Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kite Runner Fishbowl #5: Chapters 17-20

Keep up your insight and professionalism!

89 comments:

  1. All,

    I posted a lengthy comment on #4......before Kristin opened this page....

    Rob

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  2. I dont understand why Farhid beat up the Zimen at the end of chapter 18. Was Farhid sold as an orphan when he was a small child?

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  3. Hey guys, it's Anne. I was supposed to be in class today but I saw a doctor and I figure I'll participate in fishbowl rather than come back and miss the first half of fishbowl.
    Rob-
    The input you gave at the end of the last discussion was so intriguing. It gave me so much more of an insight into the historical fact aspect of the novel.

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  4. Farid is separated from his family, a large number who were killed by land mines. He does not like those who left the country for a better life (he could not because he was poor) as did Amir and his father.

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  5. Anne-
    I'm so glad you could join us today. Hope you feel ok.
    All-
    Why does Farid not consider Amir Afghanistan because he lived a better life than the average Afghanistan?

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  6. How does Amir fixing the brass ball on the table resemble his own life? Could it be because the easy fix to the the table is what Amir wishes he could do with his life?

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  7. I don't understand why Baba could hide this secret, mnot even a secret. He should be happy that he has a great son like Hassan, is it a disgrace to have another kid with another woman in Afghanistan??? What was his motive to keep this terrible secret from Hassan, Amir, and himself?

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  8. like molly siad. Why does Baba seem to treat Hassan better?

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  9. --robd--

    From what i have read in the book it seems like the taliban was worse than the Russians. Which one do you think was worse because they both have both done a lot of bad things.

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  10. All,

    How do you think the story would have changed if Amir would have known that Hassan was his half brother? Do you think that Amir would have told Hassan about what he saw?

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  11. Kristin-
    I think Farid is just jealous that Amir went to America for a better life and was successful. Not many Afghanistan's can do that and so i think its all jealousy.

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  12. Melissa- Baba probably treats Hassan better because Amir "killed" his wife. I think he likes Hassan more because he never killed his wife, and Hassan is more like Baba then Amir

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  13. Emily-
    I think that Amir wishes that his life could be fixed as easily as the brass ball even though he knows its not possible. Amir wishes that his life could be fixed but too many events happened in his life that can never be completely fix and his guilt will keep eating up his life and controlling his actions.

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  14. Kristin- I think that he didn't think Amir knew the real Afghanistan because he was in a little "bubble" as he was growing up. Meaning that he maybe most of the population was poor rather than privileged like Amir was. He is a true Afghan but just doesn't know the majority of how the country lived because he was never exposed to it.

    Rob- Do I have it right? Was Afghanistan mostly poor at the time?

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  15. Cody- I Think like most other places in the world it is a disgrace to have a kid with another woman who's not your life. Also Afghans value relationship and their social statues. That is a man part of their lives and Baba doesn't want to disappoint his friends and family with what he's done.

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  16. Kristin- One thing that Farid said that was kind of interesting was, "you have always been a tourist here, you just didn't know it."(pg. 232) I think what Farid means by this is that Amir has never experienced poverty or gone through rough situations (even though we know he has). Farid thinks that Amir hasn't experienced Afghanistan the way that everyone else has.

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  17. Cody-I think that he kept this secret is because i think that would hurt Amir. Also Amir would probably be mad that Baba had an affair with another women not his true wife. Baba's and Amir's relationship would probably go down rather then having a growing relationship.

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  18. Nick,

    I think Amir would have treated Hassan better if he would have known that Hassan was his half-brother. I think he would be less ashamed of him.

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  19. Cody-I think that Baba hid this because he didn't want to be seen as a bad person and if Baba had told Amir it would have gotten around and Baba wouldn't be as respected. I also think that Baba was contradicting what he said to Amir about lying is the biggest sin and I think he said this because he didn't want Amir to make the same mistakes he did.

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  20. Kristin- I think that Farid didn't consider Amir afganistan is because of the fact that perhaps he left it throughout the war. I think he kind of felt as though he had abandoned the country during a time that it needed to be preserved.

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  21. Nick,
    I think the story would have been way different. I think that Amir would have treated Hassan a lot different. I think that Amir would have told Hassan what he saw.

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  22. Rob-

    Were the land mines set by the Russians when they took over? And why woould would Baba sleep and inpregnat Ali's wife after all the times he has told Amir that Ali is basically his brother? It seems to me that Baba and Ali have a very complicated relationship.

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  23. I think Baba shows a different version to his love and different signs of affection to both Amir and Hassan. I do not believe that Baba preferred one over the other.

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  24. Sean-

    That could be true but Hassans mom ran away. I would think that Baba would also feel upset about that too.

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  25. All-
    Why did they wait so long to tell Amir about Hassan and his mom?

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  26. Class- Do you think that Amir will find Sohrab and will he take him back to America with him because of he has his fathers blood in him.

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  27. NICK!-Yes I think the story would have changed. Amir probably would have wanted to get to know Hassan better after knowing they are related. I think Amir would have taught Hassan how to read and controversey between the too never would have arose. Ali and Hassan wouldn't have separated from Amir and Baba and a new life in America would probably not have been so sucessful.

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  28. Class-
    Now that Hassan is officially dead, will Amir's guilt die with Hassan or is the kid the TRUE solution?

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  29. Melissa- Yes, thats true but she wasn't his wife just a person he slept with.

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  30. Trent-
    I agree that Baba wanted Amir to respect him. I also think that Baba kept it a secret because of his reputation and the relationship that he and Ali had. I also think that Baba kept it a secret from Ali because the respect of the family name.

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  31. Sean- I agree with you on why Baba treats Hassan better then Amir, but I also think that Baba had a lot of guilt and that also makes him treat Amir and Hassan as equals.

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  32. Kristin- Do you think that when Amir sees Sohrab to get rid of him and Baba's sins that it will fix his life? Or do you think that he will still live with guilt even though he has been religiously cured?

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  33. Cody- I think that Sohrab is the solution to Amir's guilt. In fact, I think that with Hassan's death, Amir will feel more guilt.

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  34. I think that they wanted to wait so long to tell him because he was probably proud that he had a son. And after his wife ran away Hassan was all that he had and they would feel bad to tell Ali that Hassan wasnt really his son.

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  35. Cody-

    I think that Amir wants to find Hassan's son and if he finds him he will feel less guilty about what happened with Hassan.

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  36. Cody-
    I'm not sure that there is any solution to what Amir has been through and how he wants to fix it. Amir knows that Hassan is dead and yet he still feels compelled to go get Sohrab, in ways, out of guilt. But I don't believe that the guilt will go away with Sohrab.

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  37. Cody,
    I think that he's still going to feel the guilt, and it might even feel worse for him to see his kid grow up, knowing that something similar could happen to him and he's going to feel even worse.

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  38. Melissa-

    I think that Baba treated Hassan better then Amir because he was more like him; Amir was more into reading and writing (more of the opposite of Baba). Meanwhile Hassan was much more athletic and was able to defend himself. Which leads me to think that he looked upon Hassan as more of a son.

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  39. All,
    I think that Baba should have told Amir that Hassan was his brother when he was a little kid. I dont think it is embarassing to have two wives in afghanistan and to have kids with both. I had a Afghani teacher in 7th grade that had 4 wives and he said he had kids with 3 of them. So i dont think Baba should have waited and let Amir figure out himself.

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  40. Cody- I definitely agree with what you said about Amir having different types of affection toward Hassan and Amir. I think that Baba loved each for different reasons, but because he felt like he couldn't express that love toward Hassan as much made him feel like he had to be nice some how because he couldn't call Hassan his own. Sort of to make it equal. But it seemed like Baba was less affectionate toward Amir, would that be because he was still blaming Amir for his wife's death, and that is what drove him to have an affair? Or was it a completely different situation?

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  41. Rob

    In chapter 17 on page 230 what is " the Lion of Panjsher"?

    And on an unrelated question how long have you been living in Afghanistan?

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  42. Cody- I think that Amir will feel even more guilt now that Hassan is dead because he never really resolved what happened. I do think thought that if Amir takes Hassans son he will feel that he is helping Hassan in some way.

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  43. Cody-
    I don't think that Amir's guilt will die with Hassan. I think that he is going to feel even more guilty and think about it more than ever. I think that Hassan's son is just a way for Amir to get rid of some guilt by doing what is right even if he disagrees with it.

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  44. Sean, If it is just a person he slept with then why does he care so much more?
    Was there something more than just sleeping together?

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  45. Anthony-I agree with you. Maybe Baba was planning on saying something but then he couldn't find the right time. He probably just kept digging himself into a deeper hole where he finally couldn't do anything about it.

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  46. Class-

    In Chapter 19, does Amir's dream about Hassan being killed have any significance?

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  47. Travis - The Soviets and the Taliban represent two completely different evils to the Afghan.....The Soviets are not religious and thus were not liked by the entire country....

    The Taliban are religiously fanatical and are opposed by most of the ethnic groups in the North. Their power base remains largely Pashtun, thus the fight has some Civil War connotations.

    It is interesting that neither group is the most disliked in the country even today....that title belongs to the British who fought against the Afghans in the 1800 and early 1900's. Two of the colors of their flag are reminders of that period, the Black for the British removing their king and the wars that were fought, and Red for the lives lost.

    Between the two, the Soviets did more damage to the country, they not only tried to remove their religious beliefs, they planted mines that still remain, killed a large number of innocent people.

    That is not that the Taliban are better, they also killed innocent people and imposed strict religious beliefs on the population.

    Devon - the country is one of the poorest in the world, a $1.00 can feed a family for a couple of days. The average wage is less than $1000 a year. It has been that way for centuries. There are a number of well to do folks, the nomads known as Kuchi are such a group, traveling between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Rob

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  48. Cody,
    I think that if Amir finds Hassan's son, he will still feel the guilt, but not as much. Amir will feel a lot better though for taking care of his brothers son, and pay him back for what Amir did when he was a kid.

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  49. Class-
    After finding out that Baba impregnated Sanaubar, Hassan mom, it got me thinking about how she ran away after. I was thinking now that she ran away because she knew it was Baba's and hers not Ali's. I dont think she could live her life with Ali knowing that and that is why she ran away. What do you guys think?

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  50. What if Baba was ashamed of how Hassan was conceived? He took something so important away from Ali and he saw Ali as a brother. Is it possible he is so ashamed that he did something like that that he could never bring himself to tell Amir or Hassan?

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  51. Melissa- I don't think so i think Baba was just mad his wife died so he slept with the 1st girl he could and it just so happened that Ali's wife was a whore and he picked her. I don't think it was more than sex

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  52. Kristin- I think that he will always remember what had happened and what he'd done; however I do think that Amir looks upon Sohrab as not only a way to atone for his and his father's sins; yet I also believe that he is wanting to help his "family" out and rescue him from such a destructive environment.

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  53. All-
    Do you think that Amir's dream changed his mind about getting Sohrab? What does Amir's dream symbolize in the chapters?

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  54. Moe -

    The Lion of Panjsher is a reference to Massoud, the Tajik Military Commander who was killed by al Quaida just before 9/11. He was well liked by the northern folks and is a cult hero today.

    I have lived and worked in Afghanistan since 2006 and will be going back after I finish some school work later this month.

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  55. All-
    I think that the reason why Amir is so determined to find Sohrab is beacause he feels the need to redeem himself for his past actions when Hassan got raped. After finding out that Hassan was his brother and he had a son, he felt responsible to repay Hassan by saving his son, because he wasn't able to save Hassan in the past. But I also think that Amir wants to go get Hassan's son to eliminate his downfall quality of being a coward. By going to Kabul he has to over come a lot of fears, which he was unable to do when Hassan got rapped. Being a coward put him in his present position.

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  56. Anthony--

    I have to disagree because in this modern day how many people have 2 parents and if they do how many would actually brag about it or say that they do. But on the other hand it may different in the afghan culture.

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  57. All:

    In your opinion who do you think the Afchanistan people prefer to ruule their country, the Russians or the talibads?

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  58. Sean-
    That could be true, but why would he hurt his friend like that?
    And then care more about Hassan than Amir?

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  59. Reece-

    I agree, I think that she felt too guilty to stay with Ali knowing that Hassan was actually Baba's son. I think she eventually came back, though, because she wanted to contribute to some part of her son's life.

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  60. Rob-
    Relating to an earlier fishbowl but just curious. Does the taunting that Assef put Hassan through when they were children still happen today? And does it go to the extreme that Assef went to with Hassan?

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  61. Kristan- I think his dream shows that he is still guilty for what happens and wants to get rid of his guilt

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  62. Reece- I think she ran away because the guilt she felt with sleeping with another man and making Hassan. She didnt want to deal with and she didn't have the courage to tell Ali so she ran away.

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  63. In response to Nikki's question, I think Amir feels like if he saves Hassans son it will somewhat make up for all the bad things he had done to Hassan. It was a way for him to finally feel at peace. I think it was a little bit because they were related because he is sad that they didn't know about this for their whole childhood so he wants to treat Hassans son like family since he never treated Hassan that way.

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  64. Robd--
    Is it common in the Afghan culture for a man to have more than one wife?

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  65. Chase- I think that his dream represents his guilt. Amir feels as if he was the overall cause of Hassan's death. Guilt is a hero quality!!

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  66. Sean,

    There are many Afghans who have more than one wife. The real issue is that Hassan's mother was a Hazara, someone who is looked down upon.

    As noted, Amir and Hassan are most likely half brothers......does that change the way you look at them and the actions of Amir?

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  67. Moe Fo Show 122,

    I don't think the Afghanis would want either the Taliban or the Russians to run their country. I think they would prefer to run their own country.

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  68. Melissa- Technically he helped Ali out, he gave him what every father wants, a son. For the caring more, he likes Hassan better because he does not have to worry about Hassan committing the worst crime, stealing. Plus Hassan likes soccer and is more of a reflection of Baba.

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  69. Rob-

    This may be a personal question about politics but since i was in 2nd grade when 9/11 happened i cant fully grasp what the whole situation is going on between the Middle East and America.

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  70. Rob-
    How much control does the Taliban still have in Afghanistan? Has anything changed since they first came and is anyone fighting them there?

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  71. Devon- I agree with what you are saying because his guilt shows in most things he does since he has gotten back. I think he went back to Afghanistan because of his guilt.

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  72. Anne,

    Yes to a degree it does. More so when there are a number of one ethnic group against one or two from a different group.....happens mostly in the younger crowd although you will see it happen when a group of former Warlords/Mujahideen get together....which means their Parliament...

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  73. Erica-
    Thats a really good point. I agree Ali's wife leaving for knowing the truth and couldn't face it.

    All-
    What else is Amir going to do to redeem himself from his life in the past? Will he ever be able to move on, forget the past, and the guilt slide off his back?

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  74. Sean- You say every father wants a son. How does Amir feel about not being able to have a son himself?

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  75. Reece- I think that Hassan's mother ran away because she was embarrassed for sleeping around with Baba; and perhaps she did it to protect not only herself but also Baba. I doubt that it's very highly looked upon to have sex with another person's wife and not to mention the fact that she is Hazara and he was a Shi'a; that probably wouldn't help his image to be sleeping around with a "lower- class" person

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  76. Moe Fo Show-
    I agree with Erica. When the author was talking about kite running earlier in the story, he said that there had been a kid who had tried to bring up all the kite running rules that he went by. But in Afghanistan, it was more custom to just not have any rules. I think this applies to them in a larger scale too. When the Russians or Taliban are in charge, they enforce rules and regulations that the Afghan people probably don't agree with.

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  77. From the center--

    I think that when gets sick, it is from nervousness and just from all the things he is trying to accomplish in such a little time like pressure.

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  78. robd-why are the Hazaras so "looked down" upon?

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  79. Chase and Devon,

    I've researched dreams before and it is simply your unconscience finishing something you couldn't do when you were awake. Example: Amir and Hassan never became friends after they moved. Amir never got to resolve his relationship with Hassan. Because of this he had a dream about Hassan being killed in order for him to resolve the conflict.

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  80. Rob-

    That is a good point, I never thought of that.
    I don't think his being related to him changes his choices. Many times in the book Amir says Hassan is like a brother to him, if that was true he still didn't ever step in to help his "brother".

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  81. Rob- I think it does change the way I look at Amir's actions. Although either way, not helping Hassan as a friend or a half brother is bad judgment, the fact that they happened to be brothers makes it look worse. It makes it look worse because brothers are suppose to be loyal each other from the beginning to the very end, it is just what family does. Over all, it made the situation worse even though, friend or brother, Amir's actions were not right to any extent.

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  82. Reece-
    I think Amir isn't happy that he doesn't have a son but at the same time he knows that there is nothing he can do about it either.

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  83. Reece- I think that, that is abother reason Amir is going after Hassan's son, because of the blood relationship

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  84. Moe,

    Very good question, a great deal of it goes way back to the Middle Ages when the Middle East nations extended their control along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. They were a very progressive and educated people who somewhere lost their way. They recoiled to the Middle East and became somewhat of a hermit while the rest of the world passed them by.

    They were very advanced in science and medicine but lost that edge due to the infighting that came about after the Crusades, something they still hold against the West.

    Reece,

    There are 384 districts in Afghanistan (similar to counties) with the Taliban have control or influence in almost 200, all of which are Pashtun. Local corruption is the main reason for this.

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  85. Rob-
    Who exactly are the Taliban?
    I think I understand, but I'm not really sure about it...

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  86. Devon and Sean,

    Part of Amir's problem is finding out he has a half brother, and then realizing his half brother is Hazara.

    Dakota,

    The Hazaras are looked down on because they do not look like the rest of the Afghan population (the look Asian) and the Pashtuns remember what Genghis Khan did to the country.

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  87. Anne,

    Mullah Omar was a local religious teacher in Kandahar Province. The local warlord was abusing the people, raping, killing and stealing from them. The local leaders went to the government for help but the government refused.

    They then approached Mullah Omar and that night some of his students (Taliban is Pashtu for student) killed the warlord. Afterwards other people brought their problems to Mullah Omar to be settled. He did, however, he demanded they follow his strict beliefs...Most did for it was much better to live by his code than to die by the hands of the Warlords...

    Rob

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  88. All,

    I will go back through and make sure I answered all your questions...

    Feel free to post any additional ones as I will check regularly.

    Rob

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  89. All,

    Amir failed to rescue Hassan but may have a chance to redeem it by rescuing Sohrab....is this what is meant by being able to be good again?

    Moe - Farid felt that the Orphanage director was not protecting the young ones, that is why he fought him. The Director was looking at the greater good.

    Kristin - Farid did not consider Amir a good Afghan, and he thought he was returning only to sell out and take his money with him. The first time that attitude changed was when he was at Farid's brother's house and left money under the mattress.

    Melissa - Baba treated Hassan better because he knew if the truth were actually know, Hassan would most likely be killed, he was mixed and therefore neither the Pashtuns nor the Hazaras would take him in.

    The comment about being a tourist - some good points made. He was part of the privileged class and did not know what the rest (and majority) of Afghanistan was really like.

    Rob

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