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Theresa Haider's Wiki Writing Project on The Kite Runner

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

Theresa Haider's Wiki Writing Project on The Kite Runner



Wiki Writing Assignment Topics: Afghanistan: Past, Present, Future


1.    THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF AFGHANISTAN. Map; what life was like in pre-colonial and colonial history; not a democratic view of this world; culture is music, food, values, social constructs, economic constructs, art education, ordinary lives of ordinary people. Due: Mon. March 12

2.    THE MUSLIM RELIGION. An understanding and respect for their faith; some views of the rituals of their faith; how religion influences daily life, their view of themselves, their view of the world; positive and negative religious practices and values; Muslim has become synonymous with evil I USA today—separate the evil from the good; Where in this religion—which is not that different from Judaism, comes this radical impulse?; inherent to Muslims is a harsh outlook with gives birth to the Taliban. NO TALIBAN in this presentation. Due: Mon. March 12

3.    RUSSIA-AFGHANI WAR (1980-1992). Why did Russia go in; what success did they have; why were they unable to close the deal; effect on Russian society; that they were stopped was a significant event in world history; world opinion of the invasion; how were they militarily defeated; power of the opposition and the role of the USA; the Jimmy Carter response and the Ronald Reagan response; what was done publicly and what secretly; how well did USA look at who they allied themselves with; our support of Al-Quaeda; the mujahdeen: how effective was our weapons involvement with the Afghanis?

Due: Thursday, March 15

4.    TALIBAN. (1992-1998) how it takes the Muslim religion and expresses it/what parts of  them are distinctly Muslim; what drives someone to act this way; how they gained political power and what and why it did what it did with what it got; Help us to see why someone would act this way and try their hardest to control others to do the

same. Due: Thursday, March 15

5.    USA-AFGHANI WAR (2001-2002). How and why we came into Afghanistan; how we militarily took out the Taliban; our support of the warlords; the drive against Al-Quaeda; politics within the USA which drove this endeavor; the power of the opposition; the hunt for Osama; the politics and policies of Bush as it relates to this topic. Due: Monday, March 19

6.    AFGHAN TODAY WITH A LOOK TO IRAQ.(2003-2006). With the view of an Afghani, the political, economic, societal change; a player in the world?: who influences Iraq in the Middle East? The world? The nature of the beast---what they value in their government; a future peak; what lessons from Afghanistan can the USA apply to Iraq? Due: Monday, March 19


The Writing Assignment


The page(s) you create for this assignment must include the following elements (not necessarily in this order):

1. The title of your topic

2. The names of your group members

3. A thesis statement stating the intent of your Wiki chapter at the top of your page.

4. A 4-5 paragraph summary of your topic WITH links to outside sources you have determined to be reliable (NOTE: we’ll do an assignment that helps you determine if a website is reliable).

5. A paragraph that explains the connection between your topic and The Kite Runner.

6. Pictures related to your topic.

7. Three higher order thinking questions about your topic that can be used on a quiz. The questions should be able to be answered based on the information you have included in your Wiki.

We will discuss HOTS (higher order thinking skills) questions and how to come up with them in class.

8. A list of references. This list is just like a works cited, but because you’re not citing sources in an essay, but gathering information from a number of places to help you write your summaries, the document is called a list of references. It will look just like a works cited, only it will have the heading References instead of Works Cited. This list should be at the bottom of your Wiki page (not as a separate page/document).

Other things to consider:

o    Does your use of color for the background and text make your page(s) difficult to read?

o    Have you shown good writing technique/style and attention to the intent of the page?

o    Have you run spell check?

o    Have you spent time correctly formatting your list of references?

o    Do your links go where they’re supposed to go?

o    Has each group member contributed to creating the page?

o    Have you read the pages you’ve linked to in order to verify the information as being useful to your site?

In order to prepare students for some of this work, I gave mini lessons on creating higher order thinking questions and writing thesis statements. I also talked with them about presenting their Wikis to the class, so I addressed presentation skills and what not to do when presenting. I also provided them with questions for assessing their uses of websites:

URL of the Web site: http://______________________________________

Name of the Web page_____________________________________

1. Who is the author? _____________________________________

•    What is the author’s expertise on the subject?

•    What are the author’s credentials and/or education?

•    Is the author’s e-mail address given?

2.    What organization sponsors this Web site?

•    Is there a link to the organization’s Home Page?

•    Is this a well-known organization?

•    Is this page actually an ad in disguise?

3.    Are the facts and information meaningful for your research?

•    Is the information someone’s opinion or well-documented facts?

•    When was the information last updated?

•    Is the information biased?

•    Is there a bibliography/list of references?

•    Are links provided to other related sites?

•    Is the text well written and grammatically correct?

         4. List some information from this site that will be useful in your research:

And, I provided them with a Moodle editing key

Formatting: Most formatting is usually done with Wiki markup - you don't have to learn HTML!

Bold and italics: Bolding and italicizing is done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

Bold and/or italicize like this:

    ''italics'' appears as italics. (2 apostrophes on both sides)

    '''bold''' appears as bold. (3 apostrophes on both sides)

    '''''bolded italics''''' appears as bolded italics. (5 apostrophes on both sides)

Headings and subheadings: Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article.

Headings can be created like this:

    ==Top level heading== (2 equals signs)

    ===Subheading=== (3 equals signs)

    ====Another level down==== (4 equals signs)


If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents will automatically be generated.


Indentations: The simplest way of indenting is to place a colon (:) at the beginning of a line. The more colons you put, the further indented the text will be. A new line marks the end of the indented paragraph e.g.

    This is aligned all the way to the left.

    :This is indented slightly.

    ::This is indented more.

And is shown as. . . .

    This is aligned all the way to the left.

        This is indented slightly.

            This is indented more.



What it looks like     

What you type

  • Unordered lists are easy to do:
* Unordered Lists are easy to do:
  • start every line with a star
** start every line with a star
  • more stars means deeper levels

*** more stars means deeper levels
  • A new line in a list marks the end of the list. 

*A new line in a list 
marks the end of the list.


1. Numbered lists are also good

         1. very organized

         2. easy to follow

   2. A new line

   3. in a list


marks the end of the list.

    # Numbered lists are also good

## very organized

## easy to follow

#A new line

#in a list 

marks the end of the list.


External links:

The easiest way to make an external link is to simply type in the full URL for the page you want to link to e.g. http://moodle.com.


If you want the link to appear with text that you specify, add an alternative title after the address separated by a space (not a pipe). So if you want the link to appear as Moodle, just type [http://moodle.com Moodle].   





Students' Writing




      by Lauren Monson, Mallory Shimpach, and Jessica Picha


The book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini takes us through the life of an Afghanistan citizen.  This wiki will help you understand what the events what Amir is going through.  It will also help you understand what is happening in relations to actual historical events.




The region of Afghanistan was divided between several empires through out its history. It has been in control by several emperors, such as Persian Darius in the 6th century and Alexander the Great nearly 300 years later. Sometimes the land was shared between empires. The relations between the empires were usually hostile. Later, Buddhism spread from India to Afghanistan in the 3rd century; at least half of the population was Buddhist. In the 7th century, Islam was introduced to the region, and became the primary cultural influence.


In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani founded Afghanistan when he brought the Pashtun tribes together. It won it’s independence from Britain in 1919. After a democracy failed in 1973, communism took over in 1978. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to help stabilize Communism in the country. The Afghanistan war took a huge toll on the economy, and the people of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1989 due to anti-communist rebels. The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, was captured in 1992 by the guerrilla alliance and a new government was formed. The government was made up of a 50-member council. The alliance could not keep the power and in 1996, Kabul fell into the power of the Taliban. In 2002, after the attacks in America, the Taliban was shut down becuase it refused to hand over Osama Bin Ladin. In 2004, a new constitution was made and a presidential election took place. Hamid Karzai was the first president in the new democracy.




As of the year 1999 the percentage of people in Afghanistan that would read or write over the age 15 was 36%, and 51% of those were male and the percent of women was 21%. Afghanistan is considered to be one of the most illiterate countries in the world.


In Afghanistan there are two different systems of education. The older system is a more religious one that is taught by the mullas. They teach about reading, writing, and arithmetic, the basic guidelines and principles of the Koran.


The other system has free education at all levels, and was introduced in Afghanistan's 1964 constitution. Kabul University was the first main college in Afghanistan, and was founded in 1932. It is one in ten other free colleges that were founded or established between 1938 and 1967. Multiple countries assisted Afghanistan in building of the ten colleges such as France, United States, Germany, Egypt, and the USSR.


Only men could go to the higher leves of education, but in the year 1961 women were able to extend their learning potential and all of the learning places became coeducational. In 2002, about only 32 %of school-age children went to school when they were opened.  Ninety-seven percent of the girls that live in Afghanistan did not attend school. Also Eighty percent of the schools were greatly damaged or were no longer able to use by the end of the Taliban's rule.






This picture is of a 12 year old Afghan girl. It was taken in 1985.


The people who live in Afghanistan are from some very diverse ethnic groups like the Pashtun who make up 42% of the population, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%. There are on the other hand only a couple of different but very controversial religions the Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%. The Sunni and the Shi'as do not get along very much. Afghanistans economy is trying to recover from many long years of war and conflict. It has been quickly improving over the past few years because of the fall of the Taliban. But it is still a very poor country , and depends greatly on help from other countries. For years, Afghanistan had a dysfunctional economy based on illegal drug trading and war


The health status of Afghans is some of the lowest in the world. About one out of every four Afghan children dies before the age of five, and the number of moms who die during the pregnancy because of complications is one of the highest rates in the world also.  The living standards right now there are among some of the lowest in the world.






Many people all over the world love music. But not many people get there instruments destroyed because of what is going on in there country. Music is very important to afghan’s they also cherish there instruments. Mohammed Maroof’s life is music he plays the keyboard and sings, one day when he was playing in Kabul, Taliban military came in and beat Mohammed and destroyed his instruments. Mohammed was playing were he normally plays his music, it is a run down old storage building, many Afghans meet there to perform and just to have fun.


Afghanistan started radio broadcasting music in 1925 but the station was destroyed in 1929. They built another one in 1940. The first woman to sing on the radio was Parwin in 1951. One of the most popular singer, composer, and song writer in Afghanistan was Ahmad Zahir. He died in 1979.


Some common Afghan musical instruments are….


    * Tabla (which is an Indian drum)   

    * Harmonya                                                                      

    * Rabab

    * Tanbour

    * Chang

    * Sarang

    * Dilruba

    * Tula

    * Setar


National Anthem


English Translation


This land is Afghanistan - It is the pride of every Afghan

The land of peace, the land of the sword - Its sons are all brave

This is the country of every tribe - Land of Baluch, and Uzbeks

Pashtoons, and Hazaras - Turkman and Tajiks with them,

Arabs and Gojars, Pamirian, Nooristanis

Barahawi, and Qizilbash - Also Aimaq, and Pashaye

This Land will shine for ever - Like the sun in the blue sky

In the chest of Asia - It will remain as the heart for ever

We will follow the one God - We all say, Allah is great, we all say, Allah is great


The values of the Afghanistan’s are expressed in their National Anthem. It shows that they strongly worship God, and they trust him to take care of them.


Values and Culture


    * They have a strong commitment to Islam as a belief system

    * They feel that the proper place for women is at home but sometimes if the family is poor enough they let the women work to help support the family

    * Arranged marriages

    * Couples cant live together before they are married

    * Children are expected to come, go to school, and come home, and work and not have after school activities.

    * Boys have more freedom and more rights




Afghan Bread is also known as Nan-i-Afghani. It is oval or rectangular and baked in a tandoor. It is kind of like pita bread.


In the book they buy and eat bread!


More foods...


· Qabeli Palau (rice w/carrots and raisins)


    * Afghan Kofta (meatballs)

    * Aush (noodles)

    * Gosh Feel (pasteries)

    * Osh Pyozeen (stuffed onions)


Information from










Afghans-the History and Culture by Farid Younos, June 30, 2002




Ahmad Zahir




Afghanistan Online by Abdullah Qazi, January 9, 2007




Kabul’s alive with Afghan Music, By Mark Memmott , May 13, 2002





The Kite Runner Wiki

The Culture of Afghanistan


This would be a map of Afghanistan and some of its surrounding countries.


In the book Kite Runner by Khalded Hosseini we read a story about Amir and Hassan growing up in Afghanistan.  In this story it shows us a glimpse of what their culture is like.  Our presentation will show you many different aspects of Afghanistan’s culture.  Some things that will be covered are music, food, and art education.  Please pay attention and follow along with the hand out because there will be a short quiz after the presentation.

Here's some background information: Capital:Kabul Population: 31,056,997 (2006) Presiden: Hamid Karzai Literacy Rate: 36% Labor Force: agriculture (80%),industry (10%), services (10%) (from 15%) Religion: Muslim (99%), Sunni (84%), Shiite (15%) Government: Islamic Republic Natural Resources: natural gas,petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barite, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious, and semiprecious stones. terrain: mountain, desert climate: cold winters, hot summers currency: afghanis, 49 afghanis=1 US dollar


There are some idea’s that Afghanistan doesn’t have democratic views of the world, which at this point is untrue.  Currently, in Afghanistan they are voting for a new president, they are starting to see how the democratic system works.  Afghan’s seemed very enthusiastic about voting for their president.  The large turn out of voters surprised Americans that were organizing the polls, even though the Taliban threatened to disturb the process.  Like in the book, when Amir and Baba were in America.  Baba loves the idea of America and voting, his favorite President was Ronald Reagan because he took hold of America and he was a man.


Afghan’s have a very strong faith in Islam.  This has a lot to do with the values that they have.  Their religion and values provide a sense of community for the people.  A big part of what they believe in is having a social responsibility, such as being helpful to other people who have less then them.  Following the moral rules are very important to the people because they feel loyal to their religion.




Afghanistan has many different ways in expressing music.  They are very creative in their ways of presenting there music. They have lots of folk songs, ballads, and dances.  The rohab is a six-stringed instrument that is very popular there.  Some other instruments include the sanfur and the chang.  They are different types of drums.  The national dance is called the attan.  It is preformed in a large circle and clap their hands and dance to the rhythm.


Afghanistan’s are very creative with their art.  They have many different things that they can do with just their hands.  There are a few items that are very popular, that would be the blue-green fired tile work.  They also make gold and silver jewelry that many people buy and enjoy.  Lots of people make leather goods in their homes as well.  Afghanistan’s are well known by their Persian-style woven afghan rugs.



Afghanistan’s cuisine is influenced by Persian, Indian, and Mongolian cuisine. Some flavors used in Afghani cuisine are masala, saffron, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, chilis, leeks, coriander, parsley, mint and black pepper. Onion and tomato are also important in Afghani cooking. Afghani cooking is usually high in fat because of the mountain terrain. They work it off by walking a lot and the cold winter burns it off. Countries throughout Europe made frontiers through Asia and Africa. However, Afghanistan was never colonized. This brought torture and war to Afghanistan and other countries.


Afghanistan has a very unique culture.  From their history to and their culture in food, music, art, and education, we learned a lot from the Afghans.  They are just ordinary people living in a lifestyle that is suitable for them.  Afghanistan’s are very popular for their food and style of music and also art education.


Works Cited: “Afghanistan Online.” www.afghan-web.com. 11 Mar 2007.

Aronson, Bernard. “U.S. Department of State.” Fpc.state.gov. 15 Oct 2004.11 Mar 2007.

Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. “Background Note: Afghanistan.” Dec 2006. 11 Mar 2007.

Coleridge, Peter. “Cultural Values in Afghanistan.” Eenet.org. 11 Mar 2007 http://www/eenet.org/uk/key_issues/cultural/colerdelc.html.

“Culture.” 11 Mar 2007. Mehta, Kavita. “Afghani Cuisine.” Ethnicfoodsco.com. 2005. 11 Mar 2007AfghaniCuisine?.htm>.

Pearson Educations Ins. “Afghanistan.” Infroplease.com. 2007. 11 Mar 2007.

“Religion.” afghanistans.com.11 Mar 2007.



The Kite Runner Wiki, Joey McQuillan, Vince Metzger, & Cody Kigin

The Muslim Religion


The content of this Website is to provide for a better understanding of the Muslim religion!!!


"The messenger of Allah said: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so." He said: " You have spoken rightly", Jebreel (Gabriel) from Number 2 of "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths."


"If anyone harms (others), God will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, God will show hostility to him." Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1625


"Jim Jones, David Koresh and Meir Kahane do not typify Christianity and Judaism in the eyes of the civilized West, but those same eyes are prone to see Osama bin Laden and Mullah Muhammad Omar as typifying Islam," Richard Bulliet


Learn some more about the basis of the muslim religion @:  http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm





Some state that Islam is a religion of peace and moderation but others, particularly Fundamentalist Christians, believe that Islam is a religion of hatred and warfare


Click here for more info: http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_war.htm


The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the "Articles of Faith":


    * Faith in the unity of God

    * Faith in angels

    * Faith in prophets

    * Faith in books of revelation

    * Faith in an afterlife

    * Faith in destiny/divine decree


The "five pillars" of Islam: In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.


The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah's guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim's faith and obedience. They are often called the "Five Pillars of Islam."


    * Testimony of faith (Kalima)

    * Prayer (Salat)

    * Fasting (Sawm)

    * Almsgiving (Zakat)

    * Pilgrimage (Hajj)


Islam in The Kite Runner


The religion of Islam relates to the book in many ways. For one, Amir and Baba are Muslim, and so are Ali and Hassan. Ali and Hassan are called Shi'a Muslims, and Amir and Baba are Suni Muslims. Hassan and Ali get made fun of and are discrimminated against in the book because Shi'as aren't as common in the area that they live in. They are also Hazaras, which are also seen as lesser, so they get abused constantly. Another little interestin part that it relates in the book is when Amir is describing how he and Baba were going to Jalalabad. Baba's cousin, Homayoun, has two wives because in the Religion of Islam, they are not restricted to just one life partner.



The Religion of Islam

Connor Walsh, Billy McKee, Angie Poechmann, Matt Traxler


    * The literal meaning of Islam is peace.

    * The message of Islam was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad   1, 400 years ago.

    * The prime message of Islam is the Unity of God.

    * Islam believes that each person is born pure.

    * The Quran tells them that God has given human beings a choice between good and evil and to seek God’s pleasure through faith.

    * At present there are 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. About 21% of all people on earth follow Islam.

    * In half a century Islam had spread to three continents.

    * Islam has a strong influence on God's Mercy.

    * The Quran Governs the life of Muslims.


                    The Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan                                


Islam is based around five principles.  They are the “Five Pillars of Islam”.  Every Muslim must fallow the five pillars.


The Five Pillars of Islam


   1. Confessions of Faith

   2. Ritual Prayer

   3. Alms Tax

   4. Fasting During the Month of Ramadan

   5. Pilgrimage to Mecca


Confession of Faith


 The confession of Faith is a phrase, which in English translates to “bear witness that there is no deity but God and I bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger”.  This phrase is said often.  Also to enter the Islam religion, one must say this phrase.


Ritual Prayer


 Muslims must say five prayers everyday. One in the morning, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening.  They must cleanse themselves  before every prayer.  When Muslims are praying they say verses from the Qur’an in Arabic while kneeling and placing their forehead on the ground.  They always face Mecca while praying.         


Alms Tax


Muslims must annually give a portion of their possessions to the poor.  They usually give about 2.5% of their possessions away.  Normal possessions offered are Cattle, Gold, Wheat, Sheep, etc.


          Fasting During the Month of Ramadan


Ramadan is a month that celebrates the Qur’an.  During this time, everyday from sunrise to sunset Muslims must not eat, drink, have sex, or do any sinning.


Pilgrimage to Mecca


The pilgrimage to Mecca occurs during the 12th month of the Muslim calendar called Hajj.  Any Muslim that can afford the trip must go at least once in their lifetime.  Mecca is located in the Sirat Mountains in Saudi Arabia.  It is also the birthplace of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.  Every year there are up to 3 million people that go visit Mecca at a time during Hajj.Muslim Woman


The image “http://www.atlastours.net/holyland/al_aqsa_mosque_dome.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.




Though Christians are called to love their neighbor as themselves, many times they do not. There are so many stereotypes and discriminations to different races, people’s lifestyles, and religions including the Muslim religion. Not only are they discriminated for their beliefs, but they also suffer from discrimination by the way they live their lives including they way they dress, speak, and raise their children. Many people assume that, woman who wear the garments that cover all but their eyes are hiding something, and that they all smell bad. It is par of their culture to not wear perfume, but that does not necessarily mean that they smell bad. Also, after the unforgettable tragedy on September 11th, 2001 many people had changed their view on all Muslims. Though it has been over five years since it happened, many people continue to show hatred and anger towards them, which is not fair. We misjudge all Muslims for being terrorists because of the way the media portrays them now.  Violence is not a part of their faith. They are called to love their neighbor just as Christians are.


          Incident in Oklahoma: There was a bombing in 1995 and Muslims then were initially blamed, and six days after the attack Muslim Americans reported over 200 threats and harassment against them. In the end the Muslims were proved to be innocent for this attack.


Relation to Kite Runner


          The Book Kite Runner has a lot to do with the Muslim religion, it does, because Baba, Amir, Ali, and Hassan are all Muslim.  Baba and Amir are Sunni Muslims, and Ali and Hassan are Shi’a Muslims.  At this time in Afghanistan the country is predominantly Sunni Muslim.  That is why Ali and Hassan are regarded as lower that everyone else.  It also doesn’t help that they are Hazaras, which are just considered lower people



















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