'Kite Runner' Author Lectures at SMC
With over 300 students and citizens in attendance Khaled Hosseini, author of the acclaimed novel "The Kite Runner," shared his experience surrounding Afghanistan and how he came to be a novelist. The novel greatly reflects Hosseini's own life spent in Afghanistan and his own emotions, shown through the main character Amir.
The author reflected upon his childhood memories of Afghanistan and attempted to explain how different the country is now compared to the 1960s.
"Many of Afghanistan's citizens back then did not know the rumble of a tank or the crack of a shotgun, things that today are as common as the birds," said Khaled Hosseini describing Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan that he tells of in his book seems like a fairytale land, or for us Beverly Hills, when compared to nation today. After moving away from his country at a young age and traveling to Paris, France and finally ending his journey in San Jose, California, Khaled lost much of his connection with his native country.
It was not until he was performing his doctoral internship at Sedar Sanai Hospital in Los Angeles in the late 1990's that he began to regain interest in the activities happening in the Middle East.
Eventually, the Taliban had gained control of Afghanistan after fighting with numerous Afghani gangs ran by larger than life warlords. During this time nearly 50,000 homes were destroyed and 40,000 people murdered throughout the country.
He described how the Taliban did restore peace throughout the nation, until they began to take away the freedom of its citizens. The land was divided upon ethnic lines and the fighting began once again. Hosseini learned from reading United States newspapers that the Taliban was quickly beginning banning numerous ideas that they deemed unacceptable.
One of these ideas was Hosseini's most prized of childhood memories, kite fighting. This ban inspired him to piece together the short stories he had written into a novel.
"I felt inspired. I had a desire to reconnect with my country and family," said Hosseini while talking about "Kite Runner."
This feeling of inspiration led to the largely biographical novel, which deals with the character of Amir, and his interaction with his father and best friend Hassan. The story takes place in Afghanistan during a time of tragedy.
"It was the darkest time during the last 25 years," said Hosseini about the state of his country.
The author spoke a great deal about potential peace spreading not only throughout Afghanistan and the Middle East, but also throughout the world.
Essentially being the first Afghani writer, writing in English, his novel portrays life long lessons and a look at Afghanistan that Americans have never truly been exposed too.