Middle eastern american literature the kite runner
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Middle Eastern-American Literature: The Kite Runner - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Middle Eastern-American Literature: The Kite Runner. Background information & themes. About the Setting: Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s main ethnic composition includes the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara , Uzbek, Baluci , and Turkoman people.

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About the setting afghanistan
About the Setting: Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan’s main ethnic composition includes the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baluci, and Turkoman people.

  • The Afghan nation is a very heterogeneous population, comprising at least 22 languages, of which Dari and Pashto are officially recognized in the constitution.


  • Practically everyone in Afghanistan is Muslim representing both Sunni and Shia Muslims.

  • Until recent times, other religions were also represented in Afghanistan. In Kabul and in a few other urban cities, exclusive communities of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews coexisted within the Muslim population.

Culture tradition
Culture & Tradition

  • Afghan traditions have been preserved because of the prevailing influence of religious customs and tribal culture.

  • In Afghanistan, the Pashtuns are the last ethnic group still having an operational tribal system, known as Pashtunwali (Code of the Pashtuns).

  • However, the Pashtuns are divided into hundreds of tribes and clans.


  • Afghanistan is a mountainous, arid and landlocked country often called the ‘heart of Asia’, sharing borders with Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and China.

  • Not only has the geographic location of Afghanistan been important strategically, but it was also a highway for trade, raids, and military marches.

Political unrest
Political Unrest

  • Afghanistan has been a land of political disturbance and government upheaval for centuries.

  • However, during the time of the novel (1960’s to 1990’s), there are power struggles, government changes, and a general atmosphere of unrest.

These themes can be discussed while reading the novel and at its conclusion
These themes can be discussed while reading the novel and at its conclusion.

  • Bullying

  • Role of books, literacy

  • Friendship, guilty & redemption

  • Fathers & sons

  • Coming of Age

  • Resilience of the human spirit

  • Man's inhumanity to man

  • Discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, class structure

  • Master/slave relationships: loyalty & devotion vs. duty