Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Hole in a Beautiful Kite

Staying in Afghanistan for the second post in a row, I would like to discuss the novel "The Kite Runner" by Afghan American author Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is an excellent story teller. I could hardly put the book down. The complicated yet very believable relation between Amir & Hassan almost captivated my emotions throughout the pages of the book. I say "almost" since in spite of all of the above, I still felt like there was a big hole in Amir's story, or that the book I read had a number of missing pages.

I expected Khaled Hosseini to at least shortly mention the pivotal role that the US played in adding to the chaos in Afghanistan, arming, training, and recruiting what it called the Mojahedeen. The same Mojahedeen whose Afghani members became known as Taliban and whose Arab members became the nucleus for Al Qa3da. I cannot imagine that he totally omitted any mention of this role, that changed the face of Afghanistan, and that lead to the infamous events of 9/11, the war in Afghanistan in 2001, and the war in Iraq in 2003. Events that can only be described as "hard to ignore".

If Hosseini ignored the American role to avoid controversy in his new adopted country, then he has committed two grave errors. First, he did not respect the intelligence of his readers to think that he could get away with such omission. And second, he was short sighted to trade higher sales for his own credibility.

p.s.The movie based on the book will be showing shortly in Egypt. The role of Amir is played by the Egyptian Scottish actor, Khalid Abdulla. I look forward to watching the movie hoping that the film makers will avoid the same mistake. I doubt it, but we'll see.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the "hole" in the book, and I personally against the idea of Americans being not only in Afghanistan but anywhere besides their own country, but I also feel that the story of the book is about relationships,values, etc... he does not have to discuss the political part, there are many other people who do that, trained to do that and very passionate just writing about that, so, I feel, it is great you enjoyed the book and let's say may be you can pretend not to see the "hole, and just enjoy the "story"

Anonymous said...

"he did not respect the intelligence of his readers to think that he could get away with such omission."
i really must not be intelligent at all, because i didn't even think of that until reading your post!! but now that you discuss it, it seems like such a blatant escape from controversy. even in the movie, the only reference to the political and social decay of afghanistan is hinted to be solely the fault of the russians (amir's dad even refuses treatment from a russian doctor in the states...but has no problem living amongst americans).

anyway, great post...but you never mentioned an important thing: who introduced you to the book????!

nahoul said...

Your comment made me feel like there is a huge hole in my post. How did I omit this important fact???

To all my devoted readers I admit that I was introduced to "the Kite Runner" by Mo.

Istara7et ba2a????