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.
In March of 1981, Amir and Baba flee Kabul, taking only a few personal items. They do this in secret because spies for the Russian soldiers are everywhere. They are headed for Pakistan.
At the border, they are stopped by soldiers. They say they can cross the border after they have half an hour with the young woman traveling with them. Baba protests and the young soldier pulls a gun on Baba, who won’t back down. An older officer stops the younger soldier and allows them to pass.
The group is supposed to change vehicles, but the second truck has been broken for weeks. Baba nearly kills the man when he realizes the man only transported them for the money. They will have to wait for the truck to be repaired, along with thirty other refugees and rats.
In the basement, they meet Kamal and his father, friends from Kabul. Kamal was raped just like Hassan. Kamal does not speak anymore.
All of the refugees are transported in a fuel truck to Pakistan. Kamal dies during the trip, apparently from gas fumes. Kamal’s father kills himself because he feels that he just lost his last valuable aspect in life.