Welcome to the start of a process that requires your utmost attention to detail

The Kite Runner Research Project


As discussed briefly in class The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, deals with the political, social and religious climate in Afghanistan between 1960 and 2003. In order to have a background understanding of these topics before approaching the novel, you will investigate one of the topics listed below in groups of 3. You will be given 3 days in the library in order to research your topic. You will each need to submit your own 450 – 500 word properly formatted research report and together you will create a presentation for your classmates using technology.


Research Topics:

Ø Afghan Political History: An overview of major political events in the history of Afghanistan from 1933-present day. You will want to specifically research Zahir Shah, King Mohammad Zahir Shah and Mohammad Dauod Khan, as well as Soviet and American influence in the country throughout this time.

Ø The Taliban: Outline the birth and evolution of this group, up to and including present day. By whom have they been influenced? What sort of power do they have? What sort of infrastructure do they support? What is their reputation from both an international and an Afghanistan perspective?

Ø Cultural History: Investigate the ethnic groups of Afghanistan. Specifically you will want to focus on the Pashtuns and the Hazards. What historical issues lay between these two groups? How have the two cultures both mixed and clashed? What cultural expectations are either similar or different? What specific characteristics or beliefs separate these two groups?

Ø Religious Background: Research the religious background of this country. What is the dominant religion(s) in Afghanistan? How, if at all, are religion and political power related. Specifically investigate the difference between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. What are the major differences and similarities between these two groups? Historically how have the two religions coexisted in the same country?

Ø Geography and Author Biography: Begin by researching the biography of Khaled Hosseini. Specifically investigate how his own history is connected to that of Afghanistan’s. What might he have experienced that influenced his writing in either positive or negative ways? Why do you think we as a reader should be aware of his biography? Second locate on a map the following locations in order to provide a geographical context to our novel for the class: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kabul, Ghargha Lake. Find out some simple facts about the population, size and distance between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and specifically stats for its capital city, Kabul.

Your Task:


Part A: The Research Report

You must keep scrupulous records of all your research because you will be required to annotate every single piece of information you record.
You must use proper MLA citation and include a Work Cited page that indicates at least three different types of sources. Some examples could include Encyclopaedia, CD, internet, magazine, and book. Also, remember our new friends!!! They may prove to be helpful with this research project :) Always try to locate the primary source.
You will each write your own 450 – 500 word properly formatted research report (no more than 2 pages in 12 point font) that summarizes, under headings and in paragraphs, the relevant and important information you uncovered. There is no need for an introductory, or a concluding paragraph as this is a report and not an essay. .

B. The Presentation


You will be responsible to work cooperatively on a presentation for the class on your topic. You may choose to use presi, create a website, or a video.
C. The Reflection
Your must include a reflection (eg. last slide) which answers the following questions:
  • What was the most interesting thing about your research?
  • How did your research enhance your understanding of Afghanistan?
  • How did you decide to organize your information?