Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada (Hassan, a Hazara servant's son, L) and Zekiria Ebrahimi (Amir, the Pashtun protagonist, R) portray lifelong
friends from rival Afghan ethnic groups in THE KITE RUNNER.
THE KITE RUNNER is based on the 2003 novel of the same title by Khaled Hosseini, an award-winning book that was at, or near, the top of the New York Times best-seller list for almost three years. Marc Forster (FINDING NEVERLAND, 2002) directed the film version, which he chose to film in English, Dari, Pashtu, Urdu, and Russian.
Author Hosseini is Afghani, and his novel covers three decades (1970 - 2000) of Afghan strife, from before the Soviet invasion through the rise of the Taliban. There has also been continuing strife between the Poshtun wealthy Sunni ruling class and the poorer Shi'ite serving class, the Hazara.
Amir's mother died giving birth. He was raised by his wealthy Pashtun father, whom he calls Baba, and his father's Hazara servant, Ali, who has a son, Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada), one year younger than Amir. Hassan's mother left his father when Hassan was a baby.
When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and Baba are forced to escape, eventually finding asylum in the U.S. The story is told in three sections: Amir and Baba in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion, their lives in America where Amir falls in love, and Amir's return to Afghanistan where he finds an unexpected gift.
Apparently, this past Sunday steps were taken in the United Arab Emirates to begin the process of getting the boys and their families out of Afghanistan. A Middle East specialist at the consulting firm Kissinger McLarty Associates has been hired to arrange visas, housing and schooling for the young actors and jobs for their guardians. Bringing them to the United States is not an option because Afghans, like the majority of Iraqis, do not qualify for refugee status.
For much more information, note about the harassment of a young boy in the Indian movie KABUL EXPRESS, and to watch THE KITE RUNNER trailer, see the entire article (click title of this post, a link, or here).