What are some references/examples of Middle-Eastern culture found in The Kite Runner?

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

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I think that a part of the culture that is revealed is the struggle for identity and the reclamation of voice.  A defining element of cultures in the Middle East, or the region known as the Middle East, is this struggle.  This is seen in the novel with its depiction of Afghanistan, a region that in the last thirty years or so has struggled to find peace and a level of solidity in its articulation of voice.  The time of the friendship between Hassan and Amir was one that saw the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union and the new forces that entered to curtail the individual freedoms of citizens of the Afghanistan.  The cultural center of Kabul is shown to go through a series of debilitating developments at about the same time that the friendship between both boys suffer, as well.  The cultural context of seeking to establish tranquility, while having one's voice validated is seen in Amir having to return to Afghanistan in order to right what was wronged.  This is a critical element of the cultural context of the novel, heightened more with the emergence of the Taliban in the 2000s.

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