“The Kite Runner” is a novel written by Khaled Hosseini and a film directed by Marc Forster. The book is claimed to be the first Afghan novel written in English and was published in 40 countries. Personally, I have both read the novel and seen the movie. Naturally, I noticed some contrasts between the two. One of the first differences I noticed between the film and the book is that Hassan, the main character’s best friend, doesn’t have a cleft lip in the film. In the book, the cleft lip is mentioned several times. In fact, the first time Hassan is introduced, he is called “the harelipped kite runner”. On the other hand, the harelip in the book may have been to emphasize the ethnic difference between Hassan, who is Hazara, and the other ethnicity, which was Pashtun.

The scene when Assef rapes Hassan is also particularly different. In the novel, the rape scene is described in detail. We are told “Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan’s hips and lifted his bare buttocks” etc. In the movie, we only see Hassan getting shoved down and his pants pulled down. Thence, the scene cuts away. Anyhow, the limitations of this scene are understandable since it would be too graphic to show much else.

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Picture of Amir and Hassan, retrieved from

At the end of the book, as Baba and Amir flee from Kabul, Amir is said to be 18 years old, whereas in the movie, he is still depicted by a much younger actor. When they finally arrive in Peshawar, they are kept in the basement of a house in destitute conditions, full of people, rats and feces. Only a week later, Amir and Baba enter a gasoline truck to move on. In the movie however, the director completely omits the week they spend waiting, and they move from storage truck to gasoline truck and continue their way.

Overall, the movie displays the main entities of The Kite Runner book. However, some significant details were left out which may alter the views of the characters by one who has not read the book. Honestly, I recommend reading the book before watching the film.




So far, The Kite Runner has been an inspiring and compelling novel to study. It is well-written and good for anyone who’s looking for a good read. Personally, I am not a big fan of books. I usually find them boring. However, the author of The Kite Runner manages to draw the reader into the story so profoundly. Therefore, I will deeply recommend the book for those of you struggling with finding a great novel. The Kite Runner is full of suspense and heartwarming scenes. To give you an insight on the story, I have described some of the main characters down below.

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Picture retrieved from Wikipedia

Amir is the narrator and gifted storyteller of the novel. He is the intelligent and emotional son of a prosperous businessman in Kabul. This somehow makes him grow up with a sense of privilege. Amir’s best friend is Hassan, and he goes back and forth between acting as a worthy friend and attacking Hassan out of jealousy whenever Hassan receives Amir’s father’s attention. For instance, I remember the two boys staying at the pomegranate tree nearby the neighbourhood when Amir started to pelt Hassan with pomegranates. Furthermore, he called Hassan a “coward” and begged him to hit Amir back. Hassan resisted, he never fought back. Hence, Amir is driven by his feelings of guilt.

Hassan is Amir’s best friend and half-brother as well as a servant of Baba’s. Hassan is a truly beautiful person even though he’s had his share of hard times. Not only did he lose his mother (like Amir), but his mother Sanaubar rejected him. With just a glance at the new-born baby, she left. Luckily, Hassan is a selfless and joy-filled creature. He proves himself a trustworthy friend to Amir frequently, covering and defending him when they get in trouble and when the neighborhood bullies threaten them. His characteristics are selflessness, bravery and intelligence. As a broke ethnic Hazara, Hassan is perceived as inferior in Afghan society, and he suffers of racism throughout the book as a result. Hassan grows up acting Ali as his father, though he is Baba’s illegitimate child.

Baba is an affluent business man and the father of Amir and Hassan. First and foremost, Baba believes in doing what is right. This quality he tries to transfer to Amir. Besides, he never let anyone stop him from achieving his goals. Although Baba doesn’t believe in religious fundamentalism, he acts with a confident and courageous behavior. Baba once wrestled a bear and built an orphanage. When essential, he is willing to sacrifice his life for what he stands for. Yet his guilt at having a child with a Hazara woman makes him hide that Hassan is his son. Since Baba can’t love Hassan openly, he doesn’t have an intimate and caring relationship for Amir, though he undoubtedly loves him. Baba’s distance really affects Amir and is one of the primary motivations for Amir’s betrayal on Hassan. He is practising the old “I blame it on my father” defence.



Killed for speaking the truth

Condemning people for speaking the truth is not an unknown phenomenon in today’s society. More than 30 journalists were deliberately killed in 2018. One of them were Maharran Durrani. She was killed by a suicide bomb on her way to work in Kabul. Malali Bashir, who was a Colleague of Durrani and survivor of the planned attack told the newspaper The Guardian that they were broadcasting when the blast went off. Still they had to be professional and continue filming. The tragedy makes me absolutely disgusted and speechless. How can somebody be so motivated by despair, fatalism and self-aggrandizement? I think we forget the fact that many journalists have transformed the way we see the world today. For instance, Maharran Durrani participated weekly in a program that focused on women’s rights and modern women’s issues. She even refused to get married in order to care for her family financially. As a journalist you are vulnerable to criticism because there exist people who certainly don’t agree with your opinion. However, I believe speaking up promotes awareness to a problem and educates people in a positive way. We all have a big impact on each other’s lives, and therefore we should use our freedom of speech wisely.


Brick Lane

Brick Lane is a movie about Nazneen, a young woman leaving her sister and home behind for an arranged marriage in her country Bangladesh. This traditional wedding is set up by her father who has lost his wife which makes Nazneen treated as a commodity. She is a very obedient daughter and moves to London, specifically Brick Lane, with her new husband Chanu. Brick Lane is in the borough of Tower Hamlets which is very well known within London for having a huge Bangladeshi community.

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Picture borrowd from

Over the years, she grows increasingly frustrated both with her husband, who does not allow her to study English nor to travel alone within London due to his religious beliefs. This I would say is one of the multicultural society challenges in this film. Later, Nazneen gives birth to two sophisticated daughters, Rukshana and Bibi. The fact that these children are girls bring them a lot of disadvantages in terms of their social and future standing within the Bangladeshi community. They hardly get to go outside alone without their father’s permission.

After a while, Chanu loses his job, and finally allows Nazneen to start working as a seamstress making garments for a factory, in order to increase their family’s income. While working at home, she meets with Karim, which supplies her dress material. Eventually they fall in love and she is trapped between her traditional bangladeshi mind-set and the liberal thinking of Karim. While Chanu considers moving back to Bangladesh, Nazneen must choose between her work in Brick Lane, or following her husband to Dhaka.




International Day

Last week, Fagerlia high school organized both an International Day and Operation Day’s work. This year’s project concerns helping Palestinian youth who deal with mental health issues, practise democratic and non-violent ways of changing society, and promote gender equality. We listened to a very wise lecture held by Hilde Henriksen Waage, a professor specialized in Middle East studies. It was a pleasure to be given such important information and down below, I will tell you a bit about how the Israeli-Palestine conflict started. After the informal lesson, I met a refugee whose experienced living Palestine. He told me he used to work for 18 hours a day. To me, it is difficult to understand because my school day only stretches for 8 hours.

Right after world war 2, many countries wanted to give the Jewish people a homeland. Britain was in charge of a piece of land called Palestine. Since there was already many Jews living in that country, it seemed like a good place to stay. In 1947, the United Nations created a plan to give Israel 55% of the land and Palestine 45%. On May 14th in 1948, Israel was created. Palestine and the other Arab countries felt the plan was unfair. The day after, Israel was attacked by the surrounding Arab countries to take back the Palestinian land. Israel won and took control of the Palestinian area. Israel considered themselves, as powerful although Palestine felt defeated. Both Israelis and Palestinians also have historical religious claims to the area. Peace talks have provided temporary peace at times. Then groups like Hamas and Plo have used terrorism to try to fight for an independent Palestine. Now, Palestine want the land that was supposed to be theirs, back. Israel responds with military force and peace falls apart. The cycle has continued for decades.

There is no simple answer to this conflict, but I think it’s significant to inform everyone about the ongoing struggle between the countries. From that we can learn and maybe prevent such incidents from happening in the future.


Girl Rising

Girl Rising is an interesting and educational documentary about nine remarkable girls living in developing countries. The education plays a critical role in each of their lives and is hard to afford. The film highlights the unsafe inequalities that girls and young women face in several parts of the world. Harsh topics such as rape, human trafficking and child marriage are brought up, but nothing graphic is shown. Girl Rising showed me what life is like in challenging living conditions. Therefore, the movie made me appreciate my own freedom and schooling.

The story of Wadley made the greatest impression on me. Haiti’s earthquake of 2010 devastated her home. After the destruction, Wadley and her family were living in a tent-camp for several weeks. They saw and experienced a lot of things, including a hostile environment. Incidents of rape in that tent-camp made it a very precarious situation. Despite living in danger, there was a spark in Wadley that the earthquake hadn’t destroyed. Even though being out of school for a while, she was still hopeful and overcoming obstacles. For instance, she refused to leave school even though her mom didn’t have enough money. Her ability to dream made me realize to never give up, no matter what the circumstances and for this reason Wadley’s story made the greatest impact on me.

“One girl with courage is a revolution” implies that even though girls and women are slave workers, victims of rape or abuse, they can still make a change if they believe in themselves. Women are half of the world’s population. Because of that, developing countries should consider educating a girl as a powerful and useful resource. How can a country or a community possibly succeed if only half of its citizens are educated? Yet many countries don’t see the importance of women in the workplace. The traditional belief is that we belong home in the kitchen, not in an educational institution. Due to this, there exist millions of girls that can’t read nor write because they are prohibited from going to school.

The girls of Girl Rising live in difficult circumstances and do not consider themselves as victims. I rather sympathize than empathize with them, because I have never experienced human trafficking, slavery or abuse myself, but I can see how they feel left behind and hopeless through all tough times because they have no one to help but themselves.

The message from the film, that I think resonate most strongly with people who are not already familiar with this issue, is that many girls around the world lack access to education. They are often seen as weak and less powerful compared to boys, which makes the whole situation less-fortunate. Poverty in developing countries makes it all worse. In Haiti, 20% of a family’s income would be spent sending a child to school. Thus, very poor people must choose among which one of their children that will attend school. In these circumstances, many families will often send the boys instead of girls, and that is when the girls get left behind. It is hard for me to relate because I am given a free education and do not have to struggle to earn enough money for my schooling. I also live in an industrial country were girls and boys are treated equally.


Gender equality is your issue too

Gender equality is a comprehensive issue in many parts of the world. Women and girls suffer discrimination and domestic violence in several countries. Among these are Northern Africa and Southern India. For instance: Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. Nevertheless, the paid employment among women outside the agriculture has increased with 6 percent in 25 years. Still, the improvement is extremely slow.

On the other hand, we have goal number 4, quality education. It deals with universal primary teaching but also the disparities between rich and poor families and how the income can prevent the poorest households from schooling. Besides, education is totally essential for a sustainable development. The goals I have written about are absolutely intertwined because in numerous developing countries, women or girls don’t receive a secondary education. The reason for this is probably because gender disparity is mainly set on females because from ancient times, they were the one’s supposed to be home and take for the children.

To work with these goals, I think it is important that we stop defining a person by their gender, no matter how they identify. Personally, I don’t get in touch of inequality between the sexes too often, but many do. I was born a woman and I am proud of who I am, but that is no way gives me the feeling that the other gender is inferior to me. We are all equal. We all share the same earth. It is about time that we start making the necessary actions to achieve gender equality. For example, we need more men to be advocates for women’s rights. I don’t find it helpful to exclude the other gender from feminism entirely.