The Kite Runner Context Author & Book GeographyHistoryCultureReligion

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  • The Kite Runner ContextAuthor & BookGeographyHistoryCultureReligion

  • Author Khaled HosseiniBorn in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965In 3rd grade he taught a 31-year-old Hazara man to read and writeIn 1973 he was in 4th grade when the Afghan king was overthrown

  • Khaled HosseiniHis family moved to San Jose, CA, in 1980He is a medical doctorHis first novel was The Kite Runner, which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide

  • Khaled HosseiniHis second novel is A Thousand Splendid SunsIt was published in 2007While The Kite Runner focuses on men, Suns focuses on women

  • Novel AccoladesALA Notable Book Alex Award Entertainment Weekly's Best Book 2003San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year 2003

  • What is kite running?A favorite pastime in Afghanistan for over 100 yearsTwo people are involved: one holds the spool; the other holds the stringThe string is sharp because it is made with razor wire

  • What is kite running?Competitors fight against other kites from around the cityThe goal is to cut the other kites stringThe kite runner collects the defeated kite that flutters to the ground

  • What is kite running?Kites come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colorsUnder Taliban rule, kite flying was outlawed in AfghanistanKite running has now resurfaced

  • Afghanistan GeographyA little smaller than TexasRugged, mountainous terrainPopulation of 32 million (Texas has a pop. of 23 million)Life expectancy is 43, compared to 78 in the United States

  • Afghanistan GeographyLow literacy rate:51% for males21% for femalesOfficial languages are Dari and PashtoForm of government: Islamic RepublicPredominant religion is Islam (99%)

  • Afghanistan HistoryWas invaded and conquered for yearsThe Kite Runner begins in 1973, when the army overthrew the monarchy.Daoud Khan declared himself president, but was eventually overthrown by the same army that led him to power.Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

  • Afghanistan HistoryA resistance group called the mujahidin (holy strugglers) fought against the socialist, Soviet leaders.The mujahidin was aided by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.Soviet army withdrew in 1989ten years after they had invaded.The mujahidin takeover in 1992 resulted in civil war.

  • Afghanistan HistoryIn the 1990s the Taliban assumed control and introduced the Islamic law.Battles, ethnic genocide, pillage, famine, and misery followed.After 9/11, the U.S. entered Afghanistan.By November 2001, the Taliban had lost control of Kabul.Since 2001, a new government in Afghanistan has tried to establish itself.

  • Ethnic Groups: PashtunsPashtuns make up 42% of the populationHighest ethnicity on the social ladderDominate government bodiesLanguage is PashtuMainly Sunni Muslims

  • Ethnic Groups: TajiksTajiks make up 27% of the populationSecond largest ethnic group in AfghanistanLive in towns and cities as well as the country

  • Ethnic Groups: HazarasHazaras make up 9% of the populationHave Mongolian origins: seen as outsidersDecendents of Genghis Khans army?Mainly Shiite Muslilms

  • IslamSecond largest religion in the world1.3 billion followers in 2006Fastest-growing religion in the worldProphet Mohammed received the word of God (Quran) during A. D. 610-632Allah is the name for God in ArabicPeople who have completed good deeds get to go to heaven

  • Five Pillars of IslamDeclaration of FaithFive Daily PrayersGiving of CharityRamadan FastingPilgrimage to Mecca

  • Islam: Two Sects*Split happened after Mohammeds deathSunni Muslims80% of populationFollow the most knowledgeable leaderShia Muslims19% of populationFollow the leaders who are blood-related to Mohammed

  • Talibans Rules for AllNo one can listen to music.No one can watch movies, television, or videos.All Afghan youth must have short hair or be subject to forced haircuts.All Afghans must attend prayers in mosques five times a day.

  • Talibans Rules for AllIn any sporting events, onlookers may not clap.Anyone who carries objectionable literature will be executed.Anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed.Non-Muslim minorities must stitch a yellow cloth onto their dress to be differentiated from the majority.

  • Talibans Rules for AllNo one may use the Internet, including foreigners.No one may dance at weddings.No one may gamble.No burying of anyone who was killed by the Taliban. Bodies must remain in the streets as examples to other wrongdoers.

  • Punishments for Rule-BreakersPublic whippingPublic stoningAmputation of limbsPublic hangingImprisonmentPublic shootingPublic executionDangling of bodies from cranesPublic beatings

  • Talibans Rules for WomenFemales may not work outside the homeFemales may not study at schools, universities, or any other educational institutionFemales must wear a long veil (burqa) which covers them from head to toeFemales whose ankles are visible will be whipped in public

  • Talibans Rules for WomenFemales may not use cosmeticsFemales may not laugh loudlyFemales may not wear high heel shoes. Men must never head a womans footsteps.Females may not play sports or enter a sports center or club

  • Talibans Rules for WomenFemales may not ride bicycles or motorcyclesFemales may not wear brightly colored clothesAll home windows must be painted black so females cannot be seen from outside their homesFemales may not be filmed or photographed

  • Punishments for Rule-BreakersPublic whippingPublic stoningAmputation of limbsPublic hangingImprisonmentPublic shootingPublic executionDangling of bodies from cranesPublic beatings

  • Kite Runner movieReleased December 14, 2007Directed by Marc ForsterFilmed mainly in ChinaBanned in AfghanistanRoger Ebert ranked it the #5 film of 2007

  • Other Marc Forster Films

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