Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reading Khaled Hosseini's Books

© Baghdad Treasure

Khaled Hosseini signs Baghdad Treasure's copy of "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

I avoided reading "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini since it was published in 2004. When Baghdad Treasure wrote a review of the book on his blog, I decided to read the book. In a way, the delay was best because I didn't need to wait long to read his second book, "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Since the collapse of the Taliban regime, many journalists reported from Afghanistan, a country we knew little about. They all wrote about the Taliban's brutality against the Afghani women. However, rarely did any of those journalists take us back through Afghanistan's history before the Taliban and the Afghani Civil War.

I'll start by apologizing to the Afghani people for not knowing much about them until I read Hosseini's books. I apologize for feeling insulted anytime someone compared Iraq to Afghanistan. I apologize for not knowing how much the two countries' recent history is similar.

How many of you know that Kabul was a metropolitan city until the 1970s? How many of you know Afghani women taught at Afghani universities? Probably very few unless you read Hosseini's books.

It's very easy to replace Afghanistan with Iraq to picture what's happening in Iraq. After reading the books, I realized that if all fails in Iraq, the country will become a Taliban-style state.

As an author, Hossieni is a very gifted writer who can tackle difficult subjects that are considered taboos. He remains respectful of Afghani culture. At the same time, he doesn't refuse to tell us about the practices and behaviours others wouldn't mention.

I recommend Hosseini's books for anyone who wants to know more about Afghanistan. I certainly recommend the books for Iraqis who want to reflect on another nation's struggle with war and peace.

Thank you Khaled Hosseini for helping us better understand Afghanistan.

Kite Runner

A Thousand
Splendid Suns

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