Written For a Sophomore English Class
How the Taliban Changed Afghanistan
Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, follows the life of a young boy living in Afghanistan; a very different Afghanistan than the one we know today. Through his eyes we see the country he loves, his home, torn apart by a war with the Soviet Union, then a civil war, before finally being taken over by an extremely strict religious group called the Taliban. This series of horrible events destroys everything he loved about Afghanistan; it claims the lives of friends and family, and even threatens his own future. Of course, The Kite Runner is a novel; at least some of the story is fictionalized. How much of these terrible things actually take place in real life? The Taliban have defiantly had a powerful effect on Afghanistan, its citizens, and on the rest of the world. What exactly have they done that to so drastically change the dynamic of the country and the lives of its citizens? The Taliban have been around for a long time, (playing a quiet, background role in Afghanistan), but it wasn’t until the mid ‘90s that they really began to gain followers and power. Afghanistan’s bitter civil war shattered the country and weakened the control of the government, dividing the country and forcing its citizens to live in chaos. People desperately needed protection, leadership, and guidance, to put an end to the lawless free-for-all the country had become during the Mujahideen era (Kakar 1). This is where the Taliban stepped in. They were a young group of freedom fighters, few in numbers, who believed in the teachings of Islam above all else. They had no experience with political power, little military experience, and lacked proper educations, but their devotion to saving the country from the madness it was trapped in was enough to get the masses to follow them. In the three years that followed emergence, their numbers went from less than a hundred, to thousands. By 1996 they had the...
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Kakar, Kawun. "An Introduction of the Taliban." Institute for Afghan Studies. Institute for Afghan Studies, 2000. Web. <http://www.institute-for-afghan- studies.org/AFGHAN%20CONFLICT/TALIBAN/intro_kakar.htm>.
"The Taliban 's War Against Women." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 17 Nov. 2001. Web. May 2012. <http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/6185.htm>.
Berlatsky, Noah. The Taliban. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. Print.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003. Print.
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