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TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024
TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024

Cougar Critique: Khaled Hosseini’s writing collection

Khaled+Hosseini+has+dedicated+his+self-titled+foundation+to+education+and+economic+opportunity%2C+specifically+for+Afghan+women+and+children.+Graphic+by%3A+Ava+Mohror%0A
Khaled Hosseini has dedicated his self-titled foundation to education and economic opportunity, specifically for Afghan women and children. Graphic by: Ava Mohror

Author Khaled Hosseini spreads awareness of crisis in Afghanistan through his writing

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-born American novelist, known for his three novels, “The Kite Runner,” “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “And the Mountains Echoed.” Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. His novels are known for the vivid depictions of Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War and the war against the Taliban; each novel follows the story of a different unique individual affected by the wars.

Hosseini himself fled Afghanistan with his family in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded the country. 

After publishing his first two novels, Hosseini founded The Khaled Hosseini Foundation in 2007, following his visit to Afghanistan as an envoy to ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency. This foundation works to provide the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, women, children and refugees, opportunities to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence in their country. 

“The Kite Runner” was Hosseini’s first novel, written in 2003. The novel follows a young boy, Amir, and his friendship with his servant’s son, Hassan. The boys live in Kabul in the 1970s, before the war separates the boys’ families. Decades later, Amir returns to Kabul to do one final favor for Hassan, where he is forced to confront his past mistakes and face the truth he was hidden from in his childhood. 

The novel’s abrupt shift from childhood innocence to the harsh realities of war and human morality brings awareness to the horrors of the wars in Afghanistan. There is a trigger warning for the contents of this novel, including violence and rape. Through this novel, Hosseini brings awareness to uncomfortable topics and forces people to address and understand the violence that has taken place in Afghanistan.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” was Hosseini’s second novel, published in 2007. This novel is about two young girls, Miriam and Laila, who are forced to marry the same man, a shoemaker named Rasheed. Rasheed is 30 years older than Miriam, and nearly 50 years older than Laila. Quickly, the novel reveals Rasheed’s hostile and abusive nature. As the novel progresses, so does Miriam and Laila’s unlikely friendship of strength and sacrifice. During the two women’s time living in Kabul, the novel also discusses the Soviet takeover as well as the post 9/11 Taliban control in Afghanistan. 

Khaled Hosseini has dedicated his self-titled foundation to education and economic opportunity, specifically for Afghan women and children. Graphic by: Ava Mohror

This novel heartbreakingly details the terrible things women in Afghanistan have to endure, and their complete lack of rights and freedom. This novel was so beautifully written about such an ugly topic, making it heartbreaking and emotional. 

Hosseini’s third and most recent novel, published in 2013, is titled, “And the Mountains Echoed.” This novel begins with a brother, Abdullah and a sister, Pari, who live outside of Kabul and are separated after their father sells Pari to a wealthy family to help him support the remainder of his family through the winter. The novel then follows several stories affected by this separation, from the 1970s to the early 2000s, when Abdullah and Pari are reunited after decades apart. 

This novel touches on the rehabilitation efforts in Kabul following the wars. Specifically, a large portion of the novel takes place surrounding a children’s hospital set up by rehabilitation groups from around the world. Here, Hosseini brings attention to how the lives of Afghan children were affected by the wars and how little they deserved any of the violent repercussions they faced simply for living in Kabul at the wrong time. 

Hosseini’s novels bring light to an issue that is not discussed in modern media. His books utilize fictional stories to spread awareness of very real issues that affect the 40 million residents of Afghanistan. It is crucial that everyone read at least one of his enlightening and emotional novels to educate themselves on the violence in Afghanistan. 

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Ava Mohror, Print Editor-in-Chief
Ava Mohror is a senior at VHS and in her third year at The Cougar Press. She enjoys dancing with Oakley Ballet Center, reading and writing. Her favorite thing to do is spend her whole paycheck shopping with her best friends. 
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