The Kite Runner is the story of Amir and Hassan, two boys in pre-Soviet Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy merchant, Hassan a servant. The two have an uneven friendship. Hassan is secretly Amir's half-brother, a product of his father's indiscretion with a servant. The two grow apart during the war and the subsequent rise of the Taliban and Amir journeys to America where his father passes away. He returns to Afghanistan to claim Hassan's son in the wake of Hassan's death at the hands of the Taliban.
Hassan is another childhood friend. He has a cleft lip, but is otherwise beautiful. Hassan is always loyal to Amir and tries unfailingly to please him. Hassan’s father is Ali, who works for Amir’s father. They live in a mud shack on the property. Hassan’s mother left one week after he was born to live with traveling dancers. This is considered very shameful.
Amir’s father is well-to-do and they own an estate in an affluent neighborhood in northern Kabul. Amir calls his father Baba. Baba has many friends, but his best friend is Rahim Khan. Amir’s mother died while giving birth to him.
Ali’s lower facial muscles are paralyzed, so he cannot show much emotion. He also has a twisted right leg, which causes him to have a strange walk. He is a Hazara and a Shi’a Muslim. Amir’s family is Pashtun and Sunni Muslim. Which he recieves verbal abuse by the Pastuns for.
Hassan and Amir grew up together. Amir’s first word was Baba. Hassan’s was Amir. Amir believes this laid the foundation for what happened in 1975.