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By Khaled Hosseini. He was born in Kabul in 1965. His family moved to San Jose, CA in 1980. He graduated from Santa Clara University and UC San Diego.

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Presentation on theme: "By Khaled Hosseini. He was born in Kabul in 1965. His family moved to San Jose, CA in 1980. He graduated from Santa Clara University and UC San Diego."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Khaled Hosseini

2 He was born in Kabul in His family moved to San Jose, CA in He graduated from Santa Clara University and UC San Diego School of Medicine. He is a doctor in San Jose, CA. His first novel is The Kite Runner, which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. KHALED HOSSEINI

3 A land-locked country just a bit smaller than Texas. A lot of the terrain is rugged mountains. The winters are cold and summers are hot (high of 90° F in July and August and 40° F in January). About 30 million people live there (about 23 million people live in Texas). Life expectancy is low (43 years) relative to the U.S. (78 years). Islam is the predominant religion with about 80% of the people being Sunni Muslims and about 19% Shi’a Muslims. The official languages are Dari and Pashto. The literacy rate, meaning those over age 15 able to read and write, is 51% for males and 21% for females; the U..S literacy rate is 97% for both males and females. The form of government is Islamic Republic. AFGHANISTAN

4 Afghanistan hit the world's headlines in Afghanistan seemed to perfectly summarize the Cold War. From the west's point of view, Berlin, Korea, Hungary and Cuba had shown the way communism wanted to proceed. Afghanistan was a continuation of this. In Christmas 1979, Russian paratroopers landed in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The country was already in the grip of a civil war. The prime minister, Hazifullah Amin, tried to sweep aside Muslim tradition within the nation and he wanted a more western slant to Afghanistan. This outraged the majority of those in Afghanistan as a strong tradition of Muslim belief was common in the country. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

5 Thousands of Muslim leaders had been arrested and many more had fled the capital and gone to the mountains to escape Amin's police. Amin also lead a communist based government - a belief that rejects religion and this was another reason for such obvious discontent with his government. Thousands of Afghanistan Muslims joined the Mujahideen - a guerilla force on a holy mission for Allah. They wanted the overthrow of the Amin government. The Mujahideen declared a jihad - a holy war - on the supporters of Amin. This was also extended to the Russians who were now in Afghanistan trying to maintain the power of the Amin government. The Russians claimed that they had been invited in by the Amin government and that they were not invading the country. They claimed that their task was to support a legitimate government and that the Mujahideen were no more than terrorists. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

6 On December 27th, 1979, Amin was shot by the Russians and he was replaced by Babrak Kamal. His position as head of the Afghan government depended entirely on the fact that he needed Russian military support to keep him in power. Many Afghan soldiers had deserted to the Mujahedeen and the Kamal government needed 85,000 Russian soldiers to keep him in power. The Mujahideen proved to be a formidable opponent. They were equipped with old rifles but had a knowledge of the mountains around Kabul and the weather conditions that would be encountered there. The Russians resorted to using napalm, poison gas and helicopter gun ships against the Mujahedeen - but they experienced exactly the same military scenario the Americans had in Vietnam. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

7 By 1982, the Mujahideen controlled 75% of Afghanistan despite fighting the might of the world's second most powerful military power. Young conscript Russian soldiers were no match against men fuelled by their religious belief. Though the Russian army had a reputation, the war in Afghanistan showed the world just how poor it was outside of military displays. Army boots lasted no more than 10 days before falling to bits in the harsh environment of the Afghanistan mountains. Many Russian soldiers deserted to the Mujahideen. Russian tanks were of little use in the mountain passes. The United Nations condemned the invasion as early as January 1980 but a Security Council motion calling for the withdrawal of Russian forces had been vetoed......by Russia. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

8 America put a ban on the export of grain to Russia, ended the SALT talks taking place then and boycotted the Olympic Games due to be held in Moscow in Other than that, America did nothing. Why ? They knew that Russia had got itself into their own Vietnam and it also provided American Intelligence with an opportunity to acquire any new Russian military hardware that could be used in Afghanistan. Mujahideen fighters were given access to American surface-to-air missiles - though not through direct sales by America. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

9 Mikhail Gorbachev took Russia out of the Afghanistan fiasco when he realized what many Russian leaders had been too scared to admit in public - that Russia could not win the war and the cost of maintaining such a vast force in Afghanistan was crippling Russia's already weak economy. By the end of the 1980's, the Mujahideen was at war with itself in Afghanistan with hard line Taliban fighters taking a stronger grip over the whole nation and imposing very strict Muslim law on the Afghanistan population. THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

10 Before the war began, Gudiparan bazi (kite flying) was a common hobby of many Afghans throughout Afghanistan. It was a form of sport that many took to the status of art. From the designs and sizes of kites to the making of unbreakable tar (wire), for many this became a matter of honor to compete in who's who among the best kite fighters in their neighborhood. This addicting sport absorbed many young Afghans, even during the war. THE ART OF GUDIPARAN BAZI (KITE RUNNING)

11 To have an operational unit to fly a Kite "officially", it was accepted that it would take 2 persons. One to actually fly the kite (leader) and the other to keep the charkha (an intricately designed wooden drum penetrated longitudinally by a stick to keep the wire wound around it and for ease of recovering the wire back). Undeservedly many times the charkha gir would get the blame for not holding the wire correctly should the unit lose the kite fight. THE UNIT

12 The kites, or Gudiparan (literally meaning flying doll) as it's called in Afghanistan, came in different sizes - from smallest which was only about inches in diameter to largest which was human size. They were all made of thin paper and the skeleton supported by bamboo wood, investing on its malleability and flexibility. THE KITE

13 The wire that connected the Kite to the leader was of great importance. Much attention was paid to this aspect of Kite flying, as it determined the success of Kite fighting. A variety of wires were used including (from highest to lowest quality) hasht lumber, panjsad war and da lumber, chel lumber, among others. Chel lumbar was the thinnest of all, but worked well in a fight when flying small kites. Many advocated this due to it's fine ability to get into the opponents wire easily and cut it during a kite fight. The way the wire was prepared took hours to make. First shisha (a mold to coat the wire) had to be made. Basically glass was grounded(to make the wire sharp for cutting) and mixed with an adhesive material and mushed rice to make what was comparable to a paste in texture. The wire was coated with this mold and after it was dry, it is wound around the drum (charkha), where it is stored for use. The alternative coating method was called "dolai", where the wire was immersed into liquid "shisha" and coated. It was left to dry, then used. Usually 2 trees were used to wound the wire around until it was dry, then wound on a drum (charkha). The coated wire is sharp - it is designed for kite fighting. Many children would cut themselves with this sharp wire - often to the bone. To avoid this, many wrapped a piece of leather around their index finger (called kilkak) to protect them. THE WIRE (TAR)

14 Though charkha was mostly used for storage of wire, it proved crucial during kite fighting where rapid release of wire was critical. It was essential to have the drum light for ease of use, so wood was used to make this element of kite flying. THE DRUM (CHARKHA)

15 In order to have a kite fight, 2 kites had to be airborne simultaneously at a close proximity. As soon as the wire of these two kites contacted each other, the fight had began. The fight would last from a split second to up to 1/2 hour, depending on wind, the difference in quality of tar between the two parties and other undetermined factors. Generally the one with most experience and patience win the fight, given the same quality of the tar, kite and charkha gir. The general concept was to release wire, and avoid pulling when in a kite fight. The faster you release the more likely one would win the fight. This theory is based on a complex dynamic relationship of the wires while in the air, which held true for the most part. Since larger kites had greater pull, greater release of wire per second was anticipated and thus greater chance of winning with a larger kite. However, this theory had it's limitations - larger kites have been known to lose to much smaller kites. The quality of tar was also an important factor in determining who was to go home with a kite. Some would preach that the smoother the wire, the better it would cut the opponent, as it would be more fluid during the fight. Further, the wire with more shisha (sharper) would get stuck easily and get cut. However, proponents would argue that sharper wire would serve better specially during "kashak" (a fight where one of the parties go on offense and pull very hard under the opponent - this fight would last no more than a second usually). THE FIGHT (JANG)

16 Once the loser of the kite fight would lose the kite, the kite would be released into the air without guidance and would follow the direction of wind. This was a great opportunity for some one else to catch and own it. ADZADI RAWAST

17 Most Kocha's (A block of street) had their own Sharti (Kite fight Champion). Sharti title was given to the one who had the impeccable record of not losing a kite fight. Shartis generally had a good grasp of what they should do in a particular kite fight to win, or at least not lose. They also had a style and elegance that would capture audience throughout the neighborhood. However, even sharti's would occasionally lose, and this was generally a big deal to many kochagis (neighborhood). THE SHARTI

18 Unfortunately kite flying in Afghanistan was a dangerous business. For the most part this was the game of boys. Flying kites in neighborhoods meant one would climb the roof, where they had the best view and access to wind and skies. However, many unwary of their position and looking into the sky were victim of falls. Untold number of children would break bones or even lose their lives with this sport. THE HAZARDS


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