Amir's mother, Sofia Akrami, died while giving birth to Amir in 1963. Sofia was a successful professor of classic Farsi literature at the local university in Kabul--"the descendant of a royal family," and the reason that Baba referred to her as "my princess." She was considered one of the most beautiful women in Kabul, and many people were surprised when Baba married her, since he "was not of royal blood." Amir knows little about his mother, but he discovers a few unexpected facts upon his return to Afghanistan when he converses with a beggar on the streets. The old man, Dr. Rasul, had also been a professor, and he remembered Amir's mother.
"Such grace, such dignity, such a tragedy."
They had shared a piece of almond cake and tea with honey, and she was pregnant with Amir at the time, "and all the more beautiful for it." She had told Rasul that
' I'm so afraid... Because I'm so profoundly happy... Happiness like this is frightening... They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you. '