The Kite Runner

There are not a lot of famous writers from Afghanistan but Khaled Hosseini is one of them. He was propelled to fame with the publication of The Kite Runner a short story that was released in 2003 to widespread public acclaim and recognition. The book is heralded for the way it portrays life in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. There is no way that any reader would feel like life was a more desirable under the hard and restrictive rule of the members of the Taliban. There are constant themes of redemption which are universal in this book, but it is also the tale of difficulty that face all people from this tough country. The Taliban banned Kite Flying in Afghanistan because it was too much an expression of freedom and hope.

Kite Running is a competition that kids in Afghanistan used to participate in, and winning the contest was a very high honor. However, to me, the kites in this book are a symbol of the people of Afghanistan and the manner in which they continue to hold on to their culture rather than surrender it to the overbearing rule of the Taliban or the rule of any foreign power that seeks to dictate the manner in which they live their lives. They will continue to be like the kites, fighting to win a competition whose reward is being allowed to keep their culture.

The story is about a tragic event that happens between two friends and the hard times of adjustment that happen to a youth immigrating to the United States from such a different culture. This book spends a lot of time focusing on the relationship between the different generations of Afghan culture and how the struggles that face them as they try to exist in a world that is clearly changing. Old ways are being left behind by the onslaught of changing gender roles and new and improved technology.

As military conflict still extends across the country of Afghanistan, The Kite Runner gives a unique look into life in the country before the conflict began and the harsh and unforgiving rule of the Taliban. There was no room for personality and no room for the simplest expression of individuality. Although reading this book is a bit depressing, it does have a theme of hope in the end. The characters can escape from the overbearing rule of others.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini provides a road to understanding the culture of Afghanistan and the conflict and struggle between the different generations of families. There is no doubt that conflict is a trademark of most families, but there is no doubt that the Kite Runner shows family conflict as well as the conflict that existed in a country.