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The Kite Runner: Historical, Political and Cultural Contexts By Hamed Madani The Kite Runner: Introduction INTRODUCTION ►First novel to be written in English ►Title is derived from an old Afghan hobby Gudiparan Bazi or Kite Flying ►It is a unique Afghan pastime

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The kite runner historical political and cultural contexts l.jpg

The Kite Runner: Historical, Political and Cultural Contexts

By

Hamed Madani


The kite runner introduction l.jpg

The Kite Runner: Introduction

INTRODUCTION

►First novel to be written in English

►Title is derived from an old Afghan

hobbyGudiparan Bazi or Kite

Flying

►It is a unique Afghan pastime

during windy spring season

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Khalid Husseini

►Born in 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan

►Moved to the States in 1980


About the author l.jpg

About the Author

►Attended Santa Clara University, Cal.

►Graduated from UC San Diego School

of Medicine in 1996.

►His specialty is internal medicine.

SYNOPSIS

►The novel maps the journey of the

Amir, the narrator

►The story takes place in Afghanistan,

Pakistan, and the United States from 1975

to 2003.


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Ethnicity

►Hazaras consists of about10 to 15 percent

►Uzbaks consists of about 9 percent

►Others (Turkmen, Aimaq, Baluch, Nuristani) 13

percent.

Tajik

Hazara

Pashtun


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Baluch

Uzbak

Pashtun


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Religious Diversity

►Afghanistan has two dominant religious groups, the Sunni,

or the so-called orthodox Islam, and Shi’ite or the

so-called heterodox.

►Sunni constitutes 85 percent of the population and

Shi’ite consists of 15 percent of Afghan population

►Shi’ites split from the Sunni’s in the seventh century over

who the Prohet Mohammad’s legitimate successors were

►Shi’ites consider Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the

Prophet, the legitimate successor

►Shi’ites developed their own conception of Islamic law

and practices.

►In the past Shi’ites had been persecuted in Afghanistan.


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Synopsis

Amir belongs to:

► a wealthy family whose father is a businessman

►the dominant Pashtun ethnic group

►the dominant Sunni religious group

Amir tells the story of his friendship with Hassan.

►Hassan and his father, Ali, are Amir’s servants

►He is a low-caste ethnic Hazara

►He belongs to the minority Shi’it religious

denomination

►He is the victim of discrimination due to his religious

and ethnic identity


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Conclusion

►The Kite Runner leaves one feeling a terrible

Sadness for the Afghan people

►Afghans have suffered at the hands of foreign

invaders and their own people throughout the

history of Afghanistan and particularly in the

past 30 years.

►In The Kite Runner, Khalid Husseini

brilliantly tells their story within a story.


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Background to The Kite Runner

To better understand an appreciate the context of The

Kite Runner, basic understand of Afghan history,

politics, and culture is necessary.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

►For majority of its history, Afghanistan was at a crossroad

of many civilizations and empires and a cockpit for

contests between rivals

►These rivals and empires included Achaemenid, Ancient

Greece, Mauryan, Sassanian, Aabs, Mongol, Mogul, and

Safawid

►The Safawids ruled in western Afghanistan and the Moguls


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The Abdali or Durrani Rulers

►President Mohammad Daoud was the last

ruler.

►He was the Prime Minister from 1953-1963

►Took power from the last Afghan king in

1973 in a coup with the help of Afghan

communists and changed Afghanistan to a

Republic, 1973-1978

►Deposed by the Afghan communists in a

bloody coup in April 1978

►King Zaher Shah is still alive at the age of

93.

►He is given the title of “Baba.”

Daoud

King Zaher


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A New Game: The Cold War

►The Soviet Union and United States became the dominant

powers after World War II.

►The two world powers sought influence around the world,

including Afghanistan

►Afghanistan regained its status as a pawn of superpowers

►This superpower rivalries during the Cold War led to

further disintegration of the Afghan state.

COMPETITION BEARS ARMS

►Afghan government needed to modernize its armed

forces to:

►Maintain internal security

►Gain control of independent tribes

► Strengthen central government to foster

political and economic development


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A New Game: the Cold War

►When the U.S. government rejected Afghan request for

arms, Afghans turned to the Soviet Union

►The Soviet Union not only provided Afghanistan military

hardware, but also built several airports and thousands of

Afghans went the Soviet Union for military training.

►Most of the officers either joined the Afghan Communist

Party or became sympathetic to it.

ORIGIN OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY

►The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA)

was formed in 1965

►The PDPA split and remained divided until July 1977


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The People’s Democratic Party

►The Soviets concluded that Daoud had become too

independent to be tolerated.

THE SAUR REVOLUTION

►The Soviet KGB reunited the two factions of the PDPA

►A prominent PDPA leader, Mir A. Khyber, was

assassinated in April, 1978.

►His murder led to a bloody coup on April 27, 1978.

►The coup leaders renamed the country the Democratic

Republic of Afghanistan.

►Taraki became the Prime Minister

►Karmal and Amin became Deputy Prime Minister and

Foreign Minister, respectively.


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Amin’s Social Reforms

SOCIAL REFORMS

►Land reform: limited land ownership by a family to

14.3 acres of land.

►Reducing bride-prices or dowry to 300 Afghani or $6.00

►Prohibiting arranged marriages

►Prohibiting marriage for women under 16 years and for men

under 18 years of age.

►Outlawed usury

OPPOSITION AND RESISTENCE TO REFORMS

►These reforms challenged the prevailing traditional and

Islamic values and sentiments of Afghans.

►The regime encountered bitter resistance.


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Mojaddidi

Resistance Movement

►Opposition took the form of a religious jihad or holy war,

a war in defense of Islam against th atheist regime of kabul.

►The oppositions established their headquarters and bases

in Peshawar, Pakistan.

►They were made up of seven military-political groups.

►Here are the pictures of some of the leaders:

9

2

6

8

1

5

3

7

4


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The CIA and the Arabs

►The CIA launched a major covert operation to help the

Mujahideen defeat communism.

►The CIA placed ads in Arab newspapers to recruit young

Muslims to join the Afghan “holy war.”

►The CIA eventually provided the Mujahideen with the

decisive weapon of the war, the Stinger missiles in 1986.

►Eventually the Soviet Union withdrew its forces from

Afghanistan on February 15, 1989.

►The last Afghan Communist ruled several more

years.


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The Taliban

►The world Taliban is the plural of and Arabic word, Talib

or someone who seeks religious knowledge before he

becomes a preacher in a mosque.

►They were the sons of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and

attended Pakistani schools of theology

►Became active in October 1994 in Qandahar and

continued there advances in the country with help of

Pakistan

►By 1997 they held about 90 percent of the Afghan

territory, including Kabul.

THE TALIBAN ACHIEVEMENT

►They brought relative peace and security in the country


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The Taliban’s Achievement

►The banished the warlords and forced to the northeastern

corner the country and formed the Northern Alliance

►Restored law and order but through rigorous enforcement

of Islamic punishment: public beating, flogging,

amputation of hands, and stoning to death.

►The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Suppression

of Vice was the powerful arm of the Taliban government.

►The ministry issued strict religious decrees that denied

people the right to freedom of expression, association,

the right to work, and the right to education

►They prohibited games such as kite flying, chess, music,

cassette


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The Taliban and the World Reaction

►Only three countries recognized the Taliban government:

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan

►Initially, America gave a lukewarm support to the Taliban

►We hoped the regime would be a partner in oil-pipeline

UNOCAL or Union Oil Company of California

CONCLUSION

►The new game, Cold War, between the U.S.A. and the

former Soviet Union brought death and utter destruction to

the country.

►Over 5 million Afghans abandoned their homes and went

into exile in other countries.

►Close to 1.5 million lost their lives

►Many left their homes for secured areas of the country.


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Other Factors the Contributed to a Failed State in Afghanistan

A DIVERSE NATION

►Afghanistan is nation of groups with disparate ethnic,

religious, and tribal traditions.

ETHNIC DIVERSITY

►Over 30 different ethnic groups. They are not contained

within Afghanistan.

►Pashtuns are the dominant ethnic groups, who account for

about 38 percent of the population and ruled Afghanistan

for most of the history of Afghanistan.

►Tajiks are the second largest ethnic groups with about 25

percent of the population.


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