** The Kite runner spoiler **
I cried… I couldn’t hold my tears while reading different moments of the story. Injustice blows me always! I cried for Hassan when he got raped for standing up to Amir. I cried when Amir’s father got diagnosed of cancer. I cried for Sohrab’s attempt to suicide. I cried for Hassan’s loyalty and his devotion. I cried for the slavery unjust life he had to carry. I cried for the cruelty of humanity and the racism we carry in our hearts. A hazara, a shiite, it wasn’t worse in Afghanistan than it is in Jordan today. Different forms of slavery, no? Poor Syrilankis and Eygptians for us, each one of them reminds me of Hassan, and the tough life he had to carry (with a smile!).
At moments, I wanted to grab the pen of Khaled Al Husseni and draw my own lines. That rape scene was so frustrating, where for a moment, I wanted to put in my own hands and push Amir to take action, not only for Hassan, but also for his own sake as well. I don’t know really who suffer the most out of that scene, Hassan for actually getting raped, or Amir for the guilt he carried over his shoulder for the rest of his life. I know that I have lived Amir’s guilt throughout the story. I also still have a feeling of bitterness because of the sequence of events that didn’t allow Amir and Hassan to meet again. Sohrab may, at the end, became a sort of condolences to Amir, but that is not enough of a happy ending to me.
As Khaled Al Husseni said, life is not a Hindi movie. At the end, we usually don’t even know what to classify the outcome of the events of our lives. Good and bad moments come in different set of choices and out of hand events. Injustice, for instance, comes in different forms, whether it is human instinctive fear of rejecting the other, like in the horrible massacre of mazar al sharif, or maybe it comes from lack of actions like the day Amir stood still watching his best friend gets raped infront of his eyes, or even uncalculated mistake like the one Amir did when he told Sohrab that he has to put him in an orphanage for sometime in order to be able to take him to the USA, which resulted in Sohrab’s suicide attempt.
There was a moment where I wanted to scream out. Don’t stone those adulterers!!! It amazes me how inhumanly humans can really act! I was horrified when I learnt about Assef’s buying of little children! I cheered out when Sohrab hit him on his eyes. I wanted to take a knife and cut his throat as well so that he never does it to anyone else.
At the end, the book left me with sadness about the current situation in Afghanistan. 40 years ago, it sounded like a life in west amman. A liberal non-practice muslim father drinking in his own house and discussing religious teaching with his son. The worrisome of what a religious extremist ruling would do to this country is not uncommon in the Jordanian liberal community. It also made me think of how messed up this world can be! The USA, the country who supported the mojahideen in their war against communism, is the same country who hosted the Afghani refugees in the story, and the same country who is fighting Taliban right now in Afghanistan! Power plays change with time, and poor people live to pay the price! This work is a work of fiction, but it may be the closest to the truth than any news we have watched on TV.
The only thing that “The Kite Runner” misses is a stronger presence of women, but it is okay, Khaled seems to address that in his next novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns”.