What has changed forever about Afghanistan?

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

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Even though the description borders on cliched, I think that the sense of innocence in Afghanistan from the mid 1970s to the modern setting is what has changed forever.  Amir notes that "The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born."  Given what unfolds in the narrative, it is a chilling description.  From the Soviet invasion to the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan endured over three decades of warfare and destruction.  The once cosmopolitan and vibrant city of Kabul has become a warzone, filled now with dead bodies and the screams of those who have been abandoned through the horrors of war.  The kite running escapades of Amir and Hassan have been replaced the abandonment and abuse of Sohrab, left only to open his wrists at the thought of going back to Afghanistan.  The sense of idealism and hope with Afghanistan seems to have been permanently changed as a result of so much political upheaval and war.  

The emigration of people like Amir and Baba only confirms that the hope and promise of what once was Afghanistan, warts and all, is gone forever.  Afghanistan seems to have become like Sohrab himself, abandoned and in need of some type of reclamation in order to become whole once again.  The idea of finding a "way to become good again" is something that seems to have changed forever in Afghanistan.  Yet, it is a quest that must be pursued "a thousand times over" as one completes reading the narrative.

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