Amir is guilt-ridden over these matters even as a young boy. Although he enjoys the company of his playmate, Hassan, Amir cannot bring himself to call Hassan his "friend." He has grown up with the boy in Baba's household, but Amir cannot get past the fact that Hassan and Ali are Hazaras--the lowest ethnic class in Afghanistan. He does not consider either of them as his equal, and he is ashamed of their physical deformities. Amir rarely visits Hassan in the little house on Baba's property because he feels it is beneath him. Amir is also jealous of the attentions that Baba shows toward Hassan, and he is ashamed that he is too cowardly to stand up to Assef when he is threatened in the streets. Baba also sees how Hassan stands up for Amir, and he considers it just one of his son's many weaknesses. Instead of accepting the lowly Hassan, Amir's pride and jealousy instead forces him to concoct a plot to disgrace him. Amir is happy when Hassan and Ali leave, but the guilt that begins to consume him will last for most of his life.