Monday, November 16, 2009

Kite Runner Fishbowl #7: Chapter 23



Above is a picture that our friend Rob sent us of the infamous soccer stadium.


This is our second-to-last fishbowl discussion! If you haven't made it into a hotseat yet, try it out today. Also, remember to bring in quotations from the text whenever possible.


Enjoy!

109 comments:

  1. Hey Rob, I have a question. In the Kite Runner, we read about a "Beard Patrol". I was wondering what is it that they do and does anything like that exist in modern Afghanistan?

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  2. Hi Rob I'm from Mrs.leclaire's other English class and I was wondering how big is the school there?

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  3. Rob- I am from Ms. Leclaire's other class. I have a question about the Taliban and the other Muslims in Afghanistan. Why do the Muslims that are "peaceful" not stand up for what the radical terrorists are doing to innocent people? Do they think its wrong? do they secretly think its okay? Are they too oppressed/scared to say anything?

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  4. Rob-
    Hi I am from Ms. Leclaire's other class that is also reading The Kite Runner.

    I was just wondering if Afghanistann is still getting harrassed by the Taliban? If so, then how do the people cope with the small amount of freedom they have? If not, then hoow do people cope with the freedom they do have?

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  5. Robd-

    could you explain what your job is to us?

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  6. Robd-

    have you been to a soccer game where a violent act by the Taliban occured

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  7. Rob- This picture is from inside of a car, is there a reason why you didn't get out of the car to take the picture or was it just convenient while you were driving by?

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  8. When Amir has the dream about the bear, is that symbolic to him transfoming for childhood to manhood?

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  9. All
    When will Sohrab start trusting Amir? When will he realize that Amir is there to help him instead of hurt him?

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  10. Class- What do you think the card game represents?

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  11. Katy- Yes, I think it is a symbol of him becoming a man. He used to see Baba, but now he is a man and he will fight the bear from now on.

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  12. Do you think it was significant that Amir's lip was cut in half like a harelip....like Hassan.

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  13. Kaity: Yes i think it is symbolic, I think in the previous chapter is when he started to become a man.

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  14. Meg- Yes I think it symbolizes that he was more like Hassan than he thought

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  15. KAITY- I think that it has something to do with that transition, and Amir not being so hard on himself. Also showing himself how alike he is to Baba

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  16. MeghanR- Yes i think it represents Amir becoming more like Hassen in a way that he is trying to be loyal to Sohrab.

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  17. Kristin-
    I think that Sohrab trusts Amir because if he didn't he wouldn't have saved his life. He has to feel some sort of connection with Amir to even think about jeopardizing his own life for someone he hardly knows but has only been told about. I think its just the fact that he was abused for so long that it makes if difficult to have a normal relationship with someone.

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  18. Meg-
    I think it just shows how much Amir and Hassan are the same. Amir still cannot realize how much of Hassan he has in him and this is just more of it showing in a physical sense rather than just a mental sense.

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  19. Sean: I think it's almost the start of their friendship and bonding. Not that Sohrab saving Amir from Assef wasn't something huge but even after that he didn't really talk to him because neither of them knew what to say. Now, they have something to bond with.

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  20. In response to Anthony in the inner circle- I think the only reason Amir went to find Hassans son was because Rahim Khan asked him to. But, he went to relieve his guilt and he did that.

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  21. Robd- What group in the middle east is most responsible for terrorists attacks?

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  22. Kaity
    I think the dream symbolizes Baba trying to fight off his guilt from his past. "He looks up at me and I see. He's me. I am wrestling the bear" (page 295). I think it shows that Amir and Baba are going through the same battle with the guilt they have.

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  23. Kaityi- I think that Amirs dream about the bear is symbolic to him transforming from childhood to manhood because he can now live without the guilt that has been keeping him from developing into a man. The bear in his dream is represented as Assef which shows Amir can defeat his past. He no longer lives in guilt with Hassan and Baba which shows he has become a man and can now live his own life.

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  24. Meg- I think so, it somewhat displays them as half brothers

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  25. Kaity- I think that the dream about the bear is symbolic of how he had finally had come to realize that Baba and him had been more alike than he had thought. Take for example in the beginning of the book the he is constantly trying to get his fathers approval and now he realizes that he never really needed to prove himself to Baba.

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  26. Class-
    What could his dream represent?

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  27. Meg-
    I think it's significant because now he looks even more similar to Hassan. But, do you think that Amir will keep it like that, or try to get it fixed?

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  28. Meg- I was wondering if its like another connection to something else in the book?

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  29. Meg- I think it is significant that Amir also got a scar in the same place. I think that it symbolized what he was sacrificing him self for on a physical level and also as a reminder. He didn't save Hassan before, but it symbolizes his redemption and connection between them as brothers.

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  30. SEAN! - I think the card game could simply represent th e way he used to play cards with Hassen and of how much Sohrab reminds him of Hassen.

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  31. Megan: Well they already said that they were going to fix it. Towards the end of the chapter he said how he tried to smile and it hurt because of the stiches...so to me that sounds like he got it fixed, without him knowing because of the medication.

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  32. Class-
    Why did Rahim Khan tell Amir that there was a family for Sohrab to go to when really the couple never existed??

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  33. Kaity- I don't think that Sohrab will ever trust anyone completely, but I do think that if Amir tells Sohrab what happened in his childhood and his dads, he will be able to trust him more than anyone.

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  34. Does anyone have any idea where Rhaim Kham could have run off too?

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  35. Meg i think that Amir will never be able to get rid of the scare on his lip and thats a symbol that a part of Hassan will always be with him.

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  36. Anne- I think he knew deep down the couple sohrab would go to would be his.

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  37. Kaity- I don't think he will be able to trust anyone for a long time he just has to be able to trust amir and it will take time but i think he will finally trust amir.

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  38. Sean: Well Amir said "When your father and I were your age, we used to play this game." (Pg 306)

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  39. Kaity- thats what I think, I'm not sure if it connects to something bigger, because the author seems to do that a lot

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  40. Anne
    I think that Rahim Khan told Amir about the family that didn't exist because he knew that if Amir spent time with Sohrab, he wouldn't want to give him away. I think that as soon as Amir found that he and Hassan were step-brother, Amir would want to stay close to Sohrab to redeem himself from the past.

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  41. Class-
    Rahim Khaled says "There is a way to be good again." Exactly what does Amir have to do in order to be good again?

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  42. Anne- I think that he told him that because he knew if Amir didn't have to take responsibility for Sohrab, he was more likely to find him. But I think as Amir goes through his journey he will realize that he will want Sohrab in his life, but that is my opinion. What do you think Amir will do with Sohrab?

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  43. Kaity- I think it was a way to have Rahim Kahn leave the story, and have Amir figure things out by himself.

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  44. Anne- To give Sohrab a hope of family so he would go try to find them.

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  45. Jake M: It seems like he is slowly becoming more like Hassan. He is the care taker of Sohrab (right now), he has a harelip, he is playing that card game with Sohrab like Amir and Hassan played it.

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  46. class,

    In the book there is a part where and old man enters, looks at all the people, and then leaves again. Who might this be? What might it represent? Why is is significant?

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  47. Class-
    At one point Farid uses the phrase "for you a thousand times over" with Amir. Is this a typical phrase that anyone would say or does Farid know that Hassan said that to Amir?

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  48. Anne- Rahim Khan told Amir about the couple to say that Amir just had to get Sohrab out of Kabul and not take care of him because he knew that Amir wouldn't go if he knew that he would have to take care of Sohrab because of all the guilt that he had. He also knew that after Amir went back and found Hassan's son he would want to get to know him more and he couldn't leave him.

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  49. All- What do you think Rahim Khan meant when he wrote "True redemption .... is when guilt leads to good"? Do you think he did this by just rescuing Sohrab or do you think it implies something more (like actually raising Sohrab)?

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  50. Emily: Do what he should have done a long time ago, let Assef know that he should have not done what he did and take care of Sohrab

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  51. Emily-
    I think Rahim Khan means that if Amir wants to be good again; he needs to find a way to forgive himself. I think Rahim Khan is telling Amir to adopt Sohrab.

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  52. Devon
    I think that Amir will stay with Sohrab for as long as possible. Amir doesn't want to put Sohrab back on the streets because they are family. I think that Amir will do everything he can to keep Sohrab in his life and off the streets.

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  53. Melissa- I think this might be someone that knows Amir and wants to see what is wrong with him at the hospital. Also i think he doesn't want Amir to know about this thats why he came in and left quickly.

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  54. Emily- I think Rhaim just wanted Amir to come back to Afghanistan and redeem himself by rescuing Hassen's son. I think in the Afghan culture some people might believe you can get rid of your sins by redeeming yourself and doing nice things. This is demonstrated in the book by Baba sinning and sleeping the Hassen's wife. For Baba to get rid of his son he does things like build an orphanodge and gives money to the poor. I believe that even if you do nice things to redeem yourself you will still always feel guilt.

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  55. Melissa:
    Maybe he was sent from Assef, to check what kind of condition Amir is in.
    OR
    Rhaim might have sent him! Maybe he heard what had happened and he sent him to make sure he wasn't in the worse enough shape so that he could still take care of Sohrab.

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  56. Devon-
    I don't think Amir has any other choice but to raise Sohrab as if he were his son. He cannot leave Sohrab in Peshawar and he because he is already willing to take Sohrab to Islamabad with him so it would only seem fit that he would be willing to take him back with him to America or wherever he chooses to go. What do you think??

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  57. Madeline- I think that it does mean he has to raise Sohrab. He was carrying a load of guilt all of his life, and now he has to complete the redemption process by making sure Sohrab will always be safe and taken care of.

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  58. Kaity- Do think that Rahim Khan did not run off; however could have died instead?

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  59. All- how do you think that Rahim Khan found out that Amir had not help Hassan?

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  60. Emily- I agree with Kaity that maybe in Aghan culture if you do something bad you have to do good to redeem yourself. Baba did this by helping his friends to who needed money and didn't ask for repayment and also the orphanage. Amir also does this by fighting Assef and saving Shorab.

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  61. I wonder why there is such an obvious cycle of events in the story, why did the author purposefully set it up this way?

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  62. mgardner-
    Amir is told that Rahim Khan isn't dead and I don't think that Rahim would lie about that. But it could easily be possible that he is dead and doesn't want Amir to experience another great loss.

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  63. Maddie - I think that even though guilt is a bad thing, it can lead to good things. An example of this is when Baba sins he built an orphanage and he gave money to the poor. I think that he also means that to feel fully redeemed you need to do something that will make you feel like you sinned for a "good reason".

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  64. Trent: Why wouldn't this person want him to know who he was? Do you think that he was in the book at all in the beginning?
    Meg: I agree I think it is someone like Assef or Rhaim

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  65. Anne-
    I think that he will also choose to raise Sohrab, because he knows it will relieve him of his past. Kind of relating it to my life, my parents have it set up that if both of them die some how that I am to live with my aunt and uncle. This situation applies because both of Sohrabs parents died and his rightful place should be with family. Amir is Sohrabs only family that is left.

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  66. Mgardner- Maybe Hassan told him about it.

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  67. Emily- I think all Amir has to do is forgive himself, maybe if he adopts Sohrab it will be easier for Amir because he will be helping a kid so what happened to Hassan wont happen again.

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  68. Class- Do you think Amir feels complete and redeemed after saving Shorab? What struggles will lie in the future for these two?

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  69. mgardner
    Farid had given the letter from Rahim Khan to Amir and told Amir that he just left and his landlord didn't know where he went. However, there is always the chance that he died a few days later without anyone knowing. We know he left but we don't know whether he is still alive.

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  70. Class:
    What did Baba do that made him feel guilty and look at Amir and feel regret?

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  71. CodyK- The author set it up in this way to teach a lesson. The lesson learned is that you can not keep secrets that are going to eat away at you because they are going to come right back around and catch up to you.

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  72. If Rahim Khan had always known, why hadn't he said something earlier?

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  73. mgardner- It says on page 301: "I did know. Hassan told me shortly after it happened." So Hassan told him.

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  74. Cody-
    I think he wants to show that when things happen again and again we have the chance to change the outcome and make things right again.

    Devon-
    I really like how you related that to how your family is set up. But do you think Sohrab wants to stay with Amir?

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  75. Reece-

    I still don't think any of this will redeem Amir in any way Reece, he can save a kid and do all this great stuff all he wants, but he is still the same as he has always been...he can lessen the pain and guilt, but never completely take it away.

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  76. Emily, Jacob- I agree with Jacob, Amir knows Sohrab has been molested so i think also his way to be good again is standing up for Sohrab. Because he did not do it for Hassan.

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  77. Melissa- i think he didn't want to be seen because he was probably someone that Amir knew but maybe didn't want Amir to see him yet. Also i think there is a possibility that he was in the beginning of the book then he just came back in the book again.

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  78. Hello, outer circle. We've had five people get into the hotseats today--I'd like to see a few more. We only have one fishbowl discussion left after today!

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  79. MeghanR- Baba is Hassen's father so he feels guilty that he never told Amir about this secret.

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  80. Reece- I don't think Amir feels like he has redeemed himself, but he thinks that now he can move on because he got what he wanted. He wanted Hassan to beat him up but he wouldn't so I think that Amir feels relief after this and that he can move on.

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  81. Anne-
    Yes, most kids I know take a while to "warm up" to people. I just think that he is hesitant to try to have a relationship between him and Amir because he is traumatized because of what Assef did to him. I also think that he is unsure of the future, but once the future becomes the present I think that Sohrab will want to stay with Amir, if that is what Amir wants too.

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  82. Anne
    I think that Sohrab wants to stay with Amir because its the only family that he has left. Also, Sohrab is just glad to have a place to sleep without other people around.

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  83. Reece-I think its going to take a lot more than saving Sohrab to redeem himself. Its taken more time to commit the incident to lead to his guilt than to redeem himself. I think Amir will always live with it but is on the way to making a better life for himself.

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  84. Meg-
    To add onto what Kaity said, I think he also feels guilty that he took the right of true fatherhood away from Ali.

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  85. All- I found it interesting that Rhaim Khan said "There is a way to be good AGAIN" do you think that this implies that he was once good..... do you think that he was once good even though he was constantly lying to Hassan about definitions of words and never being quite as loyal to him. Do you think he should have said "There is a way to be good"?

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  86. Trent: That is a good thought. I agree with you too

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  87. Kaitlin:
    I respect your reply but I do not like it! If Baba felt guilty about being Hassan's father why would he take it out on Amir? I don't get it.

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  88. CLASS:
    What is Amir's relationship with the Caldwells (the family that Amir was going to give Sohrab to)?

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  89. Sean- Going back to your first question about the card game, I think that the game was a way for them to connect. Like Katie and Meg said, the card game was a bonding point and allowed them to relate even thought Sohrab was shy whenever Amir talked about anything else. For example on page 300 Amir is talking to Sohrab, "'How are you?' I asked Sohrab. He shrugged, looked at his hands." That shows how Sohrab was uninterested except with the card game.

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  90. Dakota-
    I think he waited to tell Amir he knew because he knew that it would just add to his guilt. I think that if Amir came to Afghanistan, and then told him that he knew, it would almost be immediate to release his guilt or redeem himself. The only place where he could have fixed things would have been in Afghanistan and he waited so that there wasn't a lot of time between redeeming him self because time would only cause more pain for Amir.

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  91. Austin- I think he did redeem himself, but it will be tough to show that he can be a father figure.

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  92. Class-Do you think Amir deserves whats coming to him? Example-Is his sin worth parenting Sohrab?

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  93. mgardner
    I think that Rahim Khan said again because he knew that Amir had a good life until the winter of 1975. Rahim Khan knew what happened to Hassan and knew that Amir didn't help. Rahim Khan tells Amir "there is a way to be good again" because everyone starts good in their life and then events happen as the life around them changes.

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  94. Kaity- I think Rahim Kahn made that family up because it says Farid checked the US consolate and he said they never had a record of them being their.

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  95. All-
    Ever heard the phrase 'always forgive; never forget'?
    To me, this phrase connects to Amir so well. I'm not sure that Amir will ever feel that he has been forgiven for what he did by Sohrab and Rahim Khan. But that's not what is most important. Amir needs to forgive himself in order to feel less guilty. I think he is afraid that if he forgives himself then he will forget what happened but he doesn't have to.

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  96. I meant to direct that comment at anthony.

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  97. MegahnR- He does not take anything out on Amir. He just does not want Amir to make the same mistakes he made.

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  98. Sean - Why did they make the family up?

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  99. Anne- I agree, there is also another phrase. "Those who cannot remember the past are bound to repeat in the future. "

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  100. Kaity- I believe Rahim Kahn wanted Amir to take Sohrab back to America with him. A way to become good again.

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  101. Kaity- Fraid found out that the Caldwells had never existed; instead I think that Rahim Khan made them up to encourage him to go rescue Hassan's son because he knew that only rescuing Sohrab would totally atone for his sins.

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  102. Emily- I think he deserves a chance and doesn't deserve whats coming to him because i think he has made a little effort to try to be good again.

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  103. Erica-
    I think that quote fits better with how Amir acts in relation to how Baba acted as Amir grew up.

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  104. MegahnR- What mistakes does Amir not want him to make?

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  105. Anne
    That's a really good connection. I agree that Amir needs to forgive himself before he can move on in his life. I disagree that Amir is afraid he is going to forget what happened. I think he is more afraid that if he forgives himself other people won't be able to.

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  106. Kaitlin: He doesn't treat him like a son like he does to Hassan, giving him gifts being all nice. It made Amir's day if he would just tell him a story or let him sit on his lap like they had earlier in the book, only after Amir had won the kite competition. Even if he doesn't want Amir to make the same mistakes he doens't show his affection.

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  107. Katy- the relationship between Amir and the Caldwells is that Rahim Kahn told Amir about the Caldwells and told him that they were Americans. This made Amir more confident that the Caldwells were trustworthy, however they were not blood related.

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  108. Hi Goup,

    Will try to answer the questions posed....

    Justin B. -
    The Koran says that men should wear beards (like some of the Orthodox Jews). The Deobandi School says that the beard must be of a certain length. The "Beard Patrol" would make sure that a man's beard met that requirement. I have heard that they are beginning to enforce it in areas they control but have not seen a great deal of evidence yet.

    Dominic -
    There is a German sponsored school by my office, it is on vacation now because of the cold weather. It is primarily a boys school although there are classes for girls there. It has about 2500 students. The French also have schools in Kabul, both the German and French schools attract the better students. Then there are government sponsored schools throughout Kabul that generally have about 250 students each.

    jacobs2012 -
    A very good question. Generally Muslims refrain from criticizing one another in public. They believe in strength through unity. As a result you seldom see one denouce another, especially on religious beliefs. There are moderates who try, but without any government stepping forward and supporting them it just does not get any publicity. There is also a fear that should they denounce the violence they may become targets for the extremists, so fear does play into it a bit.

    BenB-
    The Taliban is still present in Afghanistan and active in a large portion of the country. In some areas they are welcome because of the corruption that exists. The population will tolerate their strict requirements to rid themselves of the corruption.

    moe-
    I was wondering when someone would ask. I am an employee of the government and provide training and assistance to the Ministry of Defense. Specifically I help them try to reduce the influence of the Taliban.

    moemoney122-
    No I haven't. Most of the soccer games are fairly peaceful events.

    MegR-
    The soccer stadium is across the street from the National Mosque. The area is generally off limits to Westerners for walking and taking pictures.

    I had thought I would be able to be live with you on Wednesday but that will not be possible. Please post any additional questions and I will get back to you with answers...

    Cheers,
    Rob

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