I highly recommend the “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.
I wanted to read the book before I even knew they were making a movie because my brother had to read it for one of his classes and raved about it. And when he likes a book, it is generally a classic in the making.
The “Kite Runner” centers on a young boy, Amir, who flees Afghanistan with his father to escape almost certain poverty and death.
As I began reading, I was a little concerned as to how I would feel about it because of our country’s current state with Afghanistan.
I didn’t know what to expect, but as the book progressed it taught me a lot more than I expected. Mostly though, as the cliche goes, there are definitely two sides to every story.
Before Amir left Afghanistan, he lived a privileged life. He attended school, his dad had one of the nicest cars in the neighborhood and they had hired help. He grew up with the son of the hired help, Hassan.
Throughout his childhood, he and Hassan did everything together, but when it came down to standing up for his friend in his moment of need, Amir failed.
Once in America, Amir and his father lived less than a nice life to say the least, and Amir was continually haunted by his failure to stand up for Hassan all those years ago. It’s true that guilt can eat at you until it’s resolved.
The best part about this book wasn’t what I read as much as it was what I learned about myself through reading about Amir’s life. Sometimes it’s easier to learn something when you can stand on the outside and look in – when you can be the critic and you can see fault in a character in a book, rather than in yourself.
I mentioned earlier that one of the biggest lessons I learned from reading this book was that there are always two sides to every story. When you look in the eyes of a person of a different color, what are your first thoughts?
If they are dressed differently from you or have a long dark beard and appear as though they are from the Middle East, do you get nervous?
After reading this book I can honestly say that if there were any part of me that felt differently about a person with this description, I won’t anymore.
To know that some of the people I might be judging could have barely escaped with their life from their home country, have probably lost everything they had and began here with nothing, and more than likely have lost any family member who is not present with them, is tragic.
Amir had everything he could have dreamed of, but the Taliban ripped it from him. It stole his right to a nice life. It has stolen the rights to a lot of people’s lives.
So next time, just remember: There are two sides to every story. Every face we see has a story. Every person we come in contact with daily has a story.
Are you willing to listen?
Marissa Warms is a senior advertising/public relations major from Irving.