Last Updated 24 Jan 2023

Cloaked under War and Terrorism

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Having escaped his homeland on the cusp of a bloody communist revolution, Khaled Hosseini serves the Afghan Culture to ease his survivor’s guilt. Supplied with an education in medicine, this scholar refuses to medically aid the Middle East. Rather through his foundation, he provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan (“ Interview with Khaled Hosseini"). Utilizing his bestsellers, Hosseini defies the notion that war and terrorism infiltrated all aspects of Afghan life through his depiction of love, brotherhood, friendship, and loyalty (Hosseini Bookmarks). Throughout his literary works, Khaled Hosseini maintains a constant quota of un-translated words to illustrate beauty in Middle Eastern culture. His survivor’s guilt emotionally and spiritually obligates him to convey the underlying aspects of Afghan life.

Scholars Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Safeer Awan observe how Hosseini's usage of un-translated phrases permits words to maintain their cultural distinctness: "The word halwa, for instance, can be translated in English as a sweet/ dessert like pudding but this explanation fails to make one understand what halwa is." Without these phrases, the reader cannot accurately understand differences between the beliefs and values in Hosseini's novels and in their life. Employing this style allows his novels to effectively display South Asian Cuisine by highlighting cultural concepts and, “actively involving the readers with the contexts to find meanings” (Ali and Awan). The connection that Hosseini builds between his readers and his novels depicts beauty in Afghan culture, thus allowing Hosseini to cope with his past. Along with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2003, Hosseini returned to Afghanistan where war had infiltrated chief aspects of Afghan's lives. “I would flip through math textbooks and they would include word problems such as, ‘If you have 100 grenades and 20 mujahideen, how many grenades per mujahideen do you get?” (Mechanic).

During his tour of the altered Afghanistan, Hosseini realized that he became a distinct outsider who lacked life-changing experiences in the Middle East. His encounters with natives created an understanding that Afghans remained compassionate and honorable throughout the painful events in their lives. For example, a boy who lived in a hole under a collapsed building denied charity from Hosseini. instead, he countered: "but if you'd like, you can come over to my place for dinner and tea. We would be honored to have you" (Mechanic). Having developed empathy for his fellow Afghans, Hosseini seeks to enlighten the world about the beauty and love in the Afghan culture since the common perception is misleading. Interviewer Michael Mechanic stated that guilt and betrayal continually appear in Hosseini's novels. Having been born to a fortunate family that escaped the terror in Afghanistan, Hosseini naturally possesses survivor’s guilt (“Interview with Khaled Hosseini”). To cope with these emotions, Hosseini seeks redemption by aiding the Afghan culture. ”These books have really given me an opportunity to do something for the people in Afghanistan that is hopefully enduring and meaningful” (Mechanic). His literature supplies his readers with accurate Viewpoints from outsiders, such as the young doctor from And the Mountains Echoed, and from Afghan citizens, such as the two women from A Thousand Splendid Sons.

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While examining the rich and intriguing Afghan culture, his portrayals allow his readers to empathize with Afghans who suffer under the oppression of war and terrorism (Scharper). Throughout his literary works, Hosseini revolves his characters and plots around the notion of suffering. "A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), features a clash between Western ways and Muslim fundamentalism as told through two Afghan women who suffer under the iron fist of their husbands" (Scharper). Hosseini conveys this philosophic argument in his novels because he wants to clarify that the majority of Afghans despise extremist policies. Utilizing the Russian invasion and the Taliban Takeover in The Kite Runner, Hosseini successfully illustrates the suffering and destruction that involuntary occurs in the lives of Afghans (Scharper) After divulging the underlying elements of And the Mountain Echoed, Critic James Walton states "this is another thumping, family-based, Afghanistan centered saga that features exile, regret and long-lost relatives across several decades" (Walton).

Hosseini continually stresses this motif of suffering since he understands that Middle Eastern culture maintains a hostile reputation because of extremist and terrorist organizations. He desires to reveal that these associations oppress Afghan culture while inspiring Afghans to maintain hope and to achieve redemption. Aspiring to aid the Afghan culture, Hosseini conceals dashes of hope and redemption in his novels that revolve around suffering. "Both of Hosseini's novels travel movingly through a landscape of suffering towards small moments of hope and redemption" (Rennison). Owing to extensive destruction of Afghanistan. the Afghan culture experienced chronic suffering and major setbacks.

Understanding the demeanor of Afghans. Khaled Hosseini strives to inspire Afghans and to install hope for the future of Afghanistan. Author Lucy Schall remarks, "[The Kite Runner] is a tale that declares that it is never too late in life." With his characters and theirjourneys, Hosseini describes the possibility for redemption that Afghans ought to discover because he realizes the importance in endorsing the underlying components in the Afghan culture. Employing his striking illustration of Afghanistan, he reaches out to his readers for assistance in expanding accurate knowledge about the Afghan culture. Khaled Hosseini, a worldwide phenomenon, exercises his narrative talents to portray Afghanistan in a fresh and honest light. His persistent usage of un-translated phrases beautifully and proudly depicts Afghan culture. Reflecting on his recent visit back to his native country, Hosseini developed guilt for fortunately avoiding the negative experiences that occurred after his escape. Through his literature, Hosseini aims to modify his readers' hostile perception of the Afghan culture because he identifies Afghans as charitable, sophisticated, and determined people.

Works Cited

  1. Ali, Muhammad, and Muhammad Safeer Awan. "Strategies of Language Appropriation in Khaled Hosseini's a Thousand Splendid Suns." Language in India (2012): n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
  2. Hosseini, Khaled. ”And the Mountains Echoed." Bookmarks: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. - - -. "Biography - Khaled Hosseini."
  3. Biography - Khaled Hosseini. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. <http://khaledhosseini.comlbiography/>. - - -.
  4. "Interview with Khaled Hosseini." Interview by Goodreads. Interview with Khaled Hosseini. Goodreads, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
  5. Mechanic, Michael. "Kabul's Splendid Son: Novelist Khaled Hosseini." Mother/ones: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. - — -. "Kabul‘s Splendid Son: Novelist Khaled Hosseini." Motherjones: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
  6. Rennison, Nick. Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide. 7th ed. London: A & C Black, 2006. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  7. Schall, Lucy. Booktalks and Beyond: Promoting Great Genre Reads to Teens. Wesport: Libraries Unlimited, 2007. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  8. Scharper, Diane. ”A Thousand Tragedies.” America: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
  9. Stuhr, Rebecca. Reading Khaled Hosseini. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2009. The Pop Lit Book Club. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  10. Walton, James. "A sweeping saga of siblings." Spectator: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.

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