"Kite Runner"

Essay by willtxHigh School, 11th grade October 2007

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The Kite RunnerPashtun vs. HazaraAfter reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the following three incidentsfrom the book have been selected to show the differences between the Pashtun and theHazara:1. Amir finds one of his mother’s old history books (p 9).

2. Amir and Hassan’s first run-in with Assef (p 37-43).

3. The rape of Hassan by Assef (p 70-78).

It will then be tried to back up the book’s cultural differences between Pashtunand Hazara with actual historical facts and research information learned off the Internetand cited within this essay where needed.

Amir was Pashtun and his best friend and house servant, Hassan, was Hazara.

Before Amir picked up one of his mother’s old history books, all he knew about theHazara was that they were Mogul descendants with Mongoloid features and looked alittle like Chinese people. When reading the chapter on Hazara history, Amir found outthat his people, the Pashtuns, had given the Hazara a hard time for many, many yearsbecause they were Shi’a Muslims and not Sunni Muslims, like the Pashtuns.

Thehistory book also said some things Amir did know, like people calling Hazaras mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkeys. “It is commonly believed that the Hazara aredescendants of the armies and settlers of Genghis Khan’s Mongolians, which marchedinto the area in the twelfth century. Oral traditions among Hazaras claim direct descentfrom Genghis Khan himself. Studies in genetic genealogy have identified a particularlineage of the Y-chromosome characteristic of people of Mongolian descent (the Y-chromosome of Genghis Khan). This chromosome is virtually absent outside the limits ofthe Mongol Empire except among the Hazara people, where it reaches its highestfrequency anywhere. About two thirds of their sample Hazara males carry a Ychromosome from this lineage.”(1)During Amir and Hassan’s first run-in with Assef, it was the Hazara boy, Hassan,who got hit in the...