Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-born American novelist and physician. He is a citizen of the United States where he has lived since he was fifteen years old. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, with the paperback spending 101 weeks on the bestseller list (#1 for 4 of those weeks). In 2007, it was followed by A Thousand Splendid Suns which spent 21 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback fiction and 49 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction (#1 for 15 of those weeks). The two novels have sold more than 38 million copies internationally (10 million books sold in the USA alone). His new book, And the Mountains Echoed will be published in May, 2013.
All this success has brought Hosseini wealth and celebrity. He is putting both to good use. He has created The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. The Foundation supports projects which provide shelter to refugee families and economic and education opportunities and healthcare for women and children. In addition, the Foundation awards scholarships to women pursuing higher education in Afghanistan. Did you know that 60% of Afghan women marry before they are 16 years old, many of them sold or forced into marriage by their families? For more information, check out this YouTube clip, Prisoners of Tradition: Women in Afghanistan. Consider the fact that Afghanistan continues to lack sovereignty due to the war imposed on the country since October 7, 2001, under occupation for twelve years and counting, presently by 46 countries with military forces numbering more than 155,000, with 100,000 from the US alone. There are also foreign civilian, foreign intelligence agents, and private militias and mercenaries as bodyguards numbering 150,000, with 112,000 alone from the US. The Afghan people, especially the women and children, have been deeply affected by these many years of occupation. I believe Hosseini, besides being a wonderful novelist, is a hero who exemplifies “The Power of One.”