Halfway through The Kite Runner :)

Write a blog post where you answer the questions below. Use quotations from the book to underline your statements.

  1. What kind of resettlement process did Baba and Amir go through when coming to the US? Did any other characters have to go through similar processes?
  2. What did Rahim Khan mean when he told Amir “there is a way to be good again”? Is it important for Amir to “be good again?” Are we always able to reconcile with past mistakes or past human rights abuses? Does it matter if we do? Why/why not?
  3. Baba says to Amir: “there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to her husband, his children’s right to their father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth… There is no act more wretched than stealing.” Do you agree with Baba? Why/why not? Can you think of other rights that can be violated by stealing?
  4. In the sene where Assef attacks Hassan – what rights did he steal from Hassan?
  5. Assed says: “Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, no this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood. … Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say.” Do you recognize Assef’s attitude from people in the media, people from history etc? Who? Can Assef’s attitude lead to human rights issues, such as hate crime? How?
  6. Baba says to Amir: “I grew up with Ali. My father took him in, loved him like his own son. Forty years Ali’s been with my family.” Yet Ali is not treated like Baba’s brother, but rather his servant. Neither Ali nor Hassed can read or write, and they eat Baba and Amir’s leftovers. Why do you think that is? How can it change? What responsibiliy do we have to try and break such norms, and how can we do that?

 

Hanna

Character sketches

Having read the first seven chapters of The Kite Runner (2003), you have probably started to get to know some of the important characters. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist? Who is your favorite character and so forth…

A character sketch is a short description of a character based on what the book has told you so far. Remember that you get to know a character not just from descriptions the book makes of him/her, but also through actions, thoughts and conversations this character is shown to have.

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Choose a character from The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan, Assef, or someone else, and write a character sketch. Find quotations from the book to emphasize your points.

Example of the beginning of a character sketch. Amir is the narrator of the story. He lives in San Fransisco, but grew up in Kabul in the 1970s with his father, Baba, and servants Ali and Hassan. He has a complicated relationship with his father, “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him” (p.4). Amir seems lonely, and it seems like his father wants very little to do with him, or takes little interest in him.” … and then it continues

Quality Education and Gender Equality

As agreed from your last blog posts, we will start working with the global goals of quality education and gender equality. These two goals are often intertwined, which is why I put them together.

Start with reading about the goals here and here.

Write a summary in your own words about what you learn from the two different sites. What is the actual problem? Why is Quality Education and Gender Equality so important that they take up two of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals?
And how are these two goals, 4 and 5, so intertwined? Explain and discuss.
Also include how you would like to work with these goals. Post this on your blog.

When you finish, read the short story “Chinasa” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adicie. You will find the story on It’s Learning and get it as a handout. Note down difficult words and look them up. Comment on how, if at all, this short story relates to UN Goals 4 and 5.

Hanna & Ingunn

Work and migration

As mentioned last week, we are going to move on from studying abroad and volunteering to working abroad.

Today we will look at migrant workers, mostly through listening to accounts found on E2 – which is Gyldendal’s resource for international English.

You will work with some questions based on these accounts, before moving on to reading an excerpt from Zadie Smith’s short story “The Embassy of Cambodia.” You will get the excerpt as a handout, but if you are interesting in reading the entire story, you can find it here.
embassy of cambodia

After having read the excerpt, I want you to write a blog post discussing Fatou’s story and comparing it to the statistical information you will also be given in class.

Publish your blog post at the end of class today.

– Hanna

Homework for Wednesday Feb 7th.

Read chapter 10 of the Reluctant Fundamentalist and comment on the different conflicts which can be seen in the novel:

  • a conflict between Changez and the American
  • a conflict between Changez and the United States
  • a conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson)
  • an inner conflict between Changez and himself

Find reasons/explanations for each of these possible conflicts.

Also, comment on the two quotes from chapter 10, from a conversation between Juan-Bautista and Changez:

“Have you hear of the janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”

“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”

Chapters 7 and 8

As homework for Wednesday, January 31st, read chapters 7 and 8 (pages 77-98), and answer the questions below on your blog or on Fronter.

The questions concern chapters 6 and 7, we will work with ch. 8. together in class on Wednesday.

  • Imagine that you are Changez and write a personal diary entry about the atmosphere in New York after 9/11.
  • Work with the text, write answers in your own words and use quotes to enhance your statements:  What does Erica say about Chris? How are Muslims treated in New York City? According to Jim – how does one gain power? What does Changez mean when he says “I was Chris and she was with Chris?”
  • Find passages om chapters 7 and 8 that support the claim that Changez is changing in his loyalty, and becoming more patriotic to Pakistan.

Publish blog or hand in on Fronter before  class on Wednesday.

 

 

Day of Terror

Read some eyewitness accounts from a city in shock, this is a text from the New York Times the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the city.

Write a short blog post (2 paragraphs at the most) including your own thoughts and impressions after reading the text and seeing parts of the documentary in class.