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.
Amir begins to court Soraya. She asks to read one of his stories. Though Baba does make many allusions to honor and pride (dissuading Amir from flirting with Soraya), ultimately, the reason Amir stops courting Soraya is because of Soraya's father who finds the two talking alone together in the market. Amir had given Soraya one of his stories, which Soraya's father promptly threw in the garbage.
Baba is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Baba refuses treatment. He collapses with a seizure at the flea market. Soraya and her family visit. Days later, Baba arranges Amir’s engagement to Soraya. She worries that her past- she ran away with a man and lived with him for a month- will cause Amir to not want to marry her. Amir envies her because her secret is out.