Cultural differences in the Kite Runner

As we are finishing The Kite Runner, the main character has spent many years both in his homeland and as an immigrant in the US. Through Amir we are introduced to both an Afghanistan before and under Soviet rule, and then finally, we get a glimpse of a devastated country under the Taliban.

How did the descriptions of Afghanistan agree with or differ with the ideas and impressions you already had of this country?

What cultural differences become evident in the parts set in the US?

How easy is it for Afghans to settle and find their place in the US?

Write a ONE paragraph blog post answering these questions.

In the news: Youth Climate Activist addressing the UN plenary on climate change

Listen to 15 year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden address the UN climate plenary in Poland – you are stealing our future

Greta Thunberg holds a placard reading "School strike for the climate" during a protest outside the Swedish parliament on November 30, 2018.

According to the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, the countries represented are getting close to a climate accord.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Today we are going to follow the awards ceremony and listen to the Nobel lectures taking place in the City Hall in Oslo: NRK’s coverage of the awards ceremony

The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” We have earlier seen that Denis Mukwege has worked relentlessly for women who have been raped and sexually assaulted in conflicts in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Nadia Murad from Iraq was kept a sexual prisoners of the IS and continues to be one of the strongest spokespersons against sexualized violence. She belongs to the Yezidi minority, which you can read more about here. To learn more about her activism, read this article from the Guardian

Bilderesultat for nadia murad picturesBilderesultat for Denis Mukwege

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

Brick Lane

Bilderesultat for brick lane film

 

Using your impressions after watching the film Brick Lane, write a blog post on how the film portrays the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. Use Nasneen and another character from the film to illustrate your points.

To find out more about the neighborhood portrayed in the film, visit Brick Lane

To read more about community protests against this film, go to this article from the Guardian: community protests

 

Ingunn

Global Warming

Climate change is a topic that the United Nations has taken seriously for decades, having founded the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) already in 1994, initiated during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has existed since 1988. They work “to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies” (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/session48/pr_181008_P48_spm_en.pdf).

In December, the IPCC will present to the Katowice Climate Change Conference a Special Report on the effects of a global warming of 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Read the press release from the IPCC in the link above and make a note of what it says about the difference between a 1- and 2-degree increase compared to pre-industrial levels. Draw upon studies from your other subjects as well and be prepared to discuss the topic in class.

Hilde