What is the significance of the Valley of Panjsher in the last sentence of The Kite Runner?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The Valley of Panjsher (or the Panjsher Valley, aka Panjshir) is the area which Amir passes through on his return visit to Afghanistan. Literally interpreted, it means "Valley of the Five Lions." It is not far from the Kyber Pass, the ancient mountainous passageway from Pakistan into Afghanistan from which Amir travels with his driver, Farid. Farid is a Tajik who lives in this area and who has fought with the famed Afghan freedom fighter, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who hailed from Panjsher. The Province of Panjsher is fabled for being the only province never to be controlled by the Russians during the communist takeover, and Farid fought many battles in the area under the command of Massoud. The Panjsher Valley is symbolic of freedom and the independent spirit personified by Hassan's character, and this is probably the reason for Amir's choice in the quotation that concludes the novel.