‘Kite Runner’ author visits Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – The author of two best-selling novels set in Afghanistan said the country is moving in the right direction but that the international community must remain committed to rebuilding the war-torn nation.Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner” and current New York Times No. 1 “A Thousand Splendid Suns” wrapped up a 10-day tour of northern Afghanistan on Thursday as a goodwill envoy for UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency.

The Afghan-born author said in a U.N. statement distributed Thursday that the country is at a “crossroads” and that there are signs of disillusionment inside Afghanistan and the international community.

“A long-term engagement is absolutely critical if the country is to continue moving in the right direction,” said Hosseini, a naturalized U.S. citizen. “Afghanistan needs time, patience and relentless effort.”

During his tour, Hosseini visited UNHCR projects in the north but couldn’t visit the south because of ongoing violence fueled by a resurgent Taliban militia.

The visit was his first to the country since finding fame with his 2005 hit “The Kite Runner,” which tells the story of two boys who grow up together in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Hosseini left Afghanistan as a boy in 1976 and now lives in California.

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