An intro to the kite runner
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An Intro to The Kite Runner. In order to appreciate some of the content which you will be reading in Khaled Hosseini’s novel, here is a brief background of Afghanistan’s world – both past and present. AFGHANISTAN. Where in the World is Afghanistan?. Religion. Islam and the practice of Muslim.

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An Intro to The Kite Runner

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An intro to the kite runner

An Intro to The Kite Runner

In order to appreciate some of the content which you will be reading in Khaled Hosseini’s novel, here is a brief background of Afghanistan’s world – both past and present.



Where in the world is afghanistan

Where in the World is Afghanistan?



Islam and the practice of muslim

Islam and the practice of Muslim

Sunni versus shiite muslims

Sunni versus Shiite Muslims

  • The majority of the world’s billion-odd Muslims are Sunnis. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all Muslims follow the Shiite branch (pronounced Shi‘ite, Shi‘a or Shia). Beyond that, it gets slightly complicated: Who lives where, and why the differences and conflicts between them? The answer is less daunting than it seems.

Where are they

Where are they?

  • Sunnis form the overwhelming majority in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

  • Shiites form the majority only in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan, but they constitute sizable minorities in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.

Why can t we all get along

Why can’t we all get along?

  • At heart, Sunnis and Shiites are like Catholics and Protestants in the commonality of some fundamental beliefs.

  • But their differences, especially in nations where the Sunni-Shiite split is exacerbated by each other's proximity (as in Iraq and Lebanon), run so deep that intolerance and violence shadow the two groups, making coexistence difficult.

Major differences

Major Differences

  • The division between Shiite and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation.

  • Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet's companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and the Prophet Muhammad's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation.

  • The word "Sunni" in Arabic comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions of the Prophet.”

Differences cont

Differences Cont…

  • On the other hand, some Muslims share the belief that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet's own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself.

  • The Shia Muslims believe that following the Prophet Muhammad's death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali.

  • The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical "Shia-t-Ali," or "the Party of Ali." They are also known as followers of "Ahl-al-Bayt" or "People of the Household" (of the Prophet).

Hazara and pashtun

Hazara and Pashtun

The people and geography of afghanistan

The People and Geography of Afghanistan

Bit of history pre soviet and post soviet invasion

Bit of History - Pre-Soviet and Post Soviet Invasion . . .

Soviet invasion

Soviet Invasion

  • In order to bolster the Parcham faction, the Soviet Union—citing the 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighborliness that had been signed between the two countries—intervened on December 24, 1979. Over 100,000 Soviet troops took part in the invasion backed by another one hundred thousand and by members of the Parcham faction. Amin was killed and replaced by Babrak Karmal.

  • In response to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and part of its overall Cold War strategy, the United States responded by arming and otherwise supporting the Afghan mujahideen, which had taken up arms against the Soviet occupiers. U.S. provided support to anti-communist resistance movements in Afghanistan.

  • The Soviet occupation resulted in the killings of between six hundred thousand and 2 million Afghan civilians.

A country lost

A Country Lost . . .

  • Because of the fighting, a number of elites and intellectuals fled to take refuge abroad. This led to a leadership imbalance in Afghanistan. Fighting continued among the victorious Mujahideen factions, which gave rise to a state of warlordism. The most serious fighting during this period occurred in 1994, when over 10,000 people were killed in Kabul alone. It was at this time that the Taliban developed as a politico-religious force, eventually seizing Kabul in 1996 and establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. By the end of 2000 the Taliban had captured 95% of the country.

  • The Taliban ruled for 7 years.

  • Mega Powers - Just Passing Through

The taliban

The Taliban

The taliban let the rules begin

The Taliban . . . Let the rules begin

  • Under the Taliban regime, Sharia law was interpreted to ban a wide variety of activities hitherto lawful in Afghanistan

  • employment, education and sports for women, movies, television, videos, music, dancing, hanging pictures in homes, clapping during sports events, kite flying, and beard trimming.

Some more rules one taliban list of prohibitions included

Some more Rules . . . One Taliban list of prohibitions included:

  • pork, pig, pig oil, anything made from human hair, satellite dishes, cinematography, and equipment that produces the joy of music, pool tables, chess, masks, alcohol, tapes, computers, VCRs, television, anything that propagates sex and is full of music, wine, lobster, nail polish, firecrackers, statues, sewing catalogs, pictures, Christmas cards

  • Men were required to have a beard extending farther than a fist clamped at the base of the chin. On the other hand, they had to wear their head hair short. Men were also required to wear a head covering

More rules still

More Rules still . . .

  • Possession was forbidden of depictions of living things, whether drawings, paintings or photographs, stuffed animals, and dolls

  • These rules were issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Suppression of Vice (PVSV) and enforced by its "religious police,” a concept thought to be borrowed from the Wahhabis. In newly conquered towns hundreds of religious police beat offenders (typically men without beards and women who were not wearing their burqas properly) with long sticks

  • Theft was punished by the amputation of a hand, rape and murder by public execution. Married adulterers were stoned to death. In Kabul, punishments were carried out in front of crowds in the city's former soccer stadium.

War and the us and canadian involvement

WAR and the US and Canadian Involvement

War torn afghanistan

War-torn Afghanistan

  • Following the September 11 attacks the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom, a military campaign to destroy the Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan.

  • The U.S. military also threatened to overthrow the Taliban government for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden and several Al-Qaeda members.

  • The U.S. made a common cause with the former Afghan Mujahideen to achieve its ends, including the Northern Alliance, a militia still recognized by the United Nations as the Afghan government.

An intro to the kite runner

  • As the country continues to rebuild and recover, it is still struggling against poverty, poor infrastructure, large concentration of land mines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as a huge illegal poppy cultivation and opium trade.

  • Afghanistan also remains subject to occasionally violent political jockeying. The country continues to grapple with the Taliban insurgency and the threat of attacks from a few remaining elements of Al-Qaeda.

  • America Strikes Back

An intro to the kite runner

  • Canada operates in some of the most volatile areas in Afghanistan.

  • Canadian Forces in Afghanistan

Women and children

Women and Children

An intro to the kite runner


Just trying to keep it light not exactly what we re talking about but still good for a laugh

Just trying to keep it light . . . Not exactly what we’re talking about, but still good for a laugh . . .

The Lighter Side

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