What does the Kite Runner teach us of the politics, culture, or society of Afghanistan?

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To me, the biggest thing that it teaches us about Afghanistan is how oppressive the Taliban are and brutal their regime was.  It helps us to understand just how different their societal values are from our values.  We prize individuality and self-expression.  They prize obedience to their vision of what God wants.

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I have had both adults and students tell me that they learned more about life in the Afghanistan/Pakistan/Iraq region of the world from The Kite Runner than from any other source. Khaled Hosseini speaks from a first-hand knowledge of the region, and he infuses many true historical facts within his fictional novel. If the reader learns nothing else, he should realize that war is a fact of life in Afghanistan--be it occupation by the Russians, Americans or through civil war. The Kite Runner also serves as a history lesson on the varied culture diversity of the region, from the flying of kites to the melon sellers in the Kabul markets. It also shows how the Afghani transplants in California band together to create yet another unusual American sub-culture. The politics of the region is ever-changing, thanks in large part to the continued Taliban and American presence. Hosseini ends his novel with a sense of hope for both Amir's family and for the future of his country--a hopefulness that is perhaps premature considering the turmoil that still surrounds Afghanistan.

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