Baba is an important character in the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and an authority figure in Amir’s life. At the time the narrative begins, Baba is one of the richest merchants in Kabul, owning a “wildly successful carpet-exporting business, two pharmacies, and a restaurant” (Chapter 3, 22%). Baba got married to Sofia Akrami, a literature professor at the university and a descendant of the royal family. The two had a son, Amir. The novel’s ending reveals that Baba also has an illegitimate son, Hassan, who was born out of Baba’s affair with Sanaubar, Ali’s wife.
After fleeing Kabul in 1981 and relocating to the United States, Baba starts working as an assistant at a gas station owned by an Afghan acquaintance. Implicitly, his social status changes, as he goes from being one of the most respected businessmen in Kabul to working a low-paying job. Amir recalls Baba working “twelve-hour shifts” for six days a week (Chapter 11, 29%) and sacrificing himself to provide for Amir.
Amir sees Baba as “a force of nature”:
My father was (…) a towering Pashtun specimen with a thick beard, a wayward crop of curly brown hair as unruly as the man himself, hands that looked capable of uprooting a willow tree, and a black glare that would ‘drop the devil to his knees begging for mercy,’ as Rahim Khan used to say. (Chapter 3, 3%).
Moreover, Baba’s imposing appearance gives birth to legends, such as the one that describes him wrestling...