What did you learn about Afghanistan's contemporary issues?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Amir's journey to seek to "become good again" is something that parallels the entire journey of the Afghanistan nation.  I think that this is probably where the most stunning relevance of the novel is evident.  Like Amir, Afghanistan is broken and needs a level of focus and a journey in order for it to become whole.  Like Hassan and Sohrab, the nation has become victimized by those who have little, if any, care for the people or the country and rather seek to use it to fulfill their own sense of control.  The war with the Soviet Union gave way to the rise of the Taliban, and in this intense social and political fragmentation, the soul of the nation was lost.  People were victimized in dark corners of the nation while so many watched, hiding from responsibility and from "becoming good again" themselves.  I think that this becomes one of the critical elements that comes out of the novel.  The culture and composition of Afghanistan is one where so much over the last thirty years has damaged it.  There has to be a collective and individual desire to seek redemption, to actively confront what happened in the past and understand it for what it is, and there must be a driving need to "become good again."  This becomes one of the fundamental issues that comes out of the novel and drives the entire understanding of the nation.


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