Afghan refugees in the United States
The novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini looks at the Afghan refugee crisis and the status of Afghan immigrants in the United States. In the 1980s, a large number of Afghan immigrants relocated to the US because of the political instability created by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the novel, Amir and Baba are among the Afghans who leave the state of tension and distrust present in Kabul.
After the 9/11 events, the number of Afghan refugees in the US continued to grow, particularly after Afghans helping the US were granted permanent residence as a reward for their collaboration.
The novel shows that many Afghan refugees were either forced to get low-paid jobs – like Baba – or live on welfare – like General Taheri:
I learned that he had kept his family on welfare and had never held a job in the U.S., preferring to cash government-issued checks than degrading himself with work unsuitable for a man of his stature—he saw the flea market only as a hobby, a way to socialize with his fellow Afghans. (Chapter 13, 45%)
The economic integration of Afghan refugees in the US continues to be a challenge, particularly since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan after twenty years, in 2021.
The novel looks at gender roles and Afghan society’s different expectations of men and women. Some of the women in the novel are Soraya and Khala Jamila.
Soraya, who has run away with a man when she was eighteen, has become a woman “with a history” (Chapter 12, 14%) and has di...