Background Information for The Kite RunnerPresentation Transcript
Background Information for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini A. Krespil
First Afghan novel to be written in English
Over 9 million copies sold worldwide
Translated into over 25 languages
Is on the list of “Banned and Challenged Books”
Kite Running is a popular Afghan pastime.
About the Author
Khaled Hosseini was born in 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan
Moved to the US in 1980
Graduated from med school in 1996
Practices internal medicine
The Kite Runner is Hosseini’s first novel.
The Kite Runner opens in Kabul in the mid-1970s. Raised in the same household but separated by class, Amir and his best friend Hassan are inseparable until a tragic event changes their relationship forever. Their intertwined lives and their fates reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.
Time & Place
The story takes place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and America.
Early 1970s to early 2000s
Afghanistan and the World
Afghanistan and its Surroundings
Geographically and historically, Afghanistan has been the central focus for Eurasian civilizations’ activity.
- Central asia
Afghanistan has been invaded and conquered by several empires:
Mongol (Under Genghis Khan)
And most recently by the Americans and their allies.
Hierarchical network of several tribes
-Pashtun: Most numerous and most powerful (Persian, Sunni Muslim)
Hazara: - least powerful tribe
- descendants of the Mongols
- Shia Muslims
- mountain dwellers
1 st century: Buddhist Kushans rule
3 rd century: Kushans defeated by the Persians. Religion: Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra)
7 th century: Muslim Arabs defeat the Persians
1219: Under Genghis Khan, the Mongols overthrow the Arabs and devastate Afghanistan
Safawids ruled in western Afghanistan and Moguls ruled in eastern (including Kabul) Uzbeks controlled the north
Afghanistan only emerged as a nation in 1747 under Ahmad Shah. He is known as the father of Modern Afghanistan.
Peaceful rule until 1973 when Mohammad Daoud joins with Afghan communist to overthrow his brother-in-law, the king.
Afghanistan switches from being a monarchy to being a republic.
5 years later, Daoud and his family are murdered when the communist party decides to take over the government.
Mid 70s-: Afghanistan is pro-communist and anti-religious while its neighbors (Iran and Pakistan) are strongly Islamic.
1979: Soviet Army sets up a government in Kabul
1980s: To counter the Soviet presence, an Islamic jihad was declared to overthrow the Soviets.
Mujaheddin factions established (Afghan warriors)
To help defeat communism, were trained and generously funded by the CIA
1989: As a result of the Jihad, Russia pulls out of Afghanistan
Over 1 million dead
6.2 million escape Afghanistan (now over half of the world’s refugee population)
Afghanistan is once again reduced to rubble
The Mujaheddin could not agree on how to share the power
Civil war broke out among them dividing Afghanistan into several independent zones
This civil war resulted in over 10 000 casualties in Kabul alone
Lack of leadership left room for a group of Islamic fighters, the Taliban, to successfully rise to power
Talib = seeker of knowledge (Taliban is the plural form)
Came from Pakistan (and supported by them)
They began by helping rebuild the Afghani people’s moral (restoring peace and security)
Took over as Afghanistan’s government
Soon began enforcing laws through rigorous enforcement of what they deemed to be “Islamic Law”:
-amputation of hands
-stoning to death
Became internationally famous for their sadistic repression of women
Taliban Rules for Women
Complete ban on women's work outside the home, which also applies to female teachers, engineers and most professionals.
Complete ban on women's activity outside the home unless accompanied by a mahram (close male relative such as a father, brother or husband).
Ban on women being treated by male doctors.
Ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution.
Requirement that women wear a long veil (Burqa), which covers them from head to toe.
Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a mahram.
Public stoning of women accused of having sex outside marriage.
Ban on the use of cosmetics. (Many women with painted nails have had fingers cut off).
Ban on women laughing loudly. (No stranger should hear a woman's voice).
Ban on women wearing high heel shoes, which would produce sound while walking. (A man must not hear a woman's footsteps.)
Compulsory painting of all windows, so women can not be seen from outside their homes.
Ban on the photographing or filming of women. 29- Ban on women's pictures printed in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.
Rules for all of Society
Banned listening to music, watching of movies, television and videos
Ordered that all people with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones.
Ordered that men not shave or trim their beards
Ordered that all people attend prayers in mosques five times daily.
The kite flying has also been stopped.
Ordered all onlookers, while encouraging the sportsmen, to chant Allah-o-Akbar (God is great) and refrain from clapping.
Anyone who carries objectionable literature will be executed.
Anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed.
All boy students must wear turbans. They say "No turban, no education".
Non-Muslim minorities must distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their dress to be differentiated from the majority Muslim population. Just like what did Nazis with Jews.
Banned the use of the internet by both ordinary Afghans and foreigners.
9/11 to Today
Taliban admitted to harbouring Osama Bin Laden and his radical Islamist group Al-Qaeda
After the 9/11 attacks, the US and its allies went into Afghanistan and quickly overthrew the Taliban
Unfortunately, due to lack of successful reconstruction, the Taliban have reappeared.
Afghanistan in slowly and painfully trying to rebuild itself.