a writer. Hassan's praise fuels this talent in his childhood. It also serves as another example of their relationship; Hassan, the loyal supporter, and Amir, the one benefitting from this loyalty.
  • Mohammed Zahir Shah is Overthrown

    Mohammed Zahir Shah is Overthrown
    In a military coup, Mohammed Daoud Khan overthrows Zahir Shah, naming himself president after getting rid of Afghanistan's monarchy. This event also allows the People’s Democratic Party of to come into power, and the Republic of Afghanistan is formed with strong links to the Soviet Union.
  • Baba Talks About the Worst Sin

    Baba Talks About the Worst Sin
    During one of their talks, Baba and Amir talk about the greatest sin, thievery. After Amir giggles, Baba asks him if he can "handle" talking "man to man" (17). This quotation illustrates Baba's internal struggle about the truth regarding Hassan. His seriousness talking about thievery provides insight into his own guilt and regret for what he did. Furthermore, how gravely he talks about it with Amir hints at his desire that Amir doesn't repeat his greatest mistakes.
  • Day of Kite Fighting Tournament

    Day of Kite Fighting Tournament
    When Amir sees what Assef does to Hassan, he runs. While he says he does this because he is a "coward", inwardly he knows that it was because he believes "Hassan was the price [he] had to pay" to "win Baba" (77).
    This quotation illustrates Amir's misguided priorities at this age. His blind yearning for Baba's affection overwhelmed his friendship with Hassan. In the end, the absence of his father's love causes him to make decisions that negatively impact others, especially here.
  • Amir Hits Hassan With Pomegranates

    Amir Hits Hassan With Pomegranates
    This day, Amir and Hassan go the pomegranate tree. Amir "pelted him again and again" with the fruit, wishing Hassan would hit back to "give [him] the punishment he craved" (92). After Amir betrayed Hassan, his guilt begins to eat away at him. In his young, naive mind, Hassan hitting him will begin to atone for his actions. Yet again, his desire to absolve himself causes Amir to hurt others in the process.
  • Amir's Birthday Party

    Amir's Birthday Party
    When Assef shows up to Amir's party, Amir mentions he looks like "the embodiment of every parent's dream" acting like "a well-mannered boy" (96). This is a classic example of judging a book by its cover. Despite his appearance, we know Assef to be a psychopathic individual. This serves as both a warning and comfort to us all; until we truly get to know someone, we can never be sure about the type of person they are. First impressions do not accurately represent a person's character.
  • Hassan and Ali leave for Hazarajat

    Hassan and Ali leave for Hazarajat
    The day after Amir's birthday, he frames Hassan for stealing. Hassan admits to the theft, the action serving as his "final sacrifice" for Amir, despite knowing that he had "betrayed him" (105). This shows Hassan's unending devotion and connection to Amir, characterizing the whole of their relationship. Although Amir had betrayed him, Hassan's unwavering loyalty and love for him remain, shown by what he did in the quotation.
  • Nur Mohammad Taraki Becomes President

    Nur Mohammad Taraki Becomes President
    Daoud Khan is assassinated in a military coup, allowing Taraki to take control of the country as president. Under the new leadership, policies are claimed to be formed on Islamic principles, and a friendship treaty is signed between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.
  • Afghans Flee From Soviet-Afghan War

    Afghans Flee From Soviet-Afghan War
    In order to escape the war, a total of around 4.3 million Afghans fled to Iran or Pakistan. Rural areas are controlled by Afghan guerillas, while the Soviets took the urban ones.
  • Amir Asks Baba to go Khastegari

    Amir Asks Baba to go Khastegari
    After Baba calls General Taheri, he and Amir "[look] at each other". Amir, in his nervousness "bursts into giggles", when "Baba join[s] in" (162). As a child, Amir fought for Baba's affection. Now that they've come to America, he may not even realize it, but he's finally gotten just that along with a happy marriage and career in the future. Despite some consequences of moving to America, it also forced new perspectives to life that allowed Amir the life he sought in his youth.
  • Soraya Tells Amir of Her Past

    Soraya Tells Amir of Her Past
    Amir "env[ies]" Soraya after she told him about her past, knowing that it was "spoken" and "dealt with" while he was still haunted by his youth. Even though she opens up to him, he still keeps this secret to himself despite the effect it has on him. This shows the extent of his shame/guilt, to hide it from his future wife after she opened up to him. Also, it shows how much he wishes to find a way to get rid of his guilt.
  • Amir and Soraya's Wedding Day

    Amir and Soraya's Wedding Day
    During this beautiful day, Amir can't help but wonder "if Hassan too had married" as well as "whose henna-painted hands he had held" (171). It has been many years since the winter day in 1975, or since Amir last saw his friend, yet Hassan continues to leave an impressionable mark in his life. Due to his remaining guilt, Amir will continue to be haunted by the little Hazara boy he once knew, unable to let go of the past until he atones for his previous sins.
  • Al-Qaeda is Founded

    Al-Qaeda is Founded
    Al-Qaeda is formed with the goal of continuing "a holy war" against anyone who is against an Islam-governed nation as well as the Soviets, by Osama bin Laden and other Islamists. America becomes one of their areas of focus.
  • The Taliban Rise to Power

    The Taliban Rise to Power
    At this time, the Taliban are a newly formed militia, giving empty promises of peace. They receive the general approval of the public due to their loyalty to traditional Afghan values. While they fight crime and reduce the use of drugs, they begin to take away women's education, enforce them to be fully veiled, and more. The punishment for breaking Taliban law usually was a public amputation or execution.
  • Rahim Khan Calls Amir

    Rahim Khan Calls Amir
    Amir receives a call from an ailing Rahim Khan, who calls him to Pakistan saying that "'there is a way to be good again'" (192).
    At first glance, this is just another quotation that implies Rahim Khan is aware of Amir's past sins. However, it also shows that he knew Amir well enough to realize the effect and extent of Amir's guilt over the years. Despite how long it's been, this proves the strength and closeness of their relationship due to how easy it is for Rahim Khan to know this.
  • Rahim Khan Reveals Hassan and Amir Are Related by Blood

    Rahim Khan Reveals Hassan and Amir Are Related by Blood
    Amir reacts angrily since he feels his "whole life is one big [f] lie", to which Rahim Khan explains they kept it a secret because it was "a shameful situation" (223). With this, we realize how Afghanistan's atmosphere fueled both of greatest regrets. Amir excused what he did because Hazaras were looked down on, and Baba kept this major secret hidden to save his reputation, something that was highly valued there. The characters are becoming far more similar than we thought before.
  • Assef Beats Amir

    Assef Beats Amir
    When Amir tries to retrieve Sohrab, Assef forces them to fight so he can "earn his freedom" (287). As he's being beaten, Amir "[feels] at peace", being "healed at last" since the day he betrayed Hassan (289). While Amir would never get to see Hassan again to show him how much he regrets the past, being beaten by Assef provides some tranquility. Although it doesn't make up for his mistakes, to him, the suffering he's finally makes up for what he did, lifting his guilt.
  • Sohrab is Admitted Into the Hospital

    Sohrab is Admitted Into the Hospital
    Fearing for Sohrab's life, Amir prays for the first time in "over fifteen years" (345). Although he has "long forgotten the words", he prays to God that he doesn't let his hands "get stained with [Sohrab's] blood" (346). In a moment of desperation, Amir turns to the religion he was brought up in, which offers both a sense of comfort, faith, and hope. This shows how important Sohrab has become to Amir, prompting a response in him that has only occurred once before, when Baba got sick.
  • Amir, Sohrab, and Soraya Have Dinner with General Tahib and Khala Jamila

    Amir, Sohrab, and Soraya Have Dinner with General Tahib and Khala Jamila
    General Sohrab has shown disapproval of adoption in the past, doing it once more during this dinner. In response, Amir tells him the truth about Sohrab, and tells him to "never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in [his] presence" (361). During the book, Amir has seen the consequences of the "just a Hazara" mentality through his own actions as well as Hassan's death. Guilt caused him to see how wrong it is and his quest for atonement has motivated him to stand up to the narrow mindset.
  • Airstrikes Launched Against Afghanistan

    Airstrikes Launched Against Afghanistan
    In response to Afghanistan refusing to turn over Osama bin Laden, the US and Britain sent airstrikes down on some targets in the country. These targets include bases for Al-Qaeda and areas related to the Taliban.
  • Sohrab and Amir Fly a Kite Together

    Sohrab and Amir Fly a Kite Together
    When he cuts a kite, Amir offers to run it for Sohrab. As Sohrab nods, Amir responds by saying "for you, a thousand times over", still thinking about the "lopsided" smile Sohrab had. (171). This an important occasion due to Sohrab's improvement, but it also shows critical growth in Amir. Once, kites had been a reminder of the friend he betrayed, of the sin from his childhood. But now, he has atoned enough that they represent hope for his future family with Sohrab and Soraya.
  • American Forces Called to Leave Afghan Villages

    American Forces Called to Leave Afghan Villages
    After an American soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, calls for them to be moved back to their own bases within the year.