Migration Policy Institute
Khaled Hosseini, Author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees U.S. Envoy
2009 media coverage of Afghanistan has focused largely on recent elections and the U.S. government’s possible plan and strategy to stabilize the country. One sign of the continuing instability is that Afghanistan remains, as it has been for three decades, the world’s largest source of refugees. Real recovery will not come to Afghanistan until most Afghans feel secure enough to return to their homes. No one has so eloquently portrayed the human tragedy arising from the turmoil in Afghanistan as has Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. After growing up as a refugee in California, Dr. Hosseini returned to Afghanistan for his first visit after publication of The Kite Runner and was greatly disturbed by the continuing vulnerability of the people there, including those who had returned from exile in neighboring countries. Since 2006, he has served as an U.S. Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, working to bring attention and understanding to the humanitarian needs of Afghans. Dr. Hosseini shares his observations from his trip to Afghanistan, where he focused on issues involved in the return and reintegration of refugees and displaced persons.