Afghan Book Kite Afghan Bhutto

In one of the final acts of her life,
Benazir Bhutto replied to the Globe & Mail's request
to choose her favourite book from among those she read in 2007.


Her choice is Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner,
a blending of personal and national tragedy.

Earlier today - Monday, New Year's Eve, December 31st, 2007 - I was reading BOOKS OF THE YEAR reviews by 35 notable people in the weekend supplement of Canada's Globe & Mail newspaper:

Bhutto Afghan

The name BENAZIR BHUTTO jumped off the page like a jolt because just four days ago - on Thursday, December 27th - she was assassinated and yet here she was speaking to us - figuratively - as though still alive.

What further jolted me was that her favourite book - THE KITE RUNNER* - was about Afghanistan and what she said about it expressed my very same sentiments, ie a love of the nation and its people. I travelled through Afghanistan in 1974 - before its 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union - and wrote about it in AFGHANISTAN REMEMBERED.

To me it is fitting to end the year by writing about Afghanistan because, as a citizen of Canada, I am unwillingly complicit in the horror of war now being inflicted on Afghanistan by our 2001 invasion and continued occupation there. Canadian soldiers have been there under UNITED NATIONS-NATO command - supposedly "keeping peace" - for six years. Billions of dollars have been spent by Canadian military and charity agencies in the name of "peace and humanitarian aid" but no peace and no humanitarian aid reaches the Afghani people. Instead, the nation is a universal battleground and its people are dying by the thousands through injury, starvation and disease.

As soon as I can - on the posthumous recommendation of Benazir Bhutto, a martyred inspiration to not only her own people but to believers of her cause worldwide - I'll be purchasing a copy of THE KITE RUNNER [subsequently scanned above]. ~ Jackie Jura

Afghan Bhutto

"The Kite Runner"
reviewed by Benazir Bhutto
[who was prime minister of Pakistan from 1988-1990 and 1993-1996,
and was a candidate for prime minister in upcoming January 2008 Pakistan elections,
and who was assassinated on December 27, 2007]
Globe & Mail, December 29, 2007

"In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini uses a personal tragedy as a touchstone for a devastating national tragedy. By brilliantly riveting the attention of the reader on how the lives of ordinary, decent people were shaken by political turmoil, it reminds us that political actions have consequences that ripple across society.

"Reading The Kite Runner made me recall the Kabul of my youth: that beautiful nation and genuinely lovely people of Afghanistan who had a vibrant society, a culture, an economy, great cities, art and intellectual pluralism. A 10-year Soviet occupation followed by the Talibanization of Afghanistan have destroyed so much of that, have removed so much of the happiness that was Afghanistan and replaced it with a heavy sadness.

"I could not put The Kite Runner down, because Hosseini's beautiful writing style touched my heart, and the personal pain and anquish that he captured, especially of abused children, reminded me once again how extremism and religion are often exploited and manipulated for political power. Hosseini focuses us on the fact that it wasn't just a little boy who was abused; it was a great nation. And both will remain scarred for life."

~ Benazir Bhutto


Bhutto's husband blames 'the establishment' (scorns gov't claim of Al-Qaida). Independent, Dec 31, 2007

Benazir Bhutto laid to rest (in pictures). BBC, Dec 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto last rally (in pictures). BBC, Dec 27, 2007

Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto assassinated (vowed to fight for workers' rights) & Bhutto had several enemies in Pakistan (but bulletin blames al Qaeda) & Bhutto accused Pakistani intelligence (in previous attempt on her life). SMH/CTV/BBC, Dec 27, 2007. Go to Reality Control & Old World Destruction & WHO YA GONNA BLAME? OSAMA!

*"The Kite Runner" Author Returns Home. Time, May 17, 2007
...Hosseini is almost certainly the most famous Afghan in the world. Even though The Kite Runner is about a complex Middle Eastern culture, in which Americans are supposed to be uninterested, the book has sold over 4 million copies in three years. A movie version will be released this fall. But there's an irony to Hosseini's success: he became famous as the face and voice of a country he hadn't seen since he was a kid, and whose sufferings under the Taliban he completely escaped. "It's sheer luck," he says, "blind, dumb luck that I'm not there. My family happened to leave before the Soviets, they had the means to leave and make a new life. I felt ashamed, like I should have suffered more."...Hosseini was born in 1965, the son of a prosperous career diplomat. In 1979 Hosseini's father was working at the Afghan embassy in Paris when the Soviets invaded. He moved his family -- Hosseini is the oldest of five children -- to San Jose, Calif. In the Hosseinis' absence Kabul was devastated. Several times. After a decade-long occupation, the Soviets were ousted by a murderer's row of warlords who immediately started annihilating one another, in the process bestowing generous collateral damage on the civilian populace. Order was finally restored by the iron lash of the Taliban, who brutalized Kabul for another seven years. When help finally arrived it was in the form of yet another invasion, this time by the U.S....When Hosseini went back to Kabul, the prosperous, cosmopolitan metropolis he remembered was gone, replaced by a polluted, impoverished, war-shattered city....


Afghanistan: BBC Quick Guide

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~