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The story of The Kite Runner takes place in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war which lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Many insurgent groups like Mujahideen and Maoists were formed in order to fight against the Soviet army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government. These groups were assisted and funded by the United States and Pakistan. Around 2,000,000 Afghan civilians were massacred and millions of them left the country as refugees, mainly to Iran and Pakistan. War, violence, revenge, racism, and unfairness shapes the lives of many Afghan people, every significant point in the story is about a violent act. The arrival of the Soviet Union in December 1979 is the main reason behind the destruction of Afghanistan, if they had not arrived Afghanistan would be more peaceful and there would be less discrimination and abuse toward the minority groups.  As we move on in the book we learn how the arrival of the Soviet Union soldiers caused chaos and uproar in the country, even though many people around the world believe that the Soviet Union army were fighting for justice because they were fighting against the Taliban so they must be the good guys but that simply is not true. Afghanistan used to be a quite a peaceful country but when the Soviet Army arrived they killed many innocent people, looted all the resources, raped woman and so on, and that lead to the formation of Taliban. It was initially formed to protect Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion. We also learn more about how race and religion affected the lives of the Afghan people, since most of the people in Afghanistan follow the same faith, Islam, people would believe that their would not be any fighting with each other over faith but that not true either. In Afghanistan Hazaras who were Shiite muslims received unfair treatment from Taliban, they were persecuted just because they belonged to a different sect of religion and race. The writer of the book, Khaled Hosseini explores the life of a rich and privileged Afghan boy, Amir, who is trying to cope with a horrible event from his childhood while he escapes to the United States because of the political events, the fall of monarchy, the revolution, the Soviet invasion and the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan. War, violence and destruction is a significant part of the story. Soviet soldiers contributed to the destruction of Afghanistan, before the arrival of the Soviet soldiers there weren’t any insurgent groups like the Taliban or Mujahideen and Afghanistan was a peaceful country. Hosseini who is the writer of the book mentions how violent the Soviet soldiers were. In one of the scenes Amir and his dad were fleeing to pakistan so they could make it across to the border safely, Karim who was the driver was forced to make a deal with the Russian soldiers on patrol. The soviet soldier threatens to shoot Amir’s dad and kill him because he stopped the soldier from sexually assaulting one of the female passengers in the truck. This soldier is luckily stopped by his officer, who apologized for his companions behaviour and than he explains in detail how “Russia sends these boys here to fight… but when they come here, they find the pleasure of drug… and how this one is attached to drug now” (Hosseini 115). The soviet soldiers who were in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war were renowned as barbaric and violent. After the Soviet invaded Afghanistan, Afghanistan had an increase in violence because of the regular bombings, torture, and mass arrests of Afghan citizens. They are numerous accounts of these soldiers using drugs and alcohol, and because of that the violence and abuse toward women and children was also increasing. One of the most common drug addiction in Soviet soldiers was heroin. Taliban group was initially formed  to defend Afghanistan from the Soviet Union and protect the citizens from any threats. In one of the articles it states that “Throughout the ten years of Soviet occupation, internal Muslim forces put up a resistance. Farid and his father are examples in The Kite Runner of these mujahedins or men engaged in war on the side of Islam. The United States was among the countries that supported the resistance, because of its own anti-Soviet policies”,  “In the years following Soviet withdrawal, there was a great deal of infighting among rival militias, making everyday life in Afghanistan unsafe” which proves that even though militias were originally formed in order to protect Afghanistan but after Soviet Union left they became corrupt and started fighting each other to take control over the country. Rahim Khan who is a friend of Amir’s dad stated “Then in 1996, the Taliban took control of Kabul. After so many years of insecurity and violence, the people welcomed the takeover. Rahim Khan remembers, We all celebrated in 1996 when the Taliban rolled in and put an end to the daily fighting”. This shows how people initially supported the Taliban for defeating the soviet Union and sending them back home but later the Taliban also became very abusive just like the Soviet Union and they formed strict rules in Afghanistan. Woman had to cover themselves entirely or they would be severely punished, they were not allowed to leave their houses without the permission of men. Public executions became normal and people became used to seeing dead bodies hanging in the open. After amir goes back to visit Afghanistan he mentions “I saw a dead body near the restaurant. There had been a hanging. A young man dangled from the end of a rope tied to a beam, his face puffy and blue, the clothes he’d worn on the last day of his life shredded, bloody. Hardly anyone seemed to notice him”. (Hosseini, 21). The Soviet Union killed and abused many Afghans but not only that their arrival was the reason that Taliban have control over most of Afghanistan up until right now and the abuse and violence toward the innocent Afghan citizens continues even today.Race and Religion are major part of the story. There are two main ethnic backgrounds in Afghanistan. The Pashtun race, which was the race that ruled Afghanistan, they had power, influence and wealth in the Afghan society, pashtuns were also sunni muslims and there were Hazaras, which were from the lower class who were shia muslims, they were treated poorly throughout the history of Afghanistan. In one of the articles it explains how Hazaras were made fun of in Afghanistan, “Additionally, Hazaras were mocked and insulted by Pashtuns for the form of their eyes and generally their face, the subject that severally was repeated in the novel by the author, especially in the first parts of the novel. One instance for such behavior is when Amir says: “It also said some things I did know, like that that people called Hazaras mice-eating, flat-nosed, load carrying donkeys. I had heard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan” (Hosseini, 14). Before the Soviet Union army arrived in Afghanistan Hazaras were not liked by many people, mocked and treated poorly but they were not killed or massacred by the thousands in the open. That’s because after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan many different militias were formed in order to defend Afghanistan, but after the Soviets left many of those militias fought each other to take control over the country. Taliban were successful in taking control but they were sunni superimesits who did not believe in giving equal right to other minorities, they massacred thousands of Hazaras and Shias. If The Soviet Union had not Invaded afghanistan The Taliban would not have control over Afghanistan which means that Hazara people who be saved. Assef who was living in the neighbourhood of Amir hated Hazaras and viewed them as lower beings, he wanted to get rid of them from Afghanistan, he wanted to kill Hazara people but he could not since he would go to jail but that changed after the Soviet Union left, The Taliban gained power and took control over Afghanistan, and because of that he was able to join The Taliban, he raped innocent young Hazara boys. He once stated, “Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood. He made a sweeping, grandiose gesture with his hands. Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say. That’s my vision.” (Hosseini, 44). One quote in the book displays the hatred for shia muslims “The following week, after class, I showed the book to my teacher and pointed to the chapter on the Hazaras. He skimmed through a couple of pages, snickered, handed the book back”. “That’s the one thing Shi’a people do well,” he said, picking up his papers, passing themselves as martyrs. He wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi’a, like it was some kind of disease”.(Hosseini,14). Hassan, who was the friend of the main character Amir and his wife ended up being executed in the public by The Taliban just because they were Hazaras and Shia muslims. Only their child survived who was later abducted and abused by the Taliban for years.Ultimately, the arrival of the Soviet Union is the main reason behind the destruction of Afghanistan. If they had not arrived, the government would have full control over Afghanistan and there also would not be any militias like The Taliban, Mujahideen and Maoists because they were originally formed after the arrival of the Soviet Union to protect Afghanistan. There would also be  way less persecution against Shia muslims and Hazaras because Taliban are sunni superimesits who do not believe in giving equal right to other minorities, they have massacred thousands of Hazaras and Shias and because of that if the group had not been formed there would be less bloodshed, violence and destruction. Minorities would have been able to live peacefully along with other Afghan citizens instead of taking refuge in other countries and because of that Soviet Union is mostly responsible for all the events that took place in Afghanistan, the millions of innocent people that died and the people who continue to suffer till this day.

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