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Background Information for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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1 Background Information for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

2 Introduction 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.

3 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.

4 Synopsis 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.

5 Time & Place The story takes place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and America. Early 1970s to early 2000s

6 Afghanistan and the World

7 Afghanistan and its Surroundings

8 Landscape

9 Historical Background
Geographically and historically, Afghanistan has been the central focus for Eurasian civilizations’ activity. - Central asia Afghanistan has been invaded and conquered by several empires: Persian Greek Arab Turk Mongol (Under Genghis Khan) British Soviet And most recently by the Americans and their allies.

10 Tribal System Hierarchical network of several tribes
-Pashtun: Most numerous and most powerful (Persian, Sunni Muslim)

11 Tribes Hazara: - least powerful tribe - descendants of the Mongols
- Shia Muslims - mountain dwellers

12 Historical Timeline 1st century: Buddhist Kushans rule
3rd century: Kushans defeated by the Persians. Religion: Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra) 7th 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

13 Afghanistan only emerged as a nation in 1747 under Ahmad Shah
Afghanistan only emerged as a nation in 1747 under Ahmad Shah. He is known as the father of Modern Afghanistan. Muslim Pashtun

14 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.

15 Deterioration begins…
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

16 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

17 Aftermath Russian casualties: 15 000 Afghan Casualties:
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

18 Recent History 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 casualties in Kabul alone

19 The Taliban 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) Pashtun Sunni Muslim

20 Taliban 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”: -public beating -flogging -amputation of hands -stoning to death

21 Taliban Became internationally famous for their sadistic repression of women

22 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.

23 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.



26 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.




30 Characters Amir Baba Hassan Ali Assef

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